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Economy and Business

FirstEnergy to defend light bulb program later this month
Customers don't understand why they have to pay more to save energy

Karen Schaefer
FirstEnergy recently built an energy-efficient building at its west campus, but the company is asking residential customers to pay for their own energy savings
Courtesy of Karen Schaefer
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How many electric utility customers does it take to screw in a light bulb? For one Ohio utility the answer seems to be nearly two-million. That's how many residential customers Akron-based FirstEnergy Corporation wants to send a pair of energy-efficient bulbs " and then charge nearly three times what they cost.
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On six o'clock news today, the light bulb program has been altered to a voluntary two-year program after a meeting with PUCO this afternoon.

Posted by: Pat (Ravenna) on October 28, 2009 6:08PM
As for returning items that have been mailed... I believe I read that these bulbs will be hand-delivered. This probably was the reason for that choice of distribution: if they're not sent via the USPS, perhaps the "I didn't order the merchandise" rule doesn't apply. I don't know the 'ins and outs' of that but I'll wager the greedy guys at First Energy do.

Posted by: Pat (Ravenna) on October 25, 2009 9:46PM
PUCO (the Ohio utility regulator)is known all across the United States for being very utility-friendly. They view that their job is to protect utility profits, not consumers. PUCO has been embarrassed into acting like it cares about consumers because of the magnitude of this outrageous rip-off. PUCO needs to be disbanded and all its commissioners and staff dismissed so that a new consumer-friendly agency can be created to take its place.

Posted by: John (Kent, OH) on October 25, 2009 9:09PM
well, the FTC(fair trade commission) states that if you receive anything in the mail that you did NOT order, you have the 'option' to contact the sender and request it to be returned via COA(cash on arrival).
IF, you are charged for an item by a direct billing without your consent, you also have the right to 'dispute' the charge and in most cases KEEP the goods or services.

Posted by: derek (elliott) on October 25, 2009 5:54PM
So let me get this: the customers, after being hijacked for ransom in the form of triple-paying for two lightbulbs, then is expected to pay the greedy utility for the money it has lost by providing the bulbs. How can the PUCO possibly go along with this twisted process? Do they really think this is OK? They need to be replaced with thinking, balanced people: immediately.

Posted by: Pat (Ravenna) on October 25, 2009 1:33PM
Even if they forced everyone to take these bulbs, how can they force people to install them? I have been replacing my bulbs with energy efficient compact flourescent bulbs as the old ones burn out. Will they also dictate the wattage that I choose to use? This whole program is ridiculous!

Posted by: Kathy (Massillon) on October 25, 2009 1:17AM
Who comes up with these stupid ideas that seem to penalize your average middle-class consumer? When will American consumers finally rise up and say enough is enough?

Posted by: Neil (Canton) on October 23, 2009 9:51AM
I already have 20 energy bulbs in my house.I really do not need two more that I would not use for years,and to be sent to me at an extortionist price.

Posted by: alan (ravenna) on October 23, 2009 8:12AM
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