Ohio's Energy-Efficient Light Bulb Program
At the request of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Alan Schriber, FirstEnergy has agreed to further discuss with the Commission its PUCO-approved program to provide compact fluorescent light bulbs to customers of its Ohio utilities -- Ohio Edison Company, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and The Toledo Edison Company.
What will be under discussion is First Energy's CFL Program.
According to First Energy this is "To help customers use energy more efficiently, we're delivering two compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to the homes of residential customers of FirstEnergy’s Ohio operating companies -- Ohio Edison Company, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison Company. These types of bulbs use up to 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and can last 10 times longer -- contributing to significant money and energy savings over the life of the bulb. Providing energy-efficient light bulbs is just one way we can help our customers save money while also helping the environment."
But here is the truth behind the "feel good" program and that it's a total outrage and a severe rip off of First Energy customers.
First Energy is going to deliver two lightbulbs to each customer. The lightbulbs cost FE $3.50 each ($7.00 total) but whether you want them or not, First Energy will be allowed by the PUCO to charge $.60 per month for three years ($21.60) for those $7 lightbulbs (that you could actually buy at a store for less than that).
IN ADDITION TO THAT OVERCHARGE, the utility will be allowed to charge you an "assessment fee" to make up for the lower electricity use. In other words, if you use a dollar less each month with the bulbs then the company can charge you the dollar anyway. And yes, if you don't use the bulbs at all, you still get the fee charge.
This is no different than the Federal Government's current approach on health care. First Energy is forcing you to buy two $3.50 light bulbs for the $21.60 price whether you want them or not.
Now before you dismiss this craziness as some sort of insanity that could only happened in Ohio (or California or Wisconsin or .... ), I think you are now getting the idea. States copy each other in just what they can get away with when it comes to new taxes, fees or excuses when it comes to putting their hands in your pockets. It may not be tomorrow or next week, but if Ohio and First Energy gets away with this one, the 49 states will see the approach sooner or later.
Incidentally this government endorsed "green" approach to daily life that costs you money, is the heart and sole of "Cap and Trade" Nancy is pushing in DC.
Contact them: If you have questions about the Ohio CFL program you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 1-888-8-GO 2 CFL.
WE STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU FLOOD THEIR E-MAIL AND THEIR PHONE LINES TO GIVE THEM YOUR OPINION.