FirstEnergy Responds to PSC Billing Questions

Thanks to Keryn for staying on top of the FirstEnergy billing fiasco.  In her post over at Stop PATH WV, Keryn also provides a link to FirstEnergy’s responses to the WV PSC questions in the general investigation case.

In its PSC filing, FirstEnergy tries to put all its problems in the past.  They were all caused by bad old Allegheny Energy and their obsolete mainframe computer and last year’s storms and last winter’s colder than normal temperatures.

So, what has FirstEnergy done?

  • They reduced the number of meter readers from pre-Allegheny merger levels.
  • They have added new “revenue operations” and “meter services” people, although the company doesn’t really tell us what these people do or how they improve meter reading.
  • They claim their meter readers are now dedicated to only reading meters, but also tell us that during last year’s two major electricity blackouts these same meter readers were taken off their “dedicated” jobs.
  • They have put in place a new meter reading routing system which they also claim caused some of their problems.  They have now suspended that re-routing project until fall.
  • They had almost as many complaints about billing in the first five months of 2013 (421)as they had in all of 2012 (441), after all the wonderful changes FirstEnergy claimed had solved all their problems.

FirstEnergy’s response ends with a list of “initiatives” that it should have been performing all along, especially considering they have been engaged in a major overhaul of their systems for over a year.

According to the WV PSC’s initial procedural order, the PSC staff has 14 days to respond to the company’s claims.  Following the staff’s response, the PSC stated that they “will formulate a further procedural schedule” for the rest of the case.  If you are interested in fixing FirstEnergy’s billing mess, stay on top of the case filings here, by plugging the case number, 13-0830-E-GI.


7 thoughts on “FirstEnergy Responds to PSC Billing Questions

  1. I should still like to know to what “jobs” the “dedicated meter personnel” were assigned following the derechio (sp) and Hurricane Sandy. Such persons are not “linemen,” having not taken the IBEW apprenticeship training. Therefore, they cannot do repairs.
    What did these people do, direct traffic, carry drinks to the Upper eschelon management?
    First Energy has little to fear with the “quiet” (translate “SECRET”) reappointment of Mike Albert to the PSC by Tomblin, Earl of Bitumin. I find no “RAY” of sunshine here.

  2. They carried those important employee campaign contributions from Akron and Greensburg to West Virginia towns? Those are important when a “storm” of customer discontent is forecast. But, seriously, Danny, supposedly they direct traffic and keep people from picking up all those live wires laying around after storms and licking them. Oh, wait, did I say “seriously?”

    Okay… seriously… everyone needs not only to monitor what’s going on at the PSC, but PARTICIPATE! If you have a suggestion or think FE is lying, let the PSC know by filing a comment.

    • Keryn:
      Were these people deputized to act in such capacity? I saw no such thing, nor did I hear of anything of the kind.
      I still want to know what those people did when they were assigned “new responsibilities.”

  3. Danny,

    I’m sure FE doesn’t feel they need to inform the public of their employee’s duties. If you want an answer to that question, file it as a comment on the GI docket, and maybe staff will ask it in their follow up discovery requests. The PSC staff is not the enemy here, they are simply trying to do their jobs the best way they can. We asked for an investigation, we got one. Now we need to provide them with evidence and on the ground knowledge to help them be effective. I’m going to have no sympathy for folks who chime in after the fact and start complaining about how the PSC conducted this investigation, unless those same folks made some attempt at participation. If you don’t let the PSC know your concern, they cannot deal with it. Unlike FE, who has special equipment that detects “known concerns” so they may be proactively dealt with, the PSC is not staffed with mind readers.

    Oh, and just for fun, why don’t you also ask Charlie when he shows up for Round 2 next Thursday? Well, if he shows up… ha ha ha…

    • I was not going to add anything more to the blog, until your message of some 90 minutes ago. I shall put my concerns in writing to the PSC. However, you are more optimistic than am I. I accept your position that the PSC Staff has to know the concerns and facts to act. I am not so certain that they are allowed to do so, or that they know exactly how hard an where to avoid pressing. I do not expect anybody from First Energy to attend the next meeting. I got the impression that they knew they could count on Pellish and Tabb to support them, and a corporate sob story or two will keep Noland. Any wagers that the measure goes down 3 to 2, even if Tabb discusses the issues with Patience? Danny

      On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 3:51 PM, The Power Line

  4. I think you’ll find it rewarding to show up. 🙂 (That’s my Yoda impression) My glass is always half full. If we do nothing, we are guaranteed to lose. If we do something, we stand a chance of winning. Action is always the best choice. Do you remember how many people started out with the opinion that we could not stop PATH, so why bother? I always believed fully that we could. And we did. Thanks for participating in the investigation, hoping for the best!

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