FirstEnergy Scams $130 Million in OH, Fighting About Inverter Meters in WV

In my post this morning about new rules for WV’s renewable energy credit certification at the PSC, I noted that FirstEnergy wants to keep existing laws that require small solar producers to buy extra equipment to meter their electricity production.  Solar power producers report their production figures to state authorities because the renewable energy credits they sell are based on production.  Generators are paid a certain amount per megawatt hour or 1000 kilowatt hours.  In states that have real markets, unlike WV which has none, one of these megawatt hours is referred to as a solar renewable energy credit or SREC.

So FirstEnergy wants to force WV producers to buy special meters, when their inverters come equipped with meters from the factory.  FirstEnergy apparently thinks revenue quality meters, like the electric meter on your house, are more accurate than the factory meters on solar power inverters.  I know this is not true, because FirstEnergy replaced my mechanical electric meter with a “revenue quality” digital meter when I started net metering.  FirstEnergy came back after a few months and replaced that meter because they said it was not accurate.

In WV, FirstEnergy wants to make solar power producers pay for redundant equipment to save a few kilowatt hours.  In Ohio, however, FirstEnergy scammed that state’s renewable energy credit market with the credits the company generated and soaked OH rate payers for $130 million.  And Ohio’s PSC, PUCO, has ruled that FirstEnergy only has to refund $43 million of it.  That’s a good deal for FirstEnergy.  In fact, you might even call it an incentive.

In my life, I have found that people who cheat tend to assume that everyone else is cheating.  The people who run FirstEnergy think everyone is out to cheat the renewable energy credit system because they cheat on such a massive scale whenever they can.

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