Wednesday, December 02, 2009

FirstEnergy gets extension for stupid light bulb program

OhioWatchdog is reporting:

The plan for the distribution of more than 3.5 million compact fluorescent light bulbs to Ohioans is not finished yet. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, PUCO, extended the deadline for receiving a plan from FirstEnergy from November 30, 2009 to December 15, 2009.

PUCO spokesman Matt Butler said, “the company had originally came in last week asking for an extension until the end of December. Some of the other parties thought an extension might be OK, but, let’s only do a week. The commission sort of landed in the middle and said, OK, let’s give them two weeks.”

The new plan is expected to outline how FirstEnergy will distribute 3.75 million compact flourescent light bulbs to homes and small business customers. The original plan caused an uproar with Ohio customers due to a slight increase in charges customers would see on their monthly bill.

The original plan would charge customers around 60 cents more every month for three years; about $21 total. The energy saving bulbs the company would be distributing are estimated to save an additional $60 in energy costs over their lifetimes.

Governor Ted Strickland also asked for FirstEnergy’s distribution plan to be postponed. In a letter Strickland said,

“First, the bulb program has been thrust upon them without their approval or prior knowledge. Second, it is my understanding that two bulbs will be provided at a cost in excess of $21.00. It is common knowledge that the efficient bulbs can be purchased for significantly less at popular retail outlets. Third, I am interested to know if there are any U.S. suppliers of these bulbs, or if First Energy had considered the use of bulbs manufactured in the United States.”

PUCO is asking that the new plan should describe how the energy saving light bulbs are to be distributed, how customers will be notified about the program, and information detailing the proper use of the compact fluorescent light bulbs,

In case you've forgotten this little fiasco, here are the highlights:

* Ohio politicians pass 'bold, new' energy law (aren't they great???)
* Law puts mandate on energy producers to get their customers to reduce consumption (yes, that's what the law does...)
* Electric company develops program to 'give' us all CFL light bulbs - at a cost 67% more than we'd pay for the bulbs in the store
* Government agency 'allows' company to recoup costs of program - including the cost of energy NOT used because of the energy-reducing product
* Public expresses outrage
* Ohio politicians begin backtracking

As I wrote on the OhioWatchdog post:

The company doesn’t need an extension.

The law requiring them to distribute the bulbs needs to be repealed.

This is a ridiculous, freedom-destroying law that needs to be permanently ‘put out’!

Don't blame FirstEnergy for doing what the law requires. Blame the politicians and Governor who passed the law in the first place.

These elitist statists are trying to force us to conform to their opinion of how to save energy - but they're not telling us directly, because we'd revolt if they mandated what kind of light bulb we had to buy.

Instead, they've created a mandate on a supplier of a product, forcing the supplier to try and find a way to get their customers to use less of their product.

This is more than 'stuck on stupid.' It's insane!

Contact Gov. Strickland and tell him this mandate needs to be eliminated - permanently!

Governor's Office
Phone General Info: (614) 466-3555
Fax: (614) 466-9354

Online contact form


Kadim said...

The FirstEnergy bulb program remains one of the strangest things I've heard in a long time.

For comparison sake, incidentally, American Electric Power and Duke Energy sent out coupons for CFL bulbs.

Maggie Thurber said...

Kadim - if you'll check my original post on the matter, you'll see that the committee did consider coupons/vouchers, but other states found that they weren't very effective. People just didn't use them. And if they don't use them, the company can't meet their reduction mandates...

Hence the decision to 'make it easier' for people to actually use the hand delivering them.

Of course, there are all the disposal and breakage problems because they contain mercury - not to mention the fact that these types of bulbs are not even mass produced in the U.S.

Stange is a kind word to describe this insanity!

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

I'll take two; 60 watt equivalent, candelabra base, 5,000 degree Kelvin color temperature.

Oh! You don't have anything like that?

Well, all of the regular base ones in my house have already been replaced/converted to that spec; so stop back on by when you have those decorative bulb replacements (Remember, 5,000 degree Kelvin) in your hot little hands and we'll talk. . .

navyvet said...

If I hadn't seen it...or hadn't heard it...I wouldn't believe the stupidity of all envolved....

Boo Govt./Puco/Edison...Boo, Boo....

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