Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have struggled to make ends meet and have been forced to choose which bills are most important for them to pay.
Andrew Tinkham of the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) discussed emergency utility filings during the pandemic when he appeared on America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on August 10.
Tinkham introduced the OCC’s Summer Crisis Program to listeners. This is a program created by the organization offering assistance with electric bills if a person is to qualify for it. The program offers up to $500 for an electric bill or central air unit payment.
Ohio House Bill 6
In wake of a recently uncovered bribery scheme, there are now calls to repeal Ohio House Bill 6, which provide funding for two nuclear plants in Ohio.
The bill was signed into law in July 2019 and gave more than $1 billion in subsidies to the two 66-year old plants, which are owned by Energy Harbor.
When First Energy Solutions declared bankruptcy, it was revealed that from June 2018 to January 2020 both of the nuclear plants have been profitable at figures upwards of $192 million without the subsidies included in House Bill 6.
Tinkham said the OCC does not approve of the subsidies and are in favor of repealing House Bill 6.
Finally, Tinkham warned listeners about energy shut-off scams that are being reported.
He said scammers pretend to be utility companies and threaten to shut-off unsuspecting citizens’ utilities unless they purchase amazon gift cards, prepaid debit cards or other gift cards and call back with the card numbers.
Tinkham suggested listeners always directly call their utility company if they ever have questions.