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FirstEnergy wants to make consumers pay for scrapped bulb program

AKRON — Ohio's consumer advocate is complaining about a utility's proposal to have its customers pay for a controversial light bulb program it scrapped.

FirstEnergy Corp. has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to let it pass along to consumers about $772,000 in costs from its plan to mail a pair of energy-saving light bulbs to each customer. The company changed its mind following an uproar over its intention to add a surcharge onto electric bills that was more than the cost of the bulbs.

Ohio Consumers' Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander says the regulators should not allow FirstEnergy to collect costs from what she calls a "failed program" that didn't benefit consumers.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Ellen Raines says the costs are fair and appropriate.

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