The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

July 21, 2013

PSC refuses to drop FirstEnergy investigation

MARTINSBURG — West Virginia utility regulators have rejected FirstEnergy’s request to drop an investigation into its meter reading and billing practices.

The Journal reports that the Public Service Commission announced the decision Friday.

The PSC launched its investigation June 7 after receiving numerous complaints from FirstEnergy customers about unexpectedly high electric bills and estimated meter readings. On July 1, FirstEnergy asked the PSC to dismiss the investigation as resolved.

“The commission does not find the current state of FirstEnergy customer service and billing practices to be satisfactory, nor does it believe that this proceeding should be dismissed,” the order reads.

Along with denying FirstEnergy’s request, the PSC ordered the utility to file statistical information on meter reading and billing practices and customer service for at least one year, beginning Aug. 15.

The monthly submissions will include information on current customer contact center metrics collected; the number and percentage of customers with two or more consecutive estimated bills rendered; the current number of budgeted meter reader positions and the current number of meter readers employed; the current status of the project to renumber meters and adjust meter routes; and the number and percentages of meter rereads.

FirstEnergy must also submit the number of complaints handled by the customer contact center with a breakdown by complaint type; the number and percentage of customer complaints resolved on the first call; and the number of customers placed on a deferred payment plan, and the percentage of those with two or more consecutive estimated bills.

“It’s clear the commission wants to look at this issue further, and we will comply with the commission’s order. We have continued to cooperate fully with the commission’s investigation — answering questions and providing information for the discovery process,” said Todd Meyers, communications representative for FirstEnergy.

Through information provided by FirstEnergy, the order reports that about 44 percent of FirstEnergy customers in West Virginia were unable to resolve a billing problem during their first customer service call in 2013. Also, 5.3 percent of FirstEnergy customers received two consecutive estimated bills and 2.2 percent received three estimated bills including the May 2013 billing cycle.

PSC staff will review and submit data analysis from the data after three and six months of filings. The PSC will monitor the statistical information for one year and, if deemed necessary, extend the monitoring period.

The order also says the PSC will hold public hearings throughout FirstEnergy’s service areas after receiving and reviewing two months’ worth of reports.

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Park Service assesses impact of W.Va. attractions

    Four National Park Service attractions in West Virginia drew a total of 1.5 million visitors last year.

    July 23, 2014

  • This weekend's 'Dirty Girl' race canceled

    Organizers of a Charleston running event that was canceled for this weekend says it won’t issue refunds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Reporter heard truck backfiring, not gunshot

    Similar sounds in different circumstances create different reactions. That is so for WVVA reporter Annie Moore, who last Monday told police someone fired a gun at her while she was shooting file footage in the area of a recent murder.

    July 19, 2014

  • Cornhole champions being decided in Charleston

    Cornhole, the strange-sounding game made popular in backyards and at football tailgate parties, is taking on a serious side this week.
    The American Cornhole Organization will crown its world champions as about 380 competitors from 17 states vie for $10,000 in prize money in singles and doubles events.

    July 19, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads