Tell Cleveland Public Power to set customer rates in an open and transparent process

Tell Cleveland Public Power to set customer rates in an open and transparent process

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Consumers Against Deceptive Fees is dedicated to protecting consumers from unfair and excessive utility costs. We will fight for open and transparent practices so consumers can make informed decisions about where they purchase their power.

Cleveland Public Power (CPP) once generated power for Cleveland residents. However, decades ago CPP stopped generating power on their own and started buying power on the open market. CPP’s customer Base Rate has not increased in decades, but that doesn’t mean that consumers aren’t paying more – CPP is now generating extra revenue through a new “Energy Adjustment Charge” that shows up on customer bills. There has been no explanation for the fee; in fact, CPP claims its rates are a “trade secret” and that taxpayers have no right to know. Cleveland residents deserve to know what they are paying for and why.

Cleveland Public Power leadership admitted in court that the Energy Adjustment Charge is made up each month and that there are currently hundreds of millions of dollars in unbilled costs – costs that could end up being charged to Cleveland residents. In fact, the Commissioner testified there is about $850 million dollars in recoverable expenses under the EEA even though that figure does not seem to be a part of CPP’s financial documents or bond disclosures. Cleveland residents deserve an open and transparent rate process.

Cleveland Public Power has a history of making bad business decisions that are costing Cleveland residents millions. A failed power plant project in southeastern Ohio was called a “debacle” and cost Cleveland about $8 million dollars; a failed effort to build a coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois cost additional millions; the sweetheart deal CPP gave the wind farm project to put turbines in Lake Erie will cost an as-yet-to-be-seen amount; there’s a proposal for “gasification” of trash that never happened, and another proposal for new LED lights that failed and cost millions. This is a disturbing pattern of wasting taxpayer dollars and then charging customers for their own mismanagement. Cleveland residents deserve cost-effective service without these costly gambles with their tax dollars.

Here’s what you need to know: Cleveland Public Power charged customers a Base Rate of $66 million in 2017 and another $129 million for an Energy Adjustment Charge. This means that the majority of what customers paid was calculated on an unknown, secret formula that charges again each month. Our publicly-voted Cleveland City Council approves the Base Rate, so if the millions in add-on charges are needed, they should be conducting public hearings before increasing that fee. Clevelanders deserve to have a say in where their money is going, and how it’s spent.

Consumers Against Deceptive Fees demand that CPP stop making up and hiding millions of dollars in bogus charges. Add your name to our petition. Your voice will join the many who are telling City Hall to do their job and make Cleveland Public Power explain what customers pay and why.  We demand an open, transparent and fair process with oversight, not a blank check. 

                      Private utility companies set their rates in public. 

                 Why should public companies set their rates in private?