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FirstEnergy Faces Foes, Regulators Over Renewables

The Sierra Club has launched a campaign to discourage Ohioans from buying electricity from the retail arm of Akron-based FirstEnergy. The environmental group said Wednesday it will use advertising, volunteer recruitment and door-to-door canvassing to share concerns that FirstEnergy is fighting energy efficiency programs and clean energy mandates. A FirstEnergy spokesman called the environmentalists' campaign misleading. He said the company is meeting state alternative energy targets while lobbying for some modifications to future mandates to reduce customer costs. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio agreed Wednesday to further review several legal issues in a dispute over what FirstEnergy charged customers for renewable energy purchases. The regulatory panel ordered the company last month to credit back $43.3 million it overcharged customers for renewables as Ohio's alternative-energy market was developing.