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For Immediate Release
Contact:  Matt Schilling
(614) 466 7750

PUCO to establish emergency surcharge for Youngstown Thermal

COLUMBUS, OHIO (July 21, 2017) – Today the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) set out to establish an emergency surcharge for Youngstown Thermal in light of the utility's ongoing financial struggles. Efforts to place the utility into receivership are ongoing.

Finding that immediate action is necessary to protect public health and safety, and to prevent unnecessary or avoidable damage to property, the Commission directs PUCO staff to file a proposed emergency surcharge so that the utility can continue to meet payroll obligations for its skilled workers.

The Commission also directs Youngstown Thermal to establish a segregated escrow account in which all future payments by customers should be deposited.

The Commission notes that payment of overdue balances by numerous customers is essential to continued service to Youngstown Thermal customers, and urges customers to pay all amounts not in good-faith dispute.

On June 14, 2017, the PUCO received notification from Youngstown Thermal of the utility’s financial troubles. Upon receiving notification, the PUCO began a review of Youngstown Thermal’s financial stability.

On June 29, 2017, PUCO staff filed a report of its review, finding that the utility is unable to pay its own utility suppliers, debt obligations and payroll.

On June 30, 2017, PUCO directed to the Ohio Attorney General to seek authority from a local court to place Youngstown Thermal into receivership.

A copy of today’s Commission order and PUCO staff report are available on the PUCO website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov. Click on the link to the Docketing Information System and enter case 17-1534-HC-UNC in the search field.

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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

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