FirstEnergy Solutions, facing an uproar in several states over its proposal to charge fixed-rate residential electricity customers a one-time fee of $5 to $15 to offset high winter costs, has decided to rethink that idea.

"Even though our contracts allow us to pass through surcharges, we have decided we won't seek reimbursement from residential customers for the added costs," Donald R. Schneider, president of the Akron company, said in a statement Friday.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission last week delayed ordering an investigation of the "pass-through" charge, which First Energy had proposed to offset extra charges imposed in January by the regional grid operator. Lawmakers decried the charge because it seemed to belie the idea of a fixed-rate agreement.

FirstEnergy Solutions says it serves about a quarter of Pennsylvania customers who buy their electricity from competitive power suppliers.

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