Hundreds of Ohio Duke Energy customers have reached out to 9 on Your Side and WCPO.com in recent weeks to ask: "Where's our money from the Duke Energy settlement?"
The good news: the money is on its way, and applications have all been processed (though many have to be inspected again, see below).
The bad news: the checks, which could be as much as $200 per homeowner, have been delayed again. You may receive a check by mid January, but don't hold your breath.
Carole Friedhoff is hoping to receive a check for several hundred dollars, but she would take anything at this point.
"I got the postcard it seems forever ago," she said. "I turned that in, and it sounds like the money was going to come in as soon as they got the settlement. Now, it just seems like it was delay after delay."
Duke Accused of Unfair Rebates
So what's this case all about?
It involves charges that Duke Energy unfairly gave big rebates to 24 industrial companies, while average ratepayers didn't receive anything.
Duke is not admitting any wrongdoing, but homeowners in Southwest Ohio are supposed to get their fair share of millions of dollars (Sorry, Kentucky and Indiana customers are not part of this settlement).
The case, Williams v. Duke Energy, received final settlement in April, and checks were supposed to go out soon after.
But they were delayed until October, and now they have been delayed yet again.
Attorneys Explain the Delay
So we asked Markovits, Stock & DeMarco, the plaintiffs' lawyers, for an update.
A spokesman explained that over 200,000 customers submitted forms, and each has to be confirmed as legitimate. Many people have moved the past 3 years, and lawyers had to make sure they really lived at the address where the overpayment occurred.
In addition, now that all forms have been processed, they have to get back to people whose forms were rejected for missing information.
The firm says:
"We expect to send out “Notices of Deficiency” to those claimants whose claims have been rejected, giving them an opportunity to cure any deficiency in their claim. After deficiencies have been addressed, Plaintiffs’ Counsel will ask the Court to approve a Class Distribution. We hope to be able to obtain that approval and send out checks in December."
That means you may receive your check early this new year. Maybe.
As always, don't waste your money.
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