Proceeds of $12 Million “Polar Vortex Settlement,” a Class Action Lawsuit Championed by Principals of Brakey Energy & Brakey Law, to be Distributed to Many Ohio Commercial & Industrial Energy Users

Principals of Ohio’s Premier Energy Management Firm Played Key Role in Bringing Suit, Achieving Successful Resolution on Behalf of FES Business Customers

CLEVELAND--()--Large commercial and industrial energy users in Ohio that were part of a successful class action lawsuit against FirstEnergy Solutions (“FES”) will soon be receiving their share of the $12 million settlement.

Brakey Energy, Ohio’s leading independent energy management firm serving large, energy-intensive enterprises, was deeply involved with the lawsuit. Carolyn Brakey, General Counsel of Brakey Energy and now principal of Brakey Law LLC, originated the suit and developed the case theory. Matt Brakey, President of Brakey Energy, served as the expert witness.

Now commonly known as the “Polar Vortex Settlement,” the case concerned an FES surcharge, billed as the RTO Expense Surcharge, that originated from increased electricity costs during the 2014 polar vortex. The class alleged that FES breached its fixed-rate contracts with business customers by passing through charges that FES paid in connection with efforts to ensure a reliable supply of electricity during unusually cold weather. The surcharge amounted to approximately one percent (1%) of the customer’s annual electric generation expenditure.

On May 21, 2020, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio approved a $12 million class proof of claim. The court-appointed claims administrator in the case is tasked with identifying class members and disbursing the settlement. Some smaller FES customers have already received payments of at least $50. Larger class participants will receive payments of at least $600, and in some cases, substantially more, in the coming weeks.

“Brakey Energy is dedicated to helping Ohio businesses use energy strategically and reduce energy costs,” stated Matt Brakey. “We are proud to have been involved in this case and to see our work pay dividends to clients and other energy users in Ohio. It is incredibly gratifying to know that millions of dollars will be returned to customers that paid this dubious surcharge.”

“Many companies believed the polar vortex surcharge was unfair, but they didn’t engage in litigation independently for various reasons,” explained Carolyn Brakey. “Through this class action, we were able to achieve a fair and successful settlement on behalf of commercial and industrial energy users in Ohio and neighboring states.”

Energy users with questions about the settlement can learn more by contacting Brakey Law.

About Brakey Energy

Brakey Energy is an independent Ohio energy management firm with decades of experience in Ohio energy contracting, rates, and regulations. Brakey Energy serves as a strategic partner to many of the state’s largest energy-intensive entities. Learn more:

About Brakey Law LLC

Brakey Law LLC is a powerful legal advocate for Ohio businesses and individuals. The firm has unmatched knowledge of energy law, helping a wide range of business clients in Ohio successfully address energy issues and challenges. Learn more:


Carolyn Brakey, 216-230-6200;


Release Summary

Many commercial & industrial Ohio energy users will receive proceeds of class action lawsuit championed by principals of Brakey Energy & Brakey Law


Carolyn Brakey, 216-230-6200;