- FirstEnergy Corp. has filed a rate case before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and another before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, both aimed at boosting its regulated utilities so they can continue carrying unregulated FirstEnergy Solutions retail electricity supplier.
- The Pennsylvania rate plan proposes higher distribution rates to fund new infrastructure for a FirstEnergy regulated utility company. The Ohio rate plan would extend the current rate plan through June 2016 and add a 15-year contract for the purchase, by FirstEnergy regulated Ohio companies Illuminating Co., Ohio Edison, and Toledo Edison, of the 3,200 megawatt power output from the FirstEnergy Solutions-owned Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and W.H. Sammis coal-fired power plant, power that would then be sold into wholesale power markets.
- The three regulated Ohio utilities would pay FirstEnergy Solutions for its total production costs and sell the power at an estimated loss of $3.50 per month per customer during the first three years of the contract but, with rising power prices, consumers would see an estimated cumulative savings of $2 billion through the total 15-year Power Purchase Agreement term, according to the company.
Rising prices for natural gas and coal and slowed electricity demand produced by wider use of energy efficiency have turned the unregulated FirstEnergy Solutions into a burden.
FirstEnergy recently had its stock downgraded by UBS Financial and the UBS Financial Services “sell” rating on FirstEnergy predicted a 25% stock price drop but, more importantly, was based on a drop in the FirstEnergy Q4 2013 dividend from $0.55 per share to $0.36 that was paid through the regulated companies' revenues and debt.
Environmentalists could not prevent the FirstEnergy-backed two-year freeze of Ohio’s renewables mandate but reportedly plan an advertising campaign against the Ohio filing.