FAIRMONT, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced today that the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia has approved a settlement agreement that will lower electric rates by more than $77 million in 2019 due to reduced costs for fuel, purchased power, and energy efficiency programs. The utilities incur the costs to provide safe and reliable electricity to customers.
The settlement was negotiated by the utilities, PSC Staff, the Consumer Advocate Division, and the West Virginia Energy Users Group. The new rates began Jan. 1, 2019 and remain in place until Dec. 31, 2019.
As a result, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will decrease by about 2.2 percent or $2.42, which includes $2.13 for fuel and purchased power costs and $.29 for the elimination of the energy efficiency surcharge. The monthly bill for the companies' typical West Virginia customers will drop to $105.83 from the current $108.25.
"This is the second time in recent months that we have reduced rates for our West Virginia customers," said Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia operations. "In September, we reduced rates by nearly $2 per month for average residential customers from savings associated with the federal tax cut. Those savings, coupled with lower fuel and purchased power costs, will cut the average residential customer's monthly bill by more than $4. We are committed to providing our customers safe and reliable electricity at an affordable cost."
With the decreases, rates for Mon Power and Potomac Edison's West Virginia residential customers will be about 19 percent below the national average.
Under a cost recovery process established by the PSC in 2007, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customer bills are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. Mon Power and Potomac Edison do not profit from fuel and purchased power costs.
To help customers manage their bills, Mon Power and Potomac Edison offer budget plans, special payment plans, and access to energy assistance programs. For home energy efficiency tips, customers can go to www.firstenergycorp.com or call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-255-3443 to request information.
Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in the northern half of West Virginia and Potomac Edison serves about 140,000 customers in the state's Eastern Panhandle. Follow the companies on Twitter @MonPowerWV and @PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "forecast," "target," "will," "intend," "believe," "project," "estimate," "plan" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, which may include the following: the ability to successfully execute an exit of commodity-based generation that minimizes cash outflows and associated liabilities, including, without limitation, the losses, guarantees, claims and other obligations of FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), together with its consolidated subsidiaries (FirstEnergy), as such relate to the entities previously consolidated into FirstEnergy, including FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. (FES), its subsidiaries, and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), which have filed for bankruptcy protection (FES Bankruptcy); the risks that conditions to the definitive settlement agreement with respect to the FES Bankruptcy may not be met or that the settlement agreement may not be otherwise consummated, and if so, the potential for litigation and payment demands against FirstEnergy by FES, FENOC or their creditors; the risks associated with the FES Bankruptcy that could adversely affect FirstEnergy, its liquidity or results of operations; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission and distribution investment plans; changes in assumptions regarding economic conditions within our territories, assessment of the reliability of our transmission and distribution system, or the availability of capital or other resources supporting identified transmission and distribution investment opportunities; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals, including, but not limited to, our strategy to operate as a fully regulated business and to grow the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments to continue to reduce costs through FE Tomorrow, FirstEnergy's initiative launched in late 2016 to identify its optimal organizational structure and properly align corporate costs and systems to efficiently support a fully regulated company going forward, and other initiatives, and to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings; the uncertainties associated with the sale, transfer or deactivation of our remaining commodity-based generating units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and as it relates to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings; changes in customers' demand for power, including, but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; economic and weather conditions affecting future sales, margins and operations, such as significant weather events, and all associated regulatory events or actions; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and/or our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties with which we do business; the impact of labor disruptions by our unionized workforce; the risks associated with cyber-attacks and other disruptions to our information technology system that may compromise our generation, transmission and/or distribution services and data security breaches of sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information regarding our business, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, business partners and other individuals in our data centers and on our networks; the impact of the regulatory process and resulting outcomes on the matters at the federal level and in the various states in which we do business, including, but not limited to, matters related to rates; the impact of the federal regulatory process on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated entities and transactions, in particular FERC regulation of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. (PJM) wholesale energy and capacity markets and cost-of-service rates, as well as FERC's compliance and enforcement activity, including compliance and enforcement activity related to North American Electric Reliability Corporation's mandatory reliability standards; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; other legislative and regulatory changes, including the federal administration's required review and potential revision of environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals, and Cross State Air Pollution Rule programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and/or our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger, than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to significant accounting policies; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, adopted December 22, 2017, or adverse tax audit results or rulings; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financial plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries; actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and/or our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, letters of credit and other financial guarantees, and the impact of these events on the financial condition and liquidity of FE and/or its subsidiaries; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, and other similar factors. Dividends declared from time to time on FE's common stock, and thereby on FE's preferred stock, during any period may in the aggregate vary from prior periods due to circumstances considered by FE's Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. These forward-looking statements are also qualified by, and should be read together with, the risk factors included in our filings with the SEC, including but not limited to the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which risk factors supersede and replace the risk factors contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-K and previous Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and any subsequent Current Reports on Form 8-K. The foregoing review of factors also should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.