FAIRMONT, W.Va., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison today jointly submitted a request to the Public Service Commission (PSC) of West Virginia for a rate increase of $96 million.
The request was filed to move the costs currently being collected for the Harrison generation transaction to Mon Power's and Potomac Edison's permanent rates. Submitting this filing was part of the PSC's order approving the Harrison generation transaction last fall, transferring full ownership of the Harrison Power Station to Mon Power to help ensure a continued supply of reliable power to FirstEnergy's West Virginia customers.
The filing includes recovery of costs associated with storm repairs from the 2012 Derecho and Hurricane Sandy, along with operating costs at power stations, including new environmental control equipment. In addition, the rate request includes hiring 50 new company employees to help enhance service reliability.
"The filing will help ensure continued safe and reliable electric generation for our customers," said Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia Operations. "On the utility side of our operations, the new employees will include linemen, engineers, supervisors and other personnel to help make the service we provide our customers even better and meet anticipated business growth in our state."
Today's filing also includes the cost of the companies' new tree trimming program, as well as existing vegetation-management programs. The new program is designed to help reduce the frequency and shorten the duration of outages. It was recently approved by the PSC, with cost recovery deferred to this rate case.
Currently, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours is about $92.62. If the proposed rate increase, including the cost of the new tree trimming program, is granted, the monthly bill would be about $106.79.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison have not filed for an increase in base rates for nearly five years. The companies' last major rate changes were a decrease in fuel-related rates of 5 percent on Jan. 1, 2013, and a rate reduction of 1.5 percent in October 2013 due to the Harrison acquisition.
Even with the full proposed increase and tree trimming surcharge, Mon Power and Potomac Edison residential rates would be 10 percent lower than the national average residential rates.
The requested rate increases are subject to PSC review. Any increase in rates would not become effective until approved and authorized by the Commission, which is expected to occur in February 2015.
To help customers manage their bills, Mon Power and Potomac Edison offer an average payment plan, special payment plans, and access to energy assistance programs. For more information, visit FirstEnergy's website at www.firstenergycorp.com and click on Our Electric Companies section to choose Mon Power or Potomac Edison. Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers can also call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-686-0022 and 1-800-686-0011 respectively.
Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties and Potomac Edison serves about 135,000 customers in the state's Eastern Panhandle. Follow Mon Power on Twitter @MonPowerWV and Potomac Edison @PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company 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. Its subsidiaries currently control nearly 18,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. 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," "will," "intend," "believe," "estimate" 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. Actual results may differ materially due to the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular; the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment; the accomplishment of our regulatory and operational goals in connection with our transmission plan and planned distribution rate cases and the effectiveness of our repositioning strategy; the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases or the West Virginia Citizen Action Group's pending appeal of the Generation Resource Transaction; the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from American Transmission Systems, Incorporated's realignment into PJM Interconnection LLC; economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins such as the polar vortex or other significant weather events; regulatory outcomes associated with storm restoration, including but not limited to, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm of 2011; changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and availability and their impact on retail margins; the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible greenhouse gas emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), and/or any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules including our estimated costs of compliance; 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 (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units including the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, Reliability Must-Run arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building and steam generator replacement at Davis-Besse; the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments; replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or not fully hedged; the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates; 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; the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the ability to reduce costs and to successfully complete our announced financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet, including but not limited to, the benefits from our announced dividend reduction and our proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives; our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins; changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of certain liabilities and the value of assets held in our Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated; the impact of changes to material accounting policies; the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our announced 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 our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, letters of credit and other financial guarantees; changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business; the impact of any changes in tax laws or regulations or adverse tax audit results or rulings; issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business; the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors 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 FirstEnergy's 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. FirstEnergy expressly disclaims any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.