AKRON, Ohio, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A decision today by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will allow AEP Ohio to effectively continue to block the vast majority of its retail electric customers from receiving lower electric prices available from suppliers in the competitive market.
"With today's ruling, AEP Ohio becomes the only utility in the state with permission to effectively restrict any of its customers from obtaining lower market based capacity prices that are at unprecedented lows – prices that can help businesses compete and help families save money," said Donald R. Schneider, President of FirstEnergy Solutions. "Under this framework approved by the PUCO, AEP Ohio customers will be forced to accept AEP Ohio's prices – prices that are now far above what the market can provide."
All other utilities in the state charge capacity prices at a market-based rate established through a competitive auction. With this order, AEP Ohio will be able to charge a capacity price that is seven times more than the current market-based rate.
FirstEnergy Solutions is urging the PUCO to require AEP Ohio to adopt competitive market-based pricing for both energy and capacity in AEP Ohio's Electric Security Plan currently pending before the Commission.
"The use of competitive auctions for buying electricity for utility customers has been effective in reducing prices for other Ohio utilities, including FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities and more recently Duke Energy Ohio, where a new market-based rate plan that took effect in January resulted in a 17 percent rate reduction for its utility customers," says Schneider.
FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) is one of the nation's largest providers of competitive electric generation supply, serving more than 1.5 million customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan and Illinois.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies comprise the nation's largest investor-owned electric system. Its diverse generating fleet features non-emitting nuclear, scrubbed baseload coal, natural gas, and pumped-storage hydro and other renewables, and has a total generating capacity of nearly 23,000 megawatts.
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," "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, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates, the status of the PATH project in light of the PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., (PJM) direction to suspend work on the project pending review of its planning process, its re-evaluation of the need for the project and the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of any related capital expenditures, the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from ATSI's realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, changes in markets for energy services, changing energy and commodity market prices and availability, financial derivative reforms that could increase our liquidity needs and collateral costs, the continued ability of FirstEnergy's regulated utilities to collect transition and other costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, including CSAPR which was stayed by the courts on December 30, 2011, and the effects of the EPA's MATS rules, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to shut down or idle certain generating units), the uncertainties associated with the company's plan to retire its older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments and PJM's review of the company's plans for, and timing of, those retirements, 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 NRC including as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), issues that could result from our continuing evaluation of the indications of cracking in the Davis-Besse plant shield building imposed by the Confirmatory Action Letter issued by the NRC, adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to Met-Ed's and Penelec's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their transmission service charge riders, the continuing availability of generating units and changes in their ability to operate at or near full capacity, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency mandates, changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic goals, FirstEnergy's ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the distribution business, the changing market conditions that could affect the value of assets held in FirstEnergy's NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause FirstEnergy and its 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 FirstEnergy's financing plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, changes in general economic conditions affecting FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, interest rates and any actions taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect FirstEnergy's and its subsidiaries' access to financing or their costs and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, the state of the national and regional economy and its impact on major industrial and commercial customers of FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries, issues concerning the soundness of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries do business, the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in FirstEnergy's and its applicable subsidiaries' SEC 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.