FirstEnergy Ohio utilities seek changes to rate plan

FirstEnergy Corp.’s Ohio utilities asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to consider modifications to their recently approved electric security plan that would help protect customers from future retail price increases.

The rehearing request seeks to allow the FirstEnergy Ohio utilities — Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison — to use a rate mechanism to protect customers against long-term price increases and volatility by applying credits or charges to monthly electric bills.

Customers would receive credits or charges on their monthly electric bills based on the projected plant cost calculations and electric output contained in the recently approved ESP IV. Based on this information, the plan is expected to save customers hundreds of millions of dollars during its eight-year term, between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2024, and the credits or charges would be reviewed by the PUCO both quarterly and annually.

If approved, the modified ESP IV would preserve the comprehensive benefits contained in the original plan by offering energy efficiency programs, evaluating smart grid technologies and providing low-income customer assistance.

Since the proposal is based almost entirely on evidence in the record at the PUCO, the FirstEnergy Ohio utilities are seeking a decision on their request by May 25, 2016.

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