IEEFA Research

IEEFA Report: A Cynical Re-Regulation Strategy in West Virginia

FirstEnergy’s Machinations Around the Pleasants Power Station Are Designed to Shift Risk to Ratepayers

In seeking to get the West Virginia Public Service Commission to allow it to sell all or a portion of its Pleasants Power Station, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. is following a strategy of re-regulation that stands to benefit shareholders at ratepayer expense. The coal-fired 1,300-megawatt Pleasants plant is currently owned by a FirstEnergy deregulated subsidiary, Allegheny […]

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IEEFA Ohio: Damn Tradition, Bailouts Are Where It’s At

Update: FirstEnergy Piles Insult Onto Billions of Dollars in Injury by Threatening to Move Its Headquarters From Akron

Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always thought investor-owned electric utilities were set up to provide power to consumers who paid for what they got.    In states where electricity is deregulated, utility companies compete for customers—just like any other business does. And in states where utilities are regulated, public-utility commissions determine how rates are set […]

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FirstEnergy’s Scheme to Protect Aging Power Plants in Ohio Will Cost Ratepayers $4 Billion

A Utility Company’s Subsidy Plan Ignores the New Energy Economy

We’ve published a report today that outlines in fresh detail how the proposed bailout of the Ohio utility giant FirstEnergy is a raw deal for ratepayers. Our report, “A $4 Billion Bailout in the Buckeye State,” concludes that the FirstEnergy scheme, if approved by the Pubic Utility Commission of Ohio, would cost ratepayers across northern […]

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In Ohio, AEP and FirstEnergy Adopt an Audacious Strategy That Could Cost Ratepayers Dearly

A Model First Established in West Virginia Is Being Pushed Now in the Buckeye State

We’ve posted a research note today that explains how reregulation schemes in Ohio by FirstEnergy and AEP bear a striking resemblance to one approved in West Virginia that resulted in a recent push to raise electricity rates by 12.5 percent. The gist of our memo, “West Virginia Bailout Emboldens FirstEnergy and AEP in Ohio,” is […]

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Report: FirstEnergy Seeks a Subsidized Turnaround

FirstEnergy: A Major Utility Seeks a Subsidized Turnaround (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance and Cathy Kunkel, Fellow Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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Report: Mountain State Maneuver: AEP and FirstEnergy try to stick ratepayers with risky coal plants

Mountain State Maneuver: AEP and FirstEnergy try to stick ratepayers with risky coal plants (pdf)      

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More News and Commentary

IEEFA Update: FirstEnergy, on Thin Ice, Walks Away From a Half Million Ohio Households in Hopes of Saving Itself

A Break with the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council Is the Latest Sign, Among Many, That a Poorly Run Utility Is on the Ropes

FirstEnergy’s financial tailspin took a spectacular turn late last month when the company abruptly cancelled the three remaining years of a nine-year contract to supply electricity to the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), a group that provides power to 500,000 customers. What’s happening here in Ohio, in brief, is that FirstEnergy’s bad business decisions […]

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NextEra Steps Into the FirstEnergy Void in Ohio, and at a Discount to Ratepayers

John Funk for the Cleveland Plain Dealer: The Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, or NOPEC, has approved a three-year contract with NextEra Energy Services Ohio, a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, to supply power to some 500,000 Northeast Ohio consumers and small businesses. NOPEC made this decision10 days after current supplier FirstEnergy Solutions canceled […]

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FirstEnergy Declares Emission-Control Trends a Force Majeure as It Works to Drop Coal Shipping and Supply Commitments

Taylor Kuykendall for SNL Beta: FirstEnergy Corp. disclosed in a Nov. 4 securities filing that it is fighting a legal battle to declare mercury emissions limits imposed by the U.S. EPA a force majeure event justifying termination of coal transportation and supply contracts. FirstEnergy reported the first dispute arises from a contract for the transportation […]

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FirstEnergy, in Seeking a Way Forward, May Be Looking at Bankruptcy

Darren Sweeney for SNL: FirstEnergy Corp.’s competitive business is under strategic review and could be forced to file for bankruptcy as the company seeks regulatory and legislative help for its generation resources. “The fact is competitive generation is weighing down the rest of our company, and while we have fought hard, we cannot continue to […]

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IEEFA West Virginia: A Utility Double-Talks Itself Into a Corner as It Seeks a Ratepayer Bailout for Its Corporate Owner

Mon Power Says It Has an Abundance of Generation Capacity. Mon Power Also Says It Needs to Buy a Failing Coal Plant From FirstEnergy.

After gaining approval from regulators for a $600 million bailout in Ohio, FirstEnergy turns to West Virginia for its next ratepayer-subsidized relief act. The company is orchestrating the sale of its deregulated Pleasants coal plant on the Ohio River just north of Parkersburg to its regulated West Virginia subsidiary, Mon Power (regulated is code for […]

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Even With Its Vast Plentitude of Ratepayer Subsidies, FirstEnergy Is Failing

Dan Shingler for Crian’s Cleveland Business: Chuck Jones needs to find about $200 million. That’s roughly the amount that Jones, CEO of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., says he needs to find in cost savings to preserve his company’s credit rating — and ultimately to stay independent. It will mean cuts to FirstEnergy’s expenses. That includes payroll, […]

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W. Virginia Commission Clears Way for FirstEnergy to Dump Aging Coal-Fired Plant on Ratepayers

Max Garland for the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette-Mail: The Public Service Commission has ruled that FirstEnergy, the parent company of MonPower and Potomac Edison, does not need to accept bids for other energy sources before asking the PSC for additional power plant capacity. The ruling clears the path for FirstEnergy to request approval for MonPower purchasing […]

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W. Virginia Commission Sides With FirstEnergy on Ratepayer-Subsidized Business Plan

Linda Harris for the (West Virginia) State Journal: The West Virginia Public Service Commission has denied a staff petition that would have required Mon Power Company to seek competitive bids before increasing capacity. The PSC said the petition, filed by its Consumer Advocate Division, was premature because the utility had yet to determine the extent […]

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More Fallout Around FirstEnergy Bailout in Ohio

Kathiann M. Kowalksi for Midwest Energy News: The PUCO’s 190-page order and opinions last week rejected FirstEnergy’s modified request, but nonetheless imposed on customers a charge of $132.5 million per year, plus whatever corporate taxes would have to be paid, for a total of about $204 million per year. It seems likely one or more […]

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IEEFA Ohio: FirstEnergy’s Bailout Plan Is Paying Off (for FirstEnergy)

Ohio Regulator Nod on $600 Million to $1 Billion in Ratepayer Subsidies Presages a Similar Campaign in West Virginia

The Public Utility Commission of Ohio this week gave FirstEnergy a much smaller bailout than the company wanted. But it’s still a bailout. We expect opponents—including consumer and environmental organizations, industrial electricity customers and other power producers in Ohio—to appeal the PUCO decision to the Ohio Supreme Court. These groups will probably ask the Federal […]

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