Mon Power and Potomac Edison File Rate Review to Support Continued Service Reliability and New Customer Advocacy Program in West Virginia
Proposed residential rates remain lowest among state's regulated electric utilities
FAIRMONT, W.Va., June 1, 2023 -- Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), have requested a review of their base electric rates by the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC). The proposed $207 million adjustment supports investments that strengthen the energy grid, funds reliability programs targeting rural communities and establishes a team to support low-income customers.
In addition, the filing requests recovery of costs associated with storm repairs, including multiple storms in December, depreciation changes for Mon Power's West Virginia generating plants and higher operating and maintenance costs associated with inflation.
"While strict cost management and careful planning have allowed us to keep our West Virginia electric rates the lowest among the state's investor-owned electric companies, an adjustment is required to keep pace with rising prices and allow us to continue making critical electric system enhancements," said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia operations. "Our proposal supports ongoing preventative maintenance and equipment enhancements that would reinforce the grid against progressively stronger storms."
The proposed rate review supports investments in the generation, transmission and distribution system, storm restoration work and a bill assistance initiative that aims to keep customers' needs and expectations top of mind. The rate proposal includes:
- Measures that support investments the companies have made to help create a more reliable and resilient electric system, including installation of new automated technology.
- An Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP) to enhance reliability in rural areas by funding specific, targeted projects such the construction of tie lines to provide alternative sources of power as well as new substations and additional power lines.
- Creation of a new customer advocacy program to evaluate processes from the unique vantage point of the low-income customer that will help provide the companies with recommendations for process improvements.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison have grown significantly in the nine years since its last base rate review, now serving approximately 550,000 customers in West Virginia – 25,000 more than it did in 2014. In addition, the companies have collectively invested more than $1 billion to improve and maintain the distribution, transmission and generation systems since the last rate review.
If approved, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers would continue to pay the lowest electric rates among West Virginia's investor-owned regulated electric companies. The average Mon Power or Potomac Edison residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month would see a 15% overall rate increase – or $18.07 monthly.
The requested rate reviews 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 March 2024.
The public is invited to comment on the filing through the West Virginia PSC's public comment process, and the companies will participate in public meetings about the plan and engage key stakeholders to ensure an open and thorough review of the proposal.
Investor Note: For additional information on the filing, visit the new "Investor Materials" section of the FirstEnergy website here.
Potomac Edison serves about 275,000 customers in seven counties in Maryland and 155,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, 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 approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
CONTACT: News Media Contact: Hannah Catlett, (440) 554-5346, or Investor Contact: Irene Prezelj, (330) 384-3859