Late last month, FirstEnergy announced plans to bolster its finances by issuing $500 million in new stock which will be purchased by the company’s pension fund. At the same time, the company asked regulators to approve a new subsidy request of nearly $9 billion paid by new above-market charges on customer bills. The OMA Energy Group has been opposing the proposal pending at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). A decision could come as soon as September.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on statements made by FirstEnergy CEO Charles Jones in a July 29th investor call indicating that the company’s goal now is to persuade the state to re-regulate electric utilities. Listen to the investor call and hear the CEO describe how FirstEnergy is not succeeding in the competitive generation market.
Re-regulation (meaning taking away customers’ right to shop) would require legislative approval by the Ohio General Assembly and would reverse the deregulated generation market enacted in 1999. Last week, Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) said that any electricity structural reform would be a discussion for the next legislative session that begins in January 2017.