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FirstEnergy’s Ohio Utilities Reach Settlement On Four-Year, $421 Million Grid Modernization II Plan

April 17, 2024
The plan will help deploy smart meters for an additional 1.4 million customers in Ohio.

FirstEnergy’s Ohio electric companies, Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison, have reached a settlement on their four-year, $421 million Grid Modernization (Grid Mod) II plan to install smart meters for an additional 1.4 million customers in Ohio.

On receiving approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the plan will build on system upgrades completed as part of the companies’ Grid Mod I plan approved in 2019, including installation of approximately 706,000 smart meters across Ohio along with the necessary supporting communications infrastructure and data management system.

Parties to the settlement include the Citizens Utility Board of Ohio, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Interstate Gas Supply, LLC, The Kroger Co., Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, Ohio Energy Group, Ohio Energy Leadership Council, Ohio Environmental Council, The Ohio Manufacturers' Association Energy Group, Retail Energy Supply Association and Walmart.

“At the heart of it all, smart meters are about empowering our customers to make informed decisions about their energy usage and costs,” said Patricia Mullin, acting president of FirstEnergy’s Ohio Operations. “With accurate and detailed billing information each month, customers can now take control of their energy costs.”

Smart meters can detect and locate outages instantly and provide accurate as well as timely storm restoration information.

Additionally, the proposed settlement will allot $3 million per year for a Smart Thermostat Rebate program to allow eligible residential customers to receive up to $100 per qualified smart thermostat. Low income customers, at or below 300% of the federal poverty level, will be eligible for a rebate of up to $150 for the purchase of a new, qualifying smart thermostat.

A typical FirstEnergy Ohio utility residential customer using 750 kWh of electricity per month on average is expected to witness an increase of about $1.50 per month for the length of the Grid Mod II plan upon approval by the PUCO.

Moreover, customers will receive a small, one-time credit for costs associated with a previously approved grid modernization pilot program.

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