Mon Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp., have filed settlement agreements with the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) that would resolve two outstanding rate proceedings and emphasize the companies' continued focus on delivering safe, reliable and affordable power.
"We're pleased to have reached agreements that allow us to continue making the important investments that support our commitment to a smarter energy future while minimizing the impact on customer bills," said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy's West Virginia operations. "Continued focus on cost management and careful planning will help us keep our West Virginia rates the lowest among investor-owned utilities in the state and lower than the national average."
One of the proposed settlements reflects a two-year update of costs related to Mon Power and Potomac Edison's vegetation management program. Trees are a leading cause of power outages, and the companies' vegetation management program plays a key role in minimizing tree-related service disruptions by keeping transmission and distribution rights-of-way free of incompatible trees and other vegetation. Tree-trimming work has been completed along more than 29,000 miles of power lines across more than 107,000 acres in the past 4 years, resulting in fewer tree-related outages in areas where trimming has been conducted.
The other proposed settlement encompasses an adjustment to the Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC) rate that reflects higher fuel and purchased power expenses incurred by the companies. Under a process established by the PSC in 2007, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customer bills are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. Mon Power and Potomac Edison do not profit from fuel and purchased power costs.
If the settlements are approved by the PSC, the monthly bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month would increase by $2.47 beginning Jan. 1, 2024, for the vegetation management program and by an additional $3.77, effective March 27, 2024, for the ENEC adjustment.
Parties to the ENEC settlement include staff of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, the Consumer Advocate Division of the Commission, the West Virginia Energy Users Group, the West Virginia Coal Association, West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Solar United Neighbors and Energy Efficient West Virginia.