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FirstEnergy notifies customers of plan changes coming

If you have FirstEnergy Solutions as your electricity generation supplier, your contract will be changing hands in the coming months.

A notice sent to customers outlines the next steps in an ongoing bankruptcy case against the First Energy subsidiary, which filed for chapter 11 protection in March 2018.

A notice sent to customers last fall said that supplier contracts would be transferred to a separate firm, Elexon Generation Company, LLC.

That no longer appears to be the case.

The plan, according to a notice provided to customers this week, now details that their contracts will be assigned “to a newly created entity that will own and operate FES’s competitive retail electricity business” once the plan is approved.

“This means that FES,” the notice states, “will be replaced as the supplier under your current contract with FES upon the assignment of your contract by FES to New FES.”

“However, you’re current contract will not otherwise be amended or changed,” the notice states.

“Please be assured that there will be no interruption of service under your electricity contract as a result of the plan,” the notice emphasizes in bold. “You will not need to take any action to switch to New FES. New FES will provide your electricity service on the same rates, terms and conditions as your current customer contract with FirstEnergy Solutions. Other than the change in your supplier, your electricity service will NOT be affected by the assignment of your contract to New FES.”

An objection process is available to current FES customers and the deadline to file an objection is August 2 at 4 p.m.

The bankruptcy plan will be up for consideration before the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Ohio on August 20, according to the notice.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported when the bankruptcy filing was announced that the company was carrying at least $2.8 billion in debt and explained that FES petitioned the U.S. Department of Energy “to declare an emergency, under extraordinary power reserved for use during cataclysmic threats to the national electric grid, such as war.”

According to the Plain Dealer, the regional grid manager, PJM Interconnection, said in response that there was no imminent threat to the stability of the grid.

“FirstEnergy has complained bitterly for several years that PJM has created competitive market rules that favor, new ultra-efficient gas turbine plants and wind turbine farms. PJM’s competitive market rules in fact favor the cheapest source of power needed at any given second to guarantee the… transmission lines under its control,” the Plain Dealer reported. “In other words, it (FES) wants PJM’s competitive market to provide a way for its power plants to succeed against the new, more efficient technologies offering power at lower prices.”

Their report indicated that over one million customers would be affected by the bankruptcy.

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