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FirstEnergy Unit Files for Approval of Energy Efficiency Plan

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Diversified energy company FirstEnergy Corporation’s (FE - Free Report) Ohio utilities have recently filed for an approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) for the company’s proposed Energy Efficiency and Peak Demand Reduction Portfolio Plans. The proposed plan is aimed to help customers save energy and money on their utility bills.

Details of the Plan

The plan will offer a wide range of cost-effective programs to the customers of FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison. Slated to be available from Jan 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2019, these programs include a three-year plan to cut over 800,000 megawatt-hours of electric consumption annually.

The proposal features a wide range of energy conservation measures personalized for a variety of customer segments, including low-income, residential, small commercial, industrial and governmental. The energy efficiency plans will not only offer innovative methods to manage electricity usage, but also ensure environmental benefits by reducing emission levels.

Objectives of the Plan

Energy efficiency programs provide energy saving options to customers, which allow them to lower energy consumption and save up on their utility bills. This can prove to be particularly beneficial during peak demand. These programs by way of lowering utility bills will help FirstEnergy to retain and add to its existing customer base. Lower consumption by existing customers will also allow the company to serve a bigger customer base without actually increasing its generation capacity and incurring any extra cost. As of Dec 31, 2015 FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities served nearly 2.1 million customers, adding nearly 3,000 customers over the prior year.

With growing global demand for clean energy, FirstEnergy is working on increasing energy production from environment-friendly sources. For this purpose, the company has been directing its investments toward renewable generation and committed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 90% from the 2005 level by 2045.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

FirstEnergy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A couple of top-ranked peers in the same space are Atlantic Power Corporation (AT - Free Report) and Black Hills Corp. (BKH - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Calpine Corp. is another well-ranked stock in the same space carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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