FirstEnergy to Drop Revenue Recovery as Part of HB6 Settlement
AKRON, Ohio – FirstEnergy has announced a series of actions, including that it will not seek to recover lost revenue, as part of its effort to clean up the fallout from the House Bill 6 scandal.
The announcement comes about two weeks after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced his office had reached an out-of-court settlement requiring the utility company to cease rate adjustments that would ensure it earned at least $978 million per year, a move legalized in H.B. 6.
“We are taking a number of decisive actions to put our company on the right path forward,” said Steven Strah, president and acting CEO, in a statement released Tuesday. “Our commitment to engaging constructively with our Ohio regulators and the decision to forego lost distribution revenue are important steps toward removing uncertainty about regulatory concerns in Ohio and positioning the company for long-term success.”
The $150 billion bribery scandal centers on FirstEnergy and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s efforts to push through a taxpayer-funded bailout of the utility’s two nuclear power plants in Ohio and defeat a ballot initiative that would end the bailout. In the time since, FirstEnergy has taken “decisive actions” including the removal of five executives, the creation of an executive director role, the creation of a chief ethics and compliance office position and “significant changes to the its approach to governmental affairs engagement,” the company said.
“[FirstEnergy] is limiting participation in the political process. This also includes ensuring that the disclosures around the company’s political advocacy are more robust,” the statement said.
The company has also established the FE Forward program, a “comprehensive project focused on improving business practices and policies, fostering trust, transparency and integrity.”
FirstEnergy also expects to have a 15-cent per share charge in the fourth quarter of 2020 resulting from settlements with the Ohio Attorney General’s office, Cincinnati and Columbus regarding decoupling and the decision to not seek collection of lost distribution revenue. It expects to report 2020 earnings of $1.99 per basic and diluted share of common stock.
Image via FirstEnergy
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