First Energy

Akron downtown
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 23:

Perry Nuclear Plant east of Cleveland
Tim Rudell / WKSU

FirstEnergy wants out of the competitive power generation business. That’s been known since CEO Chuck Jones said so last fall. But, as the Akron-based utility tries to sell its power plants, or get the nuclear ones re-regulated, it’s also trying to lower the taxes it has to pay on them. 

Declaring what’s called an “impairment”’ is one way to do that.  It’s like asking the city to lower your property tax if the value of your house drops.  In FirstEnergy’s case they’re saying the drop is $9-Billion.

First Energy downtown Akron
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Akron-based First Energy lost $6-point-2-billion last year as it began taking steps to get out of the competitive energy business and back into being a regulated utility.  

Big financial hits came from the “writing-down”—recognizing on the books the lost value—of its failing power generation elements. CEO Chuck Jones told an investor conference call that the nuclear plants may even have to be scrapped. “Absent something to raise the value of these units and make them attractive to a buyer, there’s only one way for us to exit this business.”

Alliance for Energy Choice
Alliance for Energy Choice

  Opponents of the so-called coal plant bailout proposed by two electric utilities are taking a big swing at the plan through a media blitz. 

“You want us to pay for what? This is crazy!”

So begins the ad by a  group of energy producers, known as the Alliance for Energy Choice, who are taking their fight against a price guarantee for AEP and FirstEnergy to the airwaves with radio and TV ads.

“They want a handout and they want you to hand it to them.”

ALLY MAROTTI / WOSU

An environmental group and a major utility have reached an agreement that could change the future landscape of energy generation for that company. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, others aren’t so sure about that.