FirstEnergy / Utilities

FirstEnergy wants to raise rates by 2 percent for grid upgrades

FirstEnergy is requesting from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio permission to raise rates by 2 percent for grid updates (Credit: Cleveland Plain Dealer).

COLUMBUS — “FirstEnergy wants to increase electricity rates by up to 2 percent for three years to make some $450 million in improvements to the grid.

Any increase in electric bills would require approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The utility hopes the commission will OK the proposal by May, said Doug Colafella, a FirstEnergy spokesman, and work would begin in 2018 and wrap up in 2020.

Colafella said customer bills would increase by up to 2 percent under the proposal. But the increase would be gradual over the three years. In other words, customers would have a lower increase in the first year than by the third year, he said.

The utility will improve power lines that have had extended power outages in the past, Colafella said. New technology would allow workers to isolate the outages, restore electricity to nearby customers and then repair the affected lines, he said.”

— Laura Hancock, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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