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FirstEnergy Committed To Transitioning To Fully Regulated Company Regardless Of DOE NOPR Outcome

October 30, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

During an earnings call on Friday, FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones said that the company's decision to transition to a fully regulated company, completely exiting the merchant business, would not change as the result of any outcome from a DOE-proposed NOPR at FERC which proposes various cost-based subsidies for coal and nuclear units

Asked about "waiting out" the FERC process, or ongoing legislative nuclear proposals in Ohio, in terms of a final decision on FirstEnergy Solutions, Jones said, "I don't think there's any connection between them. We're moving forward with our efforts to exit the commodity-exposed generation business. I mentioned that we began, or FES began, discussions with the creditors in September. Those discussions are ongoing. I know that they opened up a data room and there's a lot of due diligence going on. I think that's going to probably take some time to get to closure. And I said in my remarks, I think the preferred outcome is to get a settlement with creditors."

"So, the DOE effort, if it stays on the track that the Department of Energy set up, which is an end of December 11th, I think that they're going to happen all in the same timeframe, but I don't think there's any delays going on anywhere. We're moving forward and we're watching to see what happens out of the DOE," Jones said

"I want to be very clear too. FirstEnergy's strategy is to become fully regulated. We have no interest in maintaining generating assets that have commodity exposure, and we are moving forward with exiting the commodity-exposed generation business," Jones said

As of September 30, 2017, FES's total retail customer count was about 842,000, compared to 850,000 as of June 30, 2017, and 1.4 million a year ago.

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