PUCO To Accept Comments On Audit Report Which Says "FirstEnergy" Brand Should Be Dropped From FirstEnergy Solutions Name
December 3, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has set forth a comment schedule concerning a final report from the SAGE Management Consultants, LLC (SAGE) on a Compliance Audit of the FirstEnergy Operating Companies (including the Ohio regulated utilities, or Ohio Companies) with the Corporate Separation Rules of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
Although even if the retail business is retained by FES, FES would no longer be affiliated with the FirstEnergy Ohio distribution companies, there is a history in the Ohio market of regulated utilities licensing their brand to non-affiliated retail suppliers, so the FES name could still survive.
Concerning the FES name, the SAGE report said that, "FirstEnergy Solutions’ successful competitive retail electric services in the Ohio Companies’ territories may be related to its FirstEnergy name."
"When potential CRES customers are presented with a list of potential CRES providers, even if it is from the PUCO website, the name FirstEnergy Solutions connotes that it is part of FirstEnergy, just as Ohio Edison, CEI, and Toledo Edison are part of FirstEnergy. It is natural that some would infer that FirstEnergy Solutions is the same as their 'trusted utility supplier' and give greater consideration to FES in making their CRES supplier decisions," the SAGE report says
"Using 'FirstEnergy' in the Ohio Companies’ CRES affiliate’s name, 'FirstEnergy Solutions,' implies an endorsement by the FirstEnergy Ohio Companies. Should FES continue to be a CRES provider in Ohio, it should have a different name that does not include 'FirstEnergy' or any other name that implies a connection to the Ohio Companies," the SAGE report says
A PUCO attorney examiner set the comment schedule as follows: "At this time, the attorney examiner finds that is it appropriate and consistent with the Commission’s Finding and Order in the CRES Market Investigation Case to allow interested persons to file comments on the audit report filed by Sage on May 14, 2018. Therefore, comments and reply comments on the audit report may be filed no later than December 31, 2018, and January 7, 2019, respectively[.]"