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FirstEnergy Utilities Offer Tips on How to Use Energy Wisely During Excessive Summer Heat

Company Continues to Monitor Its System and Has Contingency Plans in Place to Handle Consecutive 90 Degree Days

AKRON, Ohio, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As another 90 degree day impacts FirstEnergy's (NYSE: FE) service area, the company is offering suggestions to customers on how to stay comfortable while using electricity wisely during this period of high demand.  In addition, company personnel are monitoring the system closely and have staffing and resource plans in place should any localized service interruptions occur as a result of the heat.

"Even though the excessive heat has resulted in heavy electricity usage as our customers try to keep cool, our system is very robust and is designed to operate effectively even in these extreme conditions," said Charles E. Jones, president of FirstEnergy's utilities.  "We are monitoring the situation very closely and if our customers experience any localized service interruptions due to the heat, all they need to do is call and our crews will respond."

While PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, does not expect any major issues with the supply of power in the region, here are some common-sense hot weather tips customers can follow to reduce their electrical usage:

  • Set your air conditioner's thermostat to as high a temperature as is comfortable. Every degree you can increase the temperature in your home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the hottest summer days.
  • During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on the sunny side of your home to prevent the sun from directly heating the inside of your home.
  • Use fans – moving air cools your skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature in your home warmer during the work day, then set it to be cooler by the time you arrive home.
  • For window air conditioners, only operate the unit while someone is in the room.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer as full as you can. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work your refrigerator has to do to maintain a lower temperature.
  • Close rooms you don't use regularly during the summer, and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms, as well.
  • Try to avoid using heat-producing appliances in your home during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat you produce in your home, the less work your air conditioner will have to do.
  • Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances or HVAC systems. Your utility company may offer rebates on these purchases and tax deductions may apply, as well.
  • Check your furnace filter and, if necessary, change it. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing your HVAC system to work harder than necessary.

FirstEnergy utilities include Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey; Ohio Edison, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power, and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; and Potomac Edison in Maryland.

Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com via smartphone.

For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.  The utility companies also will provide updates via Twitter:

FirstEnergy's new texting and alert services and continued enhancements to its website and outage maps have made it easier for customers to report outages and obtain restoration information.

Customers can subscribe to receive alert notifications via email or text message that contain information about bills, weather conditions that may impact electrical service, or updates on reported outages.  Customers also can use text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their account. 

Customers can sign up for text messaging by texting REG to 544487 (LIGHTS).  Additional sign-up instructions, a guide to texting codes and terms and conditions, can be found at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.

The alert and text message services are provided free of charge to FirstEnergy customers. However, mobile carriers may charge customers to send and receive text messages or use data services.  Customers should contact their carrier for more details about message and data rates. 

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.  

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "believe," "estimate" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially due to the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases, the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from ATSI's realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, regulatory outcomes associated with Hurricane Sandy, changing energy, capacity and commodity market prices including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil, and availability and their impact on retail margins, the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of CAIR, and any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the EPA's MATS rules including our estimated costs of compliance, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units), the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units including the decision to deactivate the Hatfield's Ferry and Mitchell Power Stations, the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, the RMR arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to ME's and PN's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their TSC riders, the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units, the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the ability to reduce costs and to successfully complete our announced financial plans designed to improve our credit metrics and strengthen our balance sheet, including but not limited to, proposed capital raising and debt reduction initiatives, the proposed West Virginia asset transfer and potential sale of non-core hydro assets, our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution segment and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment, changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of liabilities and the value of assets held in our NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the impact of changes to material accounting policies, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our announced financial plan, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries, actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business, issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business, and the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our SEC filings, and other similar factors. Dividends declared from time to time on FE's common stock during any annual period may in the aggregate vary from the indicated amount due to circumstances considered by FE's Board of Directors at the time of the actual declarations. A security rating is not a recommendation to buy or hold securities and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating agency. Each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on FirstEnergy's business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy expressly disclaim any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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