Potomac Edison and Mon Power, the subsidiary firms of FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE:FE) reported that residential consumers will see around a $2 drop in their monthly bill starting in 2018 as an outcome of Public Service Commission of West Virginia orders pertaining improved energy efficiency and tree trimming programs.
The first order permits a clearance of a Vegetation Management Surcharge submission that decreases by around $15 million costs related with a multi-year vegetation management strategy intended to help lower the duration and frequency of tree-linked power outages. As per the update, the second order permits a submission by the firms seeking a $5.4 million decline in the costs to run energy efficiency plans in the utilities’ West Virginia service segments in this year.
In all, the orders will reduce the monthly bill for a usual residential consumer utilizing 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity by around 1.7% or $ 1.95. The savings components comprise a $1.44 drop for tree trimming and a $0.51 decline for energy efficiency costs. Since the improved tree trimming plan started in April 2014, forestry crews have pared trees ground to sky along over 19,000 miles of distribution and transmission line right-of-way.
The effort helps lower the risk of overhanging limbs coming into electrical equipment and leading to outages. Other 11,000 miles will be done in 2018 and 2019. So far, over 2.9 million trees are trimmed and nearly 800,000 dying or dead trees are removed.
Holly Kauffman, who is the President of West Virginia Operations at FirstEnergy, reported that the improved vegetation management plan is a considerable undertaking, giving that power line stretching to 30,000 miles’ right-of-way in their West Virginia service area surpasses the Earth circumference. Their clients have benefitted from the initiative, experiencing shorter and fewer tree-linked outages since the latest program was implemented.