FirstEnergy's first goal is to generate and deliver power, but its second goal is to stay profitable in a market undergoing deregulation. Its ten utilities provide electricity to six million customers in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic. The company's domestic power plants have a total generating capacity of more than 18,000 MW, most generated by coal-fired plants. Subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions trades energy commodities in deregulated US markets and has more than 120,000 accounts. FirstEnergy's other nonregulated operations include electrical and mechanical contracting and energy planning and procurement.
The company operates and serves customers in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
FirstEnergy has power regulated generation, transmission, and distribution operations. Through FirstEnergy Solutions it is also engaged in competitive generation and electricity sales. As part of its assets, FirstEnergy has 2,340 MW of renewable energy (primarily generated by wind farms) and 20,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines.
The company's revenues declined by 5% in 2012 due to a 9% drop in the Regulated Distribution segment revenues thanks to a decrease in distribution deliveries, and the suspension of Ohio's deferred distribution cost recovery rider (and riders in two other regions), partially offset by an increase in Ohio's energy efficiency rider and other riders. The Competitive Energy Services segment revenues grew by 5% due to a decline in Provider of Last Resort revenues, structured sales, and Retail Electric Cooperatives' sales. It also reported lower unit prices in 2012.
Partially offsetting these decreases was a growth in direct and governmental aggregation sales and a twelve-month reporting of Allegheny Energy revenues.
FirstEnergy reported $770 million of net income in 2012, a 13% drop, due to lower revenues and higher operating expenses.
As states push to reduce carbon emissions, FirstEnergy has been expanding its renewable energy operations and reducing its fossil-fuel power plants. In 2013 the company announced plans to deactivate two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania, reducing its overall power generating capacity from more than 20,000 MW to more than 18,000 MW.
In a move to boost its revenues from its nonregulated power segment, in 2012 FirstEnergy Solutions teamed up with NOPEC, a council of governments that negotiates with utilities for power and natural gas, to enable more than 700,000 Northeast Ohio households the ability to lock in the price of electricity for seven years though a fixed contract.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Beefing up its generation assets, in 2011 the company acquired Allegheny Energy in a $8.5 billion deal. The acquisition increased FirstEnergy's power generation capacity by 70% and its customer base by 35%, dramatically boosting its position as a leading regional energy provider focused on both regulated utility operations and a competitive generation business.
Capital World Investors owns 9.4% of FirstEnergy.