Saturday, Sep 22, 2018
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Energy

Constellation NewEnergy to replace FirstEnergy Solutions

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Next month customers should start seeing a new name on their electric bills.

FirstEnergy Solutions, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, will disappear and be replaced by Constellation NewEnergy.

In July the latter company purchased the marketing book, that is, the customer lists and contracts, of the former company for $140 million. According to documents in the bankruptcy case, Constellation agreed to honor those contracts, including the same rates, terms, and conditions, until they expire.

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FirstEnergy Solutions customers received letters that explain the changes and include a copy of the bankruptcy document. The second page states:

“Please be assured that there will be no interruptions of service under your electricity contract as a result of this sale process. You will not need to take any action to switch to Constellation.”

A spokesman for FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., said the supplier won’t comment beyond what is in the bankruptcy document.

Before the changeover can take place it must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Alan Koschik. A hearing is set for Sept. 21.

The document says customers have until 4 p.m. Friday to object to having their contract transferred to Constellation, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. The objection has to be written and submitted to the court with reasons for the objection clearly stated.

Those affected include the 150,000 residents of the nine local municipalities and other areas that make up the Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition. The power buying group consists of Toledo, Maumee, Northwood, Oregon, Sylvania, Perrysburg Township, Holland, Lake Township, and unincorporated parts of Lucas County.

In 2017, the coalition renewed an existing deal with FirstEnergy Solutions. Under the renewed pact, customers’ rate is 5.33 cents per kilowatt hour through May, 2020.

Mark Frye, NOAC’s consultant and negotiator, said Constellation is assuming the contract and its obligations.

“It still must go to the court for approval, but when that occurs the only thing that will change for a customer is now it will say Constellation Energy on their bill. The price will remain the same. All the conditions will remain the same,” said Mr. Frye, of Palmer Energy Group.

Contact Blade Business Writer Jon Chavez at jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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