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FirstEnergy's W.Va. utilities seek approval of new energy efficiency programs

's WestVirginia utilities have filed the second phase of their energy efficiency andconservation plan with state regulators at a proposed cost of $9.9 million.

ThePhase II Energy Efficiency Portfolio Plan developed by and is projectedto achieve a 1% cumulative gross savings by May 31, 2018, based on the averageof 2009 and 2013 distribution sales, including the energy savings achievedthrough the first phase of the plan.

Theutilities, in a March 30 filing with the Public Service Commission of WestVirginia, said the first phaseof the plan, which began in February 2012, is targeted to achieve a 0.5%reduction of 2009 sales and demand by the end of this year.

Thesecond phase of the plan, which is proposed to begin Jan. 1, 2017, is "designedto achieve 59,616 MWhs in energy efficiency reductions" through May 31,2018, the utilities wrote in their filing. The companies said the cumulativeimpact of both phases is expected to deliver approximately 21 MW of demandreduction.

Theproposed Phase II Plan includes a new residential energy efficiency programwith three subprograms, along with the continuation of the existing residentiallow-income and non-residential energy efficiency lighting programs.

MonPower and Potomac Edison will use a request for proposals process to solicitbids for the new programs. The utilities will file for approval to collect allcosts associated with the plan through their next expanded net energy cost, orENEC, and fuel rate proceedings in the fall.

Theutilities said they also propose to offer the capacity resources resulting fromenergy efficiency investments into future PJM Interconnection LLC capacity auctions and establisha revenue sharing mechanism.

"Underthis proposal, the Companies would be permitted to retain 20 percent of anyrevenue obtained from bidding energy efficiency resources into the PJMauctions, while the remaining 80 percent would be credited to ratepayers tohelp offset the costs of the energy efficiency programs," the filingstates.

Ifthe overall plan is approved, the impact to customers is expected to be anincrease of approximately 0.2% for all customer classes combined in 2017.

Thecompanies are requesting approval of the plan by Oct. 1, so they can "seamlesslytransition" from the current programs to the Phase II Plan.(Case No. 16-0403-E-P)