Remember Mr. Haney, the swindling neighborhood peddler from the 1960s TV show Green Acres?
Haney, portrayed by veteran character actor and longtime Western film sidekick Pat Buttram with the distinctive, warbling voice, sold his family's ancient, dilapidated farm to Oliver when he and Lisa Douglas left New York City for rural Hooterville and their new life as farmers. In the process of the sale, Haney stripped the farm of everything of value down to the plumbing.
Haney had cheated the Douglases by charging them several times what the property was worth and saddling them with a dysfunctional farm. He continued to cheat them by initially selling the movable property associated with the farm to them one piece at a time. Douglas bought Haney's cow, tractor and plow, all of which were as useless as the farm.
He continued to come back with his farm truck converted into a peddler's truck stocked with worthless versions of items that Oliver had need of. He almost invariably succeeded in unloading the items on Oliver at inflated prices despite his past shady dealings with them. He often took a piece of junk and called it by some outlandish name, suggesting that it has some use that it clearly does not and that it's in some way valuable.
Haney would often turn up in his truck at the Douglas farm, minutes after they've realized they needed something, selling exactly that (even if it were very odd), complete with a pull-down sign on his truck advertising it. If turned down by Douglas, Haney would offer a variety of equally useless alternatives. Oliver once said "How come you always show up with exactly what I need?" And Haney turned it on him by saying "Well let me put it to you another way...how come you always need what I show up with?"
Well, deja vu, dear readers. A new age Mr. Haney was peddling his wares to reporters at a "media event" in Fairmont
yesterday. The media event was staged to draw attention away from all FirstEnergy's other problems and hopefully convince the public to support the company's flaccid proposal to sell the Harrison power station to itself for ONE BILLION DOLLARS
!However, FirstEnergy's Mr. Haney is, shall we say, less than convincing? It looks like Mr. Haney doesn't even believe himself when he tells the few reporters in the audience that he can "control the future." Is that sort of like Todd's Magic Math? And speaking of our friend Todd... he's so boring and inconsequential that the reporter talks right over him
. Even Mr. Haney smirks and makes faces when Todd talks. And the camera man found film of a reporter's digital recorder the most interesting thing at FirstEnergy's media event. Right.
The public's response to the Citizens' Public Hearing on Potomac Edison business practices
to be held May 22, jointly sponsored by the Jefferson County NAACP, the WV Chapter of Sierra Club, and the Coalition for Reliable Power, has been overwhelming!Thousands of people have viewed and downloaded the meeting notice, nearly 500 people have "liked" and shared the notice on Facebook, numerous organizations and local governments have disseminated the meeting notice to thousands more, and meeting notice fliers are popping up all over the tri-state!
And, something truly amazing (but completely expected) is happening -- people from diverse backgrounds are coming together to talk about electricity issues, volunteer their time, and to speak with one voice!We heard many horror stories last week while out and about spreading the word. We have made many more connections through emails, social media, phone calls and comments on this blog. Particularly tragic was the story of a customer relying on a ventilator who was told to pay up on the more than $1000 monthly bill his family received
, or Potomac Edison would shut off his service. Meanwhile, Potomac Edison's parent company is proposing to compensate its CEO at a rate of more than $23M per year
. What's wrong with this picture? The investigation of Potomac Edison's billing and meter reading practices in Maryland begins today. The "legal housekeeping" described by Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Meyers in the article is actually the company's effort to prohibit participation in the case by the individual customers who originally brought the complaint last year
. Potomac Edison would much rather deal directly with state agencies and not have to dirty its hands consorting with the hoi polloi.
Meyers said that most of the company’s past problems with the meter readers are “in the rearview mirror.”
“We look forward to going to the hearing and giving our side of the story,” Meyers said. “We’re prepared to go there and cooperate with the PSC, and I think we have a good story to tell.”
Todd's story pales in comparison to all the stories I have heard from disgruntled Potomac Edison customers lately, who continue to receive outrageous bills they cannot pay. Despite Todd's insistence, all the problems are not "in the rearview mirror." That's merely how it looks to Todd as he's driving away from the hit and run that monthly Potomac Edison bills have become. The problems continue.We'd also like to hear Potomac Edison's side of the story about its proposal to purchase a 40-year old power generator from one of its affiliates at an inflated price that will translate into another 6% rate hike. We will be presenting a brief overview of the issue and asking the meeting participants to let the PSC know what they think about the proposal.Potomac Edison continues to make the same old excuses and insist that the problems have been fixed, but the community says that's just not true.Please join us this Wednesday night, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. at Wright Denny Intermediate school in Charles Town. Doors open at 6:30 and we will have information stations and handouts available. We ask that attendees bring along a copy of their most recent Potomac Edison bill for reference in filling out our survey about billing issues. Data collected will be used to develop statistics for use in illustrating the widespread nature of the problem for the Public Service Commission. We hope you will attend and add your voice to our call for the WV PSC to open its own investigation
of Potomac Edison's practices. We the people will not be denied!We have invited your elected officials, both state and local, as well as representatives of the PSC, the Consumer Advocate, and Potomac Edison, to come and listen to your concerns and demonstrate that they actually care about you and are not merely providing lip service while posturing for the press.Electric utilities continually play a divide and conquer game with their customers. The company prefers to deal with each customer individually, where the customer may be at a disadvantage due to lack of knowledge about electric rates and tariffs and a feeling of isolation.
"We take our billing process very seriously," said Gilliam. "It's also personal and private. The conversation is between a customer service rep and the customer."
It's much easier to blow us off, one by one. Potomac Edison's greatest fear is that its customers may unite and rise as one. See you all on Wednesday!
Last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened an investigation of formula rate protocols in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) region. MISO's outdated formula rate protocols (and those of its regional transmission owners) were woefully inadequate to ensure just and reasonable transmission rates.
At issue was participation, transparency and a recognized procedure to challenge rates. MISO's pro forma protocols and those of the subject transmission owners lacked clarity on all three issues. Yesterday, FERC ordered the parties to make compliance filings to revise their formula rate protocols
within 60 days to set methods to define participation, ensure transparency and provide a method for challenge.
Formula rates provide a mechanism for transmission owners to set a yearly revenue requirement that enables the transmission owner to recover its costs in real time as they are incurred. Under a formula rate, a transmission owner files a yearly projected revenue requirement, which is then collected from customers over the upcoming year. After the year ends, the company must file a true-up comparison between the estimate it collected and the actual amount it spent. If too much has been collected, ratepayers will receive a refund in a subsequent year. If not enough has been collected, ratepayers will pay the balance due in a subsequent year. The formula rate (which is a series of calculations used to arrive at the actual dollar amount of the revenue requirement) is the transmission owner's FERC-approved, filed rate. Formula rates produce an annual revenue requirement, which can change from year to year. This obviates the need for transmission owners to file traditional rate cases at set intervals and prevents regulatory lag. The annual formula rate filings are informational only and deemed to be just and reasonable unless an interested party raises a challenge to the revenue requirement as filed. FERC does not audit, review or approve annual formula rate filings. FERC relies on those who pay these annual revenue requirements to review them yearly, settle any disputes with the transmission owner, or to challenge the formula rate annual update if a transmission owner and interested party cannot settle their dispute without intervention by the Commission.
Formula rate protocols are a set of rules for yearly filing and review of the particular formula rate that the transmission owner and interested parties must follow. If you want to review transmission rates you are paying, the protocols are your instruction manual.
FERC toughened up the lax protocols under which MISO had been operating, requiring that revised protocols more closely resemble formula rate protocols in use in the PJM region.
MISO transmission owners are going to have to clean up their act or they may be facing annual challenges to the accuracy and prudence of the costs making up their annual revenue requirements. Several challenges to formula rates in the PJM region have been filed and granted by the Commission.
The best part of this Order comes right at the end, where FERC makes reference to a prudence challenge that it granted as an example to follow:"We will, however, continue to apply our well-established precedent with respect to challenges to the prudence of costs incurred by a transmission owner. The Commission has historically recognized that “managers of a utility have broad discretion in conducting their business affairs and in incurring costs necessary to provide services to their customers.” Consequently, parties seeking to challenge the prudence of a transmission owner’s expenditures must first create a serious doubt as to the prudence of those expenditures before the burden of proof shifts to the transmission owner."
 New England Power Co.
, 31 FERC ¶ 61,047, at 61,084 (1985).  Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, LLC, 140 FERC ¶ 61,229, at P 81 (2012) (citing Midwest Indep. Transmission Sys. Operator, Inc., 115 FERC ¶ 61,224, at P 28 (2006)).
Despite a whole bunch of transmission owner and MISO whining that FERC was wrecking formula rates, FERC believes it is preserving the use of formula rates
. It's only transmission owner imprudence and over recovery that took a hit. This is good news for consumers in MISO states, but only if someone steps up to actually use the new protocols.
POTOMAC EDISON ELECTRIC BILLING PROBLEMS?
Outrageously high bills?
Month after month of estimated bills?
Poor customer service and too many excuses?
We’ve had enough!
Join us for a citizens’ public hearing on May 22, 2013, at Wright Denny Intermediate School in Charles Town where we will gather information, share experiences, and provide feedback to the West Virginia Public Service Commission, your elected representatives, and representatives from the electric company. Let your voice be heard!
Wright Denny Intermediate School
209 W. Congress St.
Charles Town, WV
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 22nd (doors open at 6:30)
Public input calling for investigation of Potomac Edison business practices and information about additional increases to Potomac Edison bills caused by the company’s proposed generation purchase.
Jefferson County NAACP
West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club
The Coalition for Reliable Power
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Please bring a copy of your most recent Potomac Edison bill. We will be distributing a questionnaire to gather information on common problems residents are facing. If you plan to make public comment, please bring a copy of your comments to submit to the PSC.
Another entity has joined the litany of complaints against FirstEnergy subsidiary Potomac Edison. The Jefferson County Commission unanimously and enthusiastically voted last Thursday to send a letter to the West Virginia Public Service Commission asking the regulator to open an investigation of the company's billing and meter reading practices.The Commission heard from WV Delegate Stephen Skinner during the meeting, as well as public comments from three different citizens, regarding the outrageous, unjust, and unreasonable Potomac Edison business practices customers had been subject to over the past year or so.Delegate Skinner has been a vocal advocate for his constituents, many of whom have been hit hard by bills up to 1000% more than usual that are the product of the company's failure to read meters every other month as required by law
, as well as both human and computer error on the part of the company. As a regulated monopoly, Potomac Edison has obligations to its customers, and Delegate Skinner intends to do all he can to ensure Potomac Edison meets those obligations.Since he began questioning Potomac Edison's practices, Skinner has been contacted by the company's government affairs person, who made all sorts of excuses, and promises that have failed to materialize. The complaints continue.Commissioner Widmyer expressed her disappointment with the company's "robo-call" method of attempting to connect with and mollify angry "real people" customers.Meanwhile, the WV Attorney General pretends he is looking out for consumers by making a "hotline" number available for angry customers to call the company. There's already a customer service number on your bill, little consumer. The Attorney General recommends you call it. Personally, I'd rather call Delegate Skinner or the Jefferson County Commission for some real help. The parade of perturbed Potomac Edison patrons persists.
The numbers for the transaction defy common sense, apart from what generally accepted ratemaking principles or the Uniform System of Accounts require. The value of the 20% of the Harrison plant already owned by Mon Power on its books is $319/kW, while the proposed purchase price for the remaining 80% is $767/kW. This price disparity is inexplicable, given that there is nothing physically different in the four-fifths of the plant not owned by Mon Power versus the one fifth of the plant that Mon Power already owns. Are the electrons coming from the Allegheny Energy Supply side of the plant really worth 2½ times the value of the electrons from the Mon Power side of the plant? Try explaining that to the average FirstEnergy ratepayer in West Virginia.
Great news today at FirstEnergy's quarterly earnings call
! Eternal optimist Tony Alexander (who is still waiting in vain for the economy to improve and power prices to increase) has stated that FirstEnergy's proposed West Virginia Harrison coal plant transfer is no longer critical!"Our success with the actions we have already taken, particularly the bond deal at FirstEnergy Corp. means the Harrison transaction while still important to both West Virginia and FirstEnergy Solutions is no longer critical to the successful completion of our financial plan."
FirstEnergy management has finally admitted what I've been saying from the very beginning: The proposed plant transfer is all about raising cash to pay down debt at FES to improve FirstEnergy's balance sheet and maintain its credit position. It was never really "...expected to help insure reliable power for our West Virginia utility customers for many years to come,"
or to be "...very positive for the West Virginia economy and our customers of our utilities in West Virginia." Obviously, FirstEnergy now realizes that the West Virginia PSC
is not going to approve this transaction, so it has taken other measures necessary to patch up its balance sheet, such as selling bonds and its hydro assets (which are much more marketable than an antique coal plant). FirstEnergy has decisively removed all its precious balance sheet eggs from the precarious Harrison plant transfer basket. If the company had any faith left at all in the WV PSC approving the transaction, don't doubt that it would still be considered "critical." Instead, the transfer idea has simply been tossed onto the ever-growing waste heap of FirstEnergy's bad ideas.FirstEnergy also stated that transfer at a price lower than its jacked-up merger plant cost (which magically doubled the value of the plant overnight), as suggested by several intervenors in the case, was "a non-starter
." FirstEnergy would apparently rather give up entirely than sell the plant at a reduced rate. I think we're all in agreement here then, and Tony can keep his "great asset" because it really isn't "more important to West Virginia and Mon Power than is it to FirstEnergy."
I think FirstEnergy's answer to this question pretty much clears things up all around:
Dan Eggers - Credit Suisse: Just following up on Tony's comments and Leila's comments about Harrison. Can you just maybe help us understand how important it is you think at this point in time to move that asset over from a balance sheet perspective relative to a customer benefit perspective? And then given kind of the wide or the low bid made in the intervenor testimony, how important it is to take a lower price or accept a lower price to get this done relative to keep in at FES if the pricing doesn't makes sense?
James F. Pearson - SVP and CFO: I'll start off with that, Dan. Well, let me start off. I think the low price of the $565 million or whatever that's just a nonstarter. So, I'll leave that at that. From a balance sheet perspective, we think we are in pretty good shape by getting the FirstEnergy Corp. bond deal done where we upsize to $1.5 billion. We also feel that we're in very good position with the hydro asset sales. So, we feel real comfortable about that. And as you know, we plan to infuse equity from FirstEnergy down into Mon Power associated with this asset transfer. If the asset transfer doesn't go forward, we would likely infuse that equity that we have planned for Mon Power down into FES. So, I think we end up at a good position for the balance sheet there at FES.
Anthony J. Alexander - President and CEO: Dan, this is Tony. As I'm looking at this, I think, this is far more important to West Virginia and Mon Power in terms of providing them with a stable and long-term resource that they can rely on than it is at this point from a balance sheet standpoint at FES or at FirstEnergy.
Dan Eggers - Credit Suisse: But if it didn't transfer, you'd feel comfortable keeping that extra capacity at FES?
Anthony J. Alexander - President and CEO: Absolutely. It's a great asset. So that's not a consideration.
It sounds like the bloom has come off FirstEnergy's plant transfer rose. How refreshing for FirstEnergy to finally admit that they expect to LOSE on the Harrison proposal. So, why not withdraw your application and quit wasting everyone's time and money, FirstEnergy?
It's still not too late to save the State of West Virginia and all the intervenors in the case a whole lot of time and money going forward with a hearing on a case you no longer care about. FirstEnergy should withdraw now and let everyone cut their losses (well except for those shysters at Jackson Kelly, who are most likely counting on all the billable hours continuing this case provides -- because composing nonsensical and ridiculous discovery questions
doesn't come cheap, does it?).
We're not going to quit until FirstEnergy throws in the towel completely.
Keep those petition signatures, letters and postcards opposing the plant sale to the PSC coming! Other news and entertainment to be had during today's call:1. AMP has pulled out of a MOU with FirstEnergy to build a peaker plant at its Eastlake site
. This now puts a whole bunch of new transmission back on the table. But that's okay, transmission is an "investment opportunity" cash cow for FirstEnergy.2.
FirstEnergy has succeeded in persuading the Ohio State Senate to introduce a bill to gut the state's energy efficiency standard
. "FirstEnergy is actively involved in this process and is advocating changes that we believe make more sense for our customers and help foster solid economic growth in Ohio, including the development of shale gas."
Oh, nonsense! Again, it's not about FirstEnergy's customers or economic growth, it's all about FirstEnergy's bottom line. Utterly revolting.3.
FirstEnergy "took a look at" long term trends in residential sales, which have remained flat since 2007. The FirstEnergy sleuths are getting closer and closer to the truth with every earnings call.
Maybe sometime in this decade they'll realize that residential growth is dead and cannot be revived because its all about energy efficiency. However, if you look closely at #2 above, you'll see that it's simply a matter of willful denial at this point.4.
Michael Lapides of Goldman Sachs got Donny Schneider off into a discussion of purchased power, where our hero stated, "We're very comfortable with being able to procure power to serve load. For years, prior to our merger with Allegheny, we served all of the Penelec and Met-Ed load, and I think that in total was about 30 terawatt hours a year, and we did almost of all of that with purchased power."
But now, all of a sudden, FirstEnergy is telling the WV PSC that relying on purchased power to serve Mon Power/Potomac Edison load is too risky and too expensive and that purchasing Harrison is a better idea. Giggle break! :-)
Was Lapides REALLY asking about "exposure?"5.
FirstEnergy was also grilled about their balance sheet hocus-pocus where the company is simply taking on short term debt at the holdco level to pay down debt at its FirstEnergy Solutions subsidiary, as well as another question about the source of funds for FE's "equity infusion" to either Mon Power or FES. The company avoided both questions. I'm not convinced that the analysts were fooled. In fact, I don't think FirstEnergy is fooling anyone but themselves anymore.
Once every year, the PJM transmission cartel holds an annual meeting
, portions of which are open to the public who are supposedly transparently served by PJM.
The PJM Annual Meeting of Members is held each year in May and is composed of numerous meetings (Transmission Owners, General Session, PIEOUG, etc.) and events. The primary purpose of the Annual Meeting is for selecting a person to fill the seat of a Board Member whose term is expiring. This election takes place at the Members Committee (MC) Meeting. The MC meeting is open to the public, however, all other Annual Meeting events are for PJM members only.
The snobbery probably isn't necessary. Not only are the majority of the consumers whose electric bills PJM controls through limiting competition and price fixing not interested in attending this glitterati gala, they don't even know PJM exists! So, who is PJM trying to keep out of their private club? Ooops, I meant to say "transparent" private club.In keeping with the elitist theme, this year's event will be held at The Greenbrier, the closest thing
West Virginia has to a high-society hangout. The Greenbrier clings ferociously to another age when ladies didn't wear their jammies out grocery shopping, and no one had ever heard of Buckwild. In keeping with protocol at all surviving hob-nob snob clubs, if The Greenbrier doesn't acknowledge it, it doesn't exist or never happened. It's just that simple for the beau monde to keep their lives pleasant!At PJM's "annual meeting," generous "sponsors" have made it possible for club members to enjoy "recreational activities." Of course, there will be no subornation occurring on the golf course, at the falconry mews, or while shooting sporting clays. Perish the thought! It means NOTHING that certain corporations will be paying up to $20,000 for the privilege of "sponsoring" this private party. Look away, little consumer, look away....But don't think it's all fun and games for our creme de la creme though! Our superiors are faced with an enormous dilemma. The Greenbrier has a strict dress code
by which they must abide. "Tee shirts, tank tops, cut-offs, short shorts, sweatpants, men’s hats and baseball caps are not permitted at any of the venues"
...EVER! But what about spandex and informal leather attire? Is that allowed? Oh, the social agony of wardrobe selection at PJM's annual meeting!
Appropriate attire for the specific recreational activity is required. Jeans are considered appropriate only for horse-back riding, carriage rides, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, hunting preserve, Falconry Academy, gun club, The Greenbrier Off-Road Driving School and at designated theme parties.
Robes and swimwear may not be worn outside of guest rooms with the exception of the swimming pools and spa. The Greenbrier Dress Code must be strictly enforced to ensure the greater enjoyment of all guests.
"Off-Road Driving School?" What is that exactly? Is it four-wheelin' or mud boggin'? Whichever, be sure your tennis whites are bleached and pressed before you arrive for your lesson in having a good time, redneck style!
At least the private meetings are more of a sure bet, where "Resort Casual" attire will ensure a more relaxed, "fun" camaraderie prevails.
Resort casual attire: Collared sports shirts, golf and/or tennis sweaters, shirts or blouses, slacks, walking shorts, Bermuda shorts, golf and/or tennis shorts and shoes.
Does this sound like fun to you plebeians? If so, run, don't walk to reserve your room now
at the special PJM price of only $315 per night! What? You can't afford that? Of course you can! You're already paying for PJM's princes and princesses to stay at The Greenbrier in your electric bill.I wonder what would happen if the
great unwashed, who are footing the bill for this absurd nonsense, showed up with torches and pitchforks and made a ruckus? How "transparent" would that be?
FirstEnergy demands answers after a lemonade pitcher containing two goldfish swimming in radioactive water was found in a steam tunnel at its Perry nuclear plant. Just two short months ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report highlighting security vulnerabilities of the tunnels at FirstEnergy's Perry plant
. At that time, both FirstEnergy and the NRC poo-poo'd the possibility of a security breech. Now Perry has been infiltrated by radioactive goldfish! Coincidence?FirstEnergy vows to punish whoever is responsible, but I think the perpetrator should be given an award and a key to the city instead for exposing FirstEnergy's continued safety risks caused by cutting financial corners.
How many times does "fire" have to be yelled in a crowded theater before the audience evacuates?Comparisons between FirstEnergy and The Simpsons
have long amused the masses. Therefore, in honor of FirstEnergy's Simpson-ness, let's play a little game! Can you determine which of the below situations occurred during an episode of The Simpsons, and which actually occurred at one of FirstEnergy's nuclear plants?
FirstEnergy, where life imitates art every day.
Have you been plagued with high electric bills? Has your electric company failed to read your electric meter as required by law? Has your electric bill been estimated more often than not? Has your billing date changed, causing you to get an outrageous bill? Do you feel you are being lied to by your electric company's customer service? Welcome to the club, Potomac Edison, Mon Power and West Penn Power customers! There are thousands, perhaps millions, of us!
But, don't despair... your electric bills are going toward a good cause.Potomac Edison, Mon Power and West Penn Power parent company FirstEnergy will be holding it's annual stockholders' meeting later this month and asking its investors to approve (although approval is merely a formality that can be overruled) an executive compensation package that will provide CEO Tony Alexander with $23.3 MILLION in annual compensation and performance awards, including perks such as:
- Company-paid financial planning and tax preparation services.
- Limited personal use of the corporate aircraft. Pursuant to the direction of the Board, Mr. Alexander is required to use our corporate aircraft for all personal and business travel for security purposes (because those hoi polloi cooties can be deadly). With CEO approval, other executives including the (henchmen) NEOs, may from time to time, use our corporate aircraft for personal travel. We have a written policy that sets forth guidelines regarding the personal use of the corporate aircraft by executive officers and other employees. The Committee believes these perquisites are reasonable, competitive, and consistent with our overall compensation philosophy.
- Severance Plan which provides three weeks’ base pay for each full year of service with a minimum benefit of 52 weeks of base salary and maximum benefit of 104 weeks of base salary (and a golden parachute). Additionally, executives who elect continuation of health care for the severance period will be provided this benefit at active employee rates and must also pay taxes on any amount in excess of what employees with the same level of service would receive under the FirstEnergy Employee Severance Benefits Plan.
- In addition, certain executives are eligible to receive limited perquisites. In 2012, the NEOs were provided: (1) financial planning and tax preparation services for Alexander and Vespoli of $11,370 and $9,265, respectively; (2) charitable matching contributions for Vespoli and Jones; (3) premiums for the group personal excess liability and life insurance for all NEOs; and (4) personal use of the corporate aircraft for Alexander, Vespoli, Jones, and Lash. Executive officers’ spouses and immediate family members may accompany executives on Company aircraft using unoccupied space on flights that were already scheduled, and we incur no aggregate incremental cost in connection with such use. (bring the whole fam damily for a ratepayer financed vacation!)
- Accumulated pension benefits of $33M.
- Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan in addition to pension.
Additionally, FirstEnergy's Board shares:Also in 2012, we entered into an employment agreement (later referred to as the Alexander Agreement) with our President and CEO, Mr. Anthony J. Alexander. Your Board believes Mr. Alexander is uniquely qualified to guide your Company through the current unsettled environment based on his lengthy experience in the industry, familiarity with the regulatory process, and visionary leadership. The Alexander Agreement, by its terms, is expected to incent
(psst - "incent" isn't a word!) Mr. Alexander’s service, expertise, and direction through at least the next several years as we execute our strategy, address the challenges of a weak economy and increasing regulations, deploy our succession plans, and position your Company for long-term success.Finally, your Board is confident the Alexander Agreement, which encourages Mr. Alexander’s continued employment, will benefit shareholders and your Company favorably.However, given Mr. Alexander’s age, eligibility for retirement, personal circumstances, and the fact that he was evaluating the timing of his retirement from the Company, your Board believed it was important to shareholders and our Company to look beyond the annual compensation programs in order to solidify Mr. Alexander’s continued employment through at least the next several years. Your Board believes Mr. Alexander is uniquely qualified to continue to direct the achievement of our strategy based on his vision for the future and strong commitment to that vision, deep understanding of the strategic direction of our Company, ability to identify opportunities to navigate market complexities, and foresight to understand the impact of potential opportunities on our Company. In support of our strategic business objectives, Mr. Alexander guided the Company through the transition to competitive generation markets in Ohio and Pennsylvania, developed our long-term retail strategy to compete in deregulated markets and led the execution of the strategy to pursue opportunities for growth that would not otherwise be available in regulated markets. He was also instrumental in pursuing our merger with Allegheny Energy, Inc. in 2010 which was consummated in February 2011. The merger created opportunities to enhance shareholder value, including repositioning our business mix to include a substantially larger regulated utility base that supports our dividend. Also, your Board believes Mr. Alexander’s 40 years of experience with the Company, including 23 years as a senior officer; his knowledge of regulatory and governmental affairs; and the relationship he has built with regulators, policy makers, investors, and employees is critically important to our success, especially during the current continuing depressed economic conditions.
The primary objectives of your Company’s executive compensation program are to attract, motivate, retain, and reward the talented executives who we believe can provide the performance and leadership we need to achieve success in the highly complex and competitive energy services industry. Our executive compensation program is centered on a pay for performance philosophy and is aligned with the long-term interests of our shareholders.
Our vision is to be a leading regional energy provider, recognized for operational excellence, customer service and our commitment to safety; the choice for long-term growth, investment value and financial strength; and a Company driven by the leadership, skills, diversity, and character of our employees.Puh-leeze! I'm betting if Tony and his henchmen were the sudden and unfortunate victims of a targeted alien abduction
that our lights wouldn't even blink. Simply put -- nobody would miss them -- and we'd be paying millions less for our electric service! Where's a good alien invasion when you need it? Of course, I expect the aliens would promptly return the NEOs when they realize how completely useless they are. Hope dashed once again.Now, compare the plight of Tony and his henchmen to Philippe, who writes,"Potomic Edison is in the business of gouging it's customers. I received a bill due april 12 2013 for 831.35. I found out about it through my online checking account which I was floored. Apparently they missed a reading and due to UNDER estimating this bill covered costs that went back 6 damn months. No phone call no anything other then sorry sir but the money has allready cleared and there is nothing we can do about it. I am fed up with all the back handed undermining and borderline extortion that we as a citizen have to endure all because of greed and that all mighty dollar. I will be taking up the cause of bringing a class action lawsuit against this company as I have already spoken to many of my neighbors in regards to this Companies less then lawful and misleading ways. I am a disabled vet on a very fixed income and in the 20 plus years of living here I have never had a bill exceed the hi 300 dollar range EVER. As for Potomic Edison who is already having to explain themselves in court in the State of MD. may now ad another state to the mix, WV. and very very pissed off about this!"Or perhaps the plight of Cathy, who told others gathered to discuss Potomac Edison's billing issues that
she hadn't yet moved into her trailer when she received an electric bill for $600. The Harpers Ferry resident, who has been living next door to the home for six months, said she set the thermostat below 50 degrees all winter and only kept a small light burning as a deterrent. "Their explanation to me was they estimated it for two months, and then we had a hurricane and they couldn't come. And then we had bad weather and they couldn't come," Jackson said of her conversations with the company. "I said, 'Then why didn't you come when the weather was good?' They didn't have an answer."Or "SWOFLO" who writes:"some of us live on a limited income and cant afford to pay 2 bills in 1 month. mine was estimated 4 months and by the time it got read they overcharged me 900 dollars, of course i will get a few months of bill less elect but i wont get the car i had repossed back because i couldnt make the payment for 2 months."Tony, the peasants have no bread!
I fear that telling them to eat cake instead
would be equivalent to fomenting insurrection. Let Marie be a lesson to you!