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New Alert and Text Messaging Services from FirstEnergy Provide Direct Access to Account and Outage Information

AKRON, Ohio, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) introduced today two new, convenient technologies that make it easier for customers of its 10 utility companies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland to get important information about their electric service on their computer or mobile device.

Customers can now subscribe to receive alert notifications via email or text message that contain information about bills, weather conditions that may impact electrical service, or updates on reported outages.  Customers can also use text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. 

"Our new alerts and text messaging services provide customers with a simple and convenient way to receive the most current information related to their electric service, right in their inbox or on their mobile devices," said Ronald I. Green, vice president, Customer Service.  "These tools are part of FirstEnergy's ongoing effort to enhance service to our utility customers, including making it easier to get bills electronically and report power outages."

The alert and text messaging services are the latest additions to the suite of mobile technology recently introduced for customers.  Earlier this year, the company launched smartphone apps for Apple® iPhone® and Android™ devices, and a mobile website that is accessible by using a smartphone to visit www.firstenergycorp.com.  Customers can also view power outages on FirstEnergy's mobile-accessible 24/7 Power Center outage maps or receive information, view photos and watch video on the company's social media accounts

Alerts offer important notifications related to outages or bills

The alert service allows customers to sign up for automated email or text message notifications on topics including:

  • Restoration updates during extended power outages
  • Notifications of scheduled power outages
  • Severe weather alerts in advance of storms
  • Billing reminders, including alerts when a new bill is available, a payment is due, a payment has been posted, or no payment has been received
  • Reminder of scheduled meter reading date

Alert preferences can be updated at any time.  For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.  

Text messaging gives customers more flexibility

Interactive text messaging makes it easy for customers to report a power outage, request a status update on a reported outage, or make billing inquiries from a mobile phone.  Text messaging is a customer-initiated communication tool, that in many cases can take the place of placing a phone call or filling out an on-line form.  It offers the ultimate ease-of-access to the information and services customers require, using simple codes and the existing text message service on their mobile devices.  

Customers can sign up for text messaging by texting REG to 544487 (LIGHTS).  Additional sign-up instructions, a guide to texting codes and terms and conditions, can be found online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.

The alert and text message services are provided free of charge to FirstEnergy utility customers; however, mobile carriers may charge customers to send and receive text messages or utilize data services.  Customers should contact their carrier for more details about message and data rates. 

Additional projects in development for FirstEnergy's electric utility customers include enhancements to the company's 24/7 Power Center outage map and information website, and increased functionality on the mobile website and app.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Forward-Looking Statements:  This news release includes forward-looking statements based on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. These statements include declarations regarding management's intents, beliefs and current expectations. These statements typically contain, but are not limited to, the terms "anticipate," "potential," "expect," "believe," "estimate" and similar words. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions, known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Actual results may differ materially due to: the speed and nature of increased competition in the electric utility industry, in general, and the retail sales market in particular, the impact of the regulatory process on the pending matters before FERC and in the various states in which we do business including, but not limited to, matters related to rates and pending rate cases, the uncertainties of various cost recovery and cost allocation issues resulting from ATSI's realignment into PJM, economic or weather conditions affecting future sales and margins, regulatory outcomes associated with Hurricane Sandy, changing energy, capacity and commodity (including, but not limited to, coal, natural gas and oil) market prices and availability and their impact on retail margins, financial derivative reforms that could increase our liquidity needs and collateral costs, the continued ability of our regulated utilities to collect transition and other costs, operation and maintenance costs being higher than anticipated, other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including possible GHG emission, water discharge, water intake and coal combustion residual regulations, the potential impacts of CAIR, and any laws, rules or regulations that ultimately replace CAIR, and the effects of the EPA's MATS rules including our estimated costs of compliance, the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including NSR litigation or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such expenditures could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units), the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older unscrubbed regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, and the timing thereof as they relate to, among other things, the RMR arrangements and the reliability of the transmission grid, adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the NRC or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant), adverse legal decisions and outcomes related to ME's and PN's ability to recover certain transmission costs through their TSC riders, the impact of future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units, the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, replacement power costs being higher than anticipated or inadequately hedged, the ability to comply with applicable state and federal reliability standards and energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, changes in customers' demand for power, including but not limited to, changes resulting from the implementation of state and federal energy efficiency and peak demand reduction mandates, the ability to accomplish or realize anticipated benefits from strategic and financial goals including, but not limited to, the ability to successfully complete the proposed West Virginia asset transfer and to improve our credit metrics, our ability to improve electric commodity margins and the impact of, among other factors, the increased cost of fuel and fuel transportation on such margins, the ability to experience growth in the Regulated Distribution segment and to continue to successfully implement our direct retail sales strategy in the Competitive Energy Services segment, changing market conditions that could affect the measurement of liabilities and the value of assets held in our NDTs, pension trusts and other trust funds, and cause us and our subsidiaries to make additional contributions sooner, or in amounts that are larger than currently anticipated, the impact of changes to material accounting policies, the ability to access the public securities and other capital and credit markets in accordance with our financing plans, the cost of such capital and overall condition of the capital and credit markets affecting us and our subsidiaries, actions that may be taken by credit rating agencies that could negatively affect us and our subsidiaries' access to financing, increase the costs thereof, and increase requirements to post additional collateral to support outstanding commodity positions, LOCs and other financial guarantees, changes in national and regional economic conditions affecting us, our subsidiaries and our major industrial and commercial customers, and other counterparties including fuel suppliers, with which we do business, issues concerning the stability of domestic and foreign financial institutions and counterparties with which we do business, the risks and other factors discussed from time to time in our SEC filings, and other similar factors. The foregoing review of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all such factors, nor assess the impact of any such factor on the business of FirstEnergy or the Companies or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. FirstEnergy and the Companies expressly disclaim any current intention to update, except as required by law, any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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