FirstEnergy launches clean energy branding campaign

AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has introduced a new branding campaign that demonstrates the company’s commitment to a cleaner energy future. “The Switch is On” campaign highlights FirstEnergy’s environmental achievements and transition to cleaner energy sources.

“The Switch is On” campaign kicked off yesterday and will run through July 2016.  The campaign includes print advertisements in 17 newspapers and business journals, radio advertisements in 14 markets, and more than 50 billboards in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jerseyand Maryland.  In addition, digital advertisements will appear on more than 30 online news outlets as well as to targeted internet users. 

Complementing the advertisements is a dedicated website – www.theswitchison.com – highlighting FirstEnergy’s environmental goals and efforts, and the company’s corporate website has been enhanced with additional environmental messaging.  FirstEnergy also will support the environmental campaign through its social media channels with information such as tips for consumers on how to conserve energy and updates on FirstEnergy’s environmental initiatives.

“FirstEnergy has a long history of environmental stewardship and investments in clean energy, including more than $10 billion to enhance environmental performance of the company’s generating fleet since the Clean Air Act became law in 1970.  We also are one of the region’s largest providers of renewable energy from contracted wind and solar and pumped-storage hydro resources,” said FirstEnergy President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Jones. “While the transition to a cleaner energy future will take time, ‘The Switch is On’ – our ultimate goal is to continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our customers through cleaner, smarter and more sustainable technologies.” 

In 2015, more than one third of the electricity produced by FirstEnergy’s generating fleet was from carbon-free sources, including 31.9 million megawatt hours from three nuclear power stations, 1.6 million megawatt hours from two hydro plants, 1.2 million megawatt hours from five wind facilities and 36,000 megawatt hours from solar installations in Maryland and New Jersey. 

Closure of eleven of FirstEnergy’s older, less efficient power plants since 2012 has supported the company’s transition to a cleaner energy fleet.  With the completion of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) projects in spring 2016, FirstEnergy is projected to have reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 90 percent, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 95 percent and mercury by 91 percent over 1990 levels at its power plants.  As a result, the company’s generating fleet will be nearly 100 percent low- or non-emitting.

FirstEnergy has set an aggressive goal of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least 90 percent below 2005 levels by 2045, building on the 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions already achieved across the company’s footprint.  This goal represents a potential reduction of more than 80 million tons of CO2 emissions and is among the most aggressive targets in the utility industry. 

Actions planned for the future to reduce CO2 emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources include:

  • Continuing to invest in cost-effective wind, solar and hydro generation resources
  • Maintaining fuel diversity, including nuclear and natural gas
  • Investing in advanced technologies to enhance carbon reduction at coal generation facilities
  • Developing a Resource Diversification Program that includes energy efficiency programs and renewable energy resources
  • Providing significant funding for energy efficiency and weatherization programs for low-income customers
  • Encouraging the development of storage technologies that support more widespread use of intermittent generation sources

Sustainability Programs Reflect Ongoing Environmental Commitment

In addition to transitioning to a cleaner generating fleet, FirstEnergy actively supports environmental stewardship through numerous conservation programs, including: 

  • Funding for an Ohio State University project that utilizes transmission line rights-of-way to encourage the growth of plant species that could help rejuvenate the declining bee, monarch butterfly and pollinating insect populations. 
  • Maintenance and operation of the 730-acre Navarre Marsh adjacent to the company’s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, an important wildlife refuge and stopping point for migratory birds along two major flyways.
  • Achieving the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification for the West Akron Campus and Akron Control Center in Akron, Ohio, and West Virginia Operations Center in Fairmont, W.Va.

Additional information about FirstEnergy’s environmental achievements, stewardship programs and future goals is available in theSustainability Report and environmental section of the company’s website.  For more information about FirstEnergy’s environmental branding campaign, visit www.theswitchison.com.

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.  The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while its generation subsidiaries control nearly 17,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter@FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.