FIRST ENERGY REACHES TO ITS CUSTOMERS IN SERVICE AND ASSISTANCE - PART 2
Q: Does First Energy have to expand its efforts because of growth in Cleveland?
A: Interestingly enough, despite the fact that you see growth in Cleveland, please realize that, when it comes to electricity, that the growth is not there. It has been flat. It has been flat for almost a decade. The average customer has light bulbs, coffee pots etc…When they go to the Home Depot or Lowes to buy bulbs, every light bulb which they purchase, allows them to use1/8th to 1/10th of the electricity which they formerly used. A 100-watt bulb now uses 8-watts. The use of energy efficient bulbs has decreased the use and demand for electricity; therefore, the rate has been flat for electricity usage. New appliances replace old appliances and there are more energy efficient appliances. In Ohio, First Energy has done what needed to be done to take advantage of purchasing and using low cost energy and efficient electrical items, which have brought down the cost of use to consumers. We gave customers energy efficient kits, which had light bulbs, low flow showerheads and a blanket to cover the hot water tanks whether it is gas or electric. This has helped them to reduce electrical costs. We have replaced and installed 25,000 new electrical meters within a year. The new meters just make up for what energy efficiency is doing. Our footprint has basically stayed the same as it pertains to regulated usage.
Q: How is First Energy working to address the problem of inequity and disparity in Cleveland? Are you aiding in addressing problems relative to unemployment, Re-Entry and felonious records in Cleveland?
A: We are aiding, as I stated earlier, in the areas of becoming more energy efficient, keeping customer bills low and reaching out through our foundation. We are reaching out into areas of the community where people are finding it difficult to find gainful employment. We want to train them and bring them onto our payroll. I have been pushing diversity and inclusion in our company for five years. It has not been getting enough traction. Last year, 2018, I tied the compensation to every manager, and above, to achieving certain hiring goals so that we can become a more diverse company. We did not make it nor did we achieve the goals, which I expected. I have a performance review process for myself that is unique for CEO’s. Doug and Lorna get to fill out my performance evaluation. They do it once a year and they can say whatever they need to say about me. It is anonymous and the top 350 leaders in First Energy get the opportunity to say anything they want to say about me as a leader. The evaluation goes directly to the Board of Directors.
I told our Board in December of last year that the tone of the response toward me will not be as good this year as it was last year or the past couple of years. A Board member replied, “Oh Chuck, between the ba