FirstEnergy Corp.
10-K on 02/18/2021   Download
SEC Document
SEC Filing
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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
     ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the FISCAL YEAR ended December 31, 2020

OR

     TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ___________________ to ___________________
fe-20201231_g1.jpg
CommissionRegistrant; State of Incorporation;I.R.S. Employer
File NumberAddress; and Telephone NumberIdentification No.
 
333-21011FIRSTENERGY CORP34-1843785
 (AnOhioCorporation) 
   76 South Main Street 
 AkronOH44308 
 Telephone(800)736-3402 
   
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
Title of Each ClassTrading SymbolName of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.10 par value per shareFENew York Stock Exchange
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT:
None.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes
 
No
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
YesNo
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes
 
No
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes
 
No
 



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
Accelerated Filer
Non-accelerated Filer
Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
YesNo
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and ask price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter.
$20,967,401,361 as of June 30, 2020
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date:
CLASSAS OF JANUARY 31, 2021
Common Stock, $0.10 par value543,215,090 
Documents Incorporated By Reference
 PART OF FORM 10-K INTO WHICH
DOCUMENTDOCUMENT IS INCORPORATED
Proxy Statement for 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of FirstEnergy Corp. to be held May 18, 2021Part III





TABLE OF CONTENTS
 Page
Glossary of Terms
Part I 
Item 1. Business
The Companies
Utility Regulation
Capital Requirements
Fuel Supply
System Demand
Supply Plan
Regional Reliability
Competition
Seasonality
Human Capital
Information About Our Executive Officers
FirstEnergy Website and Other Social Media Sites and Applications
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. [Reserved]
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
Financial Statements
Consolidated Statements of Income
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
Consolidated Balance Sheets
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders' Equity
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Item 9. Changes In and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
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Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedule
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary
ii


GLOSSARY OF TERMS
The following abbreviations and acronyms are used in this report to identify FirstEnergy Corp. and its current and former subsidiaries:
AE SupplyAllegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC, an unregulated generation subsidiary
AGCAllegheny Generating Company, a generation subsidiary of MP
ATSIAmerican Transmission Systems, Incorporated, a subsidiary of FET, which owns and operates transmission facilities
BSPCBay Shore Power Company
CEIThe Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, an Ohio electric utility operating subsidiary
CESCompetitive Energy Services, formerly a reportable operating segment of FirstEnergy
FEFirstEnergy Corp., a public utility holding company
FENOCEnergy Harbor Nuclear Corp. (formerly known as FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company), a subsidiary of EH, which operates NG’s nuclear generating facilities
FESEnergy Harbor LLC. (formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.), a subsidiary of EH, which provides energy-related products and services
FES DebtorsFES, FENOC, FG, NG, FE Aircraft Leasing Corp., Norton Energy Storage LLC, and FGMUC
FESCFirstEnergy Service Company, which provides legal, financial and other corporate support services
FETFirstEnergy Transmission, LLC, formerly known as Allegheny Energy Transmission, LLC, which is the parent of ATSI, KATCo, MAIT and TrAIL, and has a joint venture in PATH
FEVFirstEnergy Ventures Corp., which invests in certain unregulated enterprises and business ventures
FGEnergy Harbor Generation LLC (formerly known as FirstEnergy Generation, LLC), a subsidiary of EH, which owns and operates fossil generating facilities
FGMUC
FirstEnergy Generation Mansfield Unit 1 Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of FG, which has certain leasehold interests in a portion of Unit 1 at the Bruce Mansfield plant
FirstEnergyFirstEnergy Corp., together with its consolidated subsidiaries
Global Holding
Global Mining Holding Company, LLC, a joint venture between FEV, WMB Marketing Ventures, LLC and Pinesdale LLC
Global Rail
Global Rail Group, LLC, a subsidiary of Global Holding that owns coal transportation operations near Roundup, Montana
GPUGPU, Inc., former parent of JCP&L, ME and PN, that merged with FE on November 7, 2001
GPUNGPU Nuclear, Inc., a subsidiary of FE, which operates TMI-2
JCP&LJersey Central Power & Light Company, a New Jersey electric utility operating subsidiary
KATCoKeystone Appalachian Transmission Company, a subsidiary of FET
MAITMid-Atlantic Interstate Transmission, LLC, a subsidiary of FET, which owns and operates transmission facilities
MEMetropolitan Edison Company, a Pennsylvania electric utility operating subsidiary
MPMonongahela Power Company, a West Virginia electric utility operating subsidiary
NGEnergy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC (formerly known as FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC), a subsidiary of EH, which owns nuclear generating facilities
OEOhio Edison Company, an Ohio electric utility operating subsidiary
Ohio CompaniesCEI, OE and TE
PATH
Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, LLC, a joint venture between FE and a subsidiary of AEP
PATH-AlleghenyPATH Allegheny Transmission Company, LLC
PATH-WVPATH West Virginia Transmission Company, LLC
PEThe Potomac Edison Company, a Maryland and West Virginia electric utility operating subsidiary
PennPennsylvania Power Company, a Pennsylvania electric utility operating subsidiary of OE
Pennsylvania Companies
ME, PN, Penn and WP
PNPennsylvania Electric Company, a Pennsylvania electric utility operating subsidiary
Signal Peak
Signal Peak Energy, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Global Holding that owns mining operations near Roundup, Montana
TEThe Toledo Edison Company, an Ohio electric utility operating subsidiary
TrAILTrans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, a subsidiary of FET, which owns and operates transmission facilities
Transmission CompaniesATSI, MAIT and TrAIL
UtilitiesOE, CEI, TE, Penn, JCP&L, ME, PN, MP, PE and WP
WPWest Penn Power Company, a Pennsylvania electric utility operating subsidiary



iii


The following abbreviations and acronyms are used to identify frequently used terms in this report:
ACEAffordable Clean EnergyEGSElectric Generation Supplier
ADITAccumulated Deferred Income TaxesEGUElectric Generation Units
AEPAmerican Electric Power Company, Inc.EmPOWER MarylandEmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act
AFSAvailable-for-saleENECExpanded Net Energy Cost
AFUDCAllowance for Funds Used During ConstructionEPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
AMTAlternative Minimum TaxEPSEarnings per Share
AOCIAccumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)EROElectric Reliability Organization
AROAsset Retirement ObligationESP IVElectric Security Plan IV
ARPAlternative Revenue ProgramFacebook®Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.
ASCAccounting Standard CodificationFASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
ASUAccounting Standards UpdateFERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
AYE DCDAllegheny Energy, Inc. Amended and Restated Revised Plan for Deferral of Compensation of DirectorsFES BankruptcyFES Debtors' voluntary petitions for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code with the Bankruptcy Court
AYE Director's PlanAllegheny Energy, Inc. Non-Employee Director Stock PlanFitchFitch Ratings
Bankruptcy CourtU.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Ohio in AkronFMBFirst Mortgage Bond
BCFBeneficial Conversion FeatureFPAFederal Power Act
BGSBasic Generation ServiceFTRFinancial Transmission Right
bpsBasis pointsGAAPAccounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America
CAAClean Air ActGHGGreenhouse Gases
CBACollective Bargaining AgreementHB 6House Bill 6, as passed by Ohio's 133rd General Assembly
CCRCoal Combustion ResidualsIBEWInternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
CERCLAComprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980ICP 2007FirstEnergy Corp. 2007 Incentive Compensation Plan
CFLCompact Fluorescent LightICP 2015FirstEnergy Corp. 2015 Incentive Compensation Plan
CFRCode of Federal RegulationsIIPInfrastructure Investment Program
CO2Carbon DioxideIRSInternal Revenue Service
CPPEPA's Clean Power PlanISOIndependent System Operator
CSAPRCross-State Air Pollution RuleITCInvestment Tax Credit
CTAConsolidated Tax AdjustmentJCP&L Reliability PlusJCP&L Reliability Plus IIP
CWAClean Water ActkVKilovolt
D.C. CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia CircuitKWHKilowatt-hour
DCPDDeferred Compensation Plan for Outside DirectorsLEDLight Emitting Diode
DCRDelivery Capital RecoveryLIBORLondon Interbank Offered Rate
DMRDistribution Modernization RiderLOCLetter of Credit
DSICDistribution System Improvement ChargeLS PowerLS Power Equity Partners III, LP
DSPDefault Service PlanLSELoad Serving Entity
DTADeferred Tax AssetLTIIPsLong-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plans
E&PEarnings and ProfitsMDPSCMaryland Public Service Commission
EDCElectric Distribution CompanyMGPManufactured Gas Plants
EDCPExecutive Deferred Compensation PlanMISOMidcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
EDISElectric Distribution Investment SurchargeMoody’sMoody’s Investors Service, Inc.
EE&CEnergy Efficiency and ConservationMWMegawatt
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MWHMegawatt-hourPURPAPublic Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978
NAAQSNational Ambient Air Quality StandardsRCRAResource Conservation and Recovery Act
NAVNet Asset ValueRECRenewable Energy Credit
NDTNuclear Decommissioning TrustRegulation FDRegulation Fair Disclosure promulgated by the SEC
NERCNorth American Electric Reliability CorporationRFCReliabilityFirst Corporation
NJBPUNew Jersey Board of Public UtilitiesRFPRequest for Proposal
NOLNet Operating LossRGGIRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
NOxNitrogen OxideROEReturn on Equity
NPDESNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination SystemRSSRich Site Summary
NRCNuclear Regulatory CommissionRTEPRegional Transmission Expansion Plan
NSRNew Source ReviewRTORegional Transmission Organization
NUGNon-Utility GenerationS&PStandard & Poor’s Ratings Service
NYPSCNew York State Public Service CommissionSBCSocietal Benefits Charge
OAGOhio Attorney GeneralSCOHSupreme Court of Ohio
OCAOffice of Consumer AdvocateSECUnited States Securities and Exchange Commission
OCCOhio Consumers' CounselSIPState Implementation Plan(s) Under the Clean Air Act
OPEBOther Post-Employment BenefitsSO2Sulfur Dioxide
OPEIUOffice and Professional Employees International UnionSOSStandard Offer Service
OPICOther Paid-in CapitalSRECSolar Renewable Energy Credit
OSHAOccupational Safety and Health AdministrationSSOStandard Service Offer
OVECOhio Valley Electric CorporationSVCStatic Var Compensator
PA DEPPennsylvania Department of Environmental ProtectionTax ActTax Cuts and Jobs Act adopted December 22, 2017
PCRBPollution Control Revenue BondTMI-2Three Mile Island Unit 2
PJMPJM Interconnection, L.L.C.TOTransmission Owner
PJM RegionThe aggregate of the zones within PJMTwitter®Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.
PJM TariffPJM Open Access Transmission TariffUCCOfficial committee of unsecured creditors appointed in connection with the FES Bankruptcy
POLRProvider of Last ResortUWUAUtility Workers Union of America
PPAPurchase Power AgreementVEPCOVirginia Electric and Power Company
PPBParts per BillionVIEVariable Interest Entity
PPUCPennsylvania Public Utility CommissionVSCCVirginia State Corporation Commission
PUCOPublic Utilities Commission of OhioWVPSCPublic Service Commission of West Virginia
ZECZero Emissions Certificate


v


PART I
ITEM 1.     BUSINESS
The Companies

FE and its subsidiaries are principally involved in the transmission, distribution and generation of electricity. FirstEnergy’s ten utility operating companies comprise one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, based on serving over 6 million customers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. FirstEnergy’s transmission operations include approximately 24,500 miles of lines and two regional transmission operation centers. AGC, JCP&L and MP control 3,790 MWs of total capacity, 210 MWs of which is related to the Yards Creek generating plant that is being sold pursuant to an asset purchase agreement as further discussed below.
FirstEnergy’s revenues are primarily derived from electric service provided by the Utilities and Transmission Companies.

Regulated Utility Operating Subsidiaries

The Utilities’ combined service areas encompass approximately 65,000 square miles in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The areas they serve have a combined population of approximately 13.3 million.

OE owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Ohio. OE engages in the distribution and sale of electric energy to communities in a 7,000 square mile area of central and northeastern Ohio. The area it serves has a population of approximately 2.3 million.

OE owns all of Penn’s outstanding common stock. Penn owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Pennsylvania. Penn furnishes electric service to communities in 1,100 square miles of western Pennsylvania. The area it serves has a population of approximately 0.4 million.

CEI does business as an electric public utility in Ohio. CEI engages in the distribution and sale of electric energy in an area of 1,600 square miles in northeastern Ohio. The area it serves has a population of approximately 1.6 million.

TE does business as an electric public utility in Ohio. TE engages in the distribution and sale of electric energy in an area of 2,300 square miles in northwestern Ohio. The area it serves has a population of approximately 0.7 million.

JCP&L owns property and does business as an electric public utility in New Jersey. JCP&L provides transmission and distribution services in 3,200 square miles of northern, western and east central New Jersey. The area it serves has a population of approximately 2.7 million. JCP&L also has a 50% ownership interest (210 MWs) in the Yards Creek hydroelectric generating facility.

ME owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Pennsylvania. ME provides distribution services in 3,300 square miles of eastern and south central Pennsylvania. The area it serves has a population of approximately 1.2 million.

PN owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Pennsylvania. PN provides distribution services in 17,600 square miles of western, northern and south central Pennsylvania. The area PN serves has a population of approximately 1.2 million. Also, PN, as lessee of the property of its subsidiary, the Waverly Electric Light & Power Company, serves approximately 4,000 customers in the Waverly, New York vicinity. On February 10, 2021, PN entered into an agreement to transfer its customers and the related assets in Waverly, New York to Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative; the completion of such transfer is subject to several closing conditions including regulatory approval.

PE owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. PE provides transmission and distribution services in portions of Maryland and West Virginia and provides transmission services in Virginia in an area totaling approximately 5,500 square miles. The area it serves has a population of approximately 0.9 million.

MP owns property and does business as an electric public utility in West Virginia. MP provides generation, transmission and distribution services in 13,000 square miles of northern West Virginia. The area it serves has a population of approximately 0.8 million. MP is contractually obligated to provide power to PE to meet its load obligations in West Virginia. MP owns or contractually controls 3,580 MWs of generation capacity that is supplied to its electric utility business, including a 16.25% undivided interest in the Bath County pumped-storage hydroelectric generation facility in Virginia (487 MWs) through its wholly owned subsidiary AGC.

WP owns property and does business as an electric public utility in Pennsylvania. WP provides transmission and distribution services in 10,400 square miles of southwestern, south-central and northern Pennsylvania. The area it serves has a population of approximately 1.5 million.

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Regulated Transmission Operating Subsidiaries

ATSI owns high-voltage transmission facilities, which consist of approximately 7,890 circuit miles of transmission lines with nominal voltages of 345 kV, 138 kV and 69 kV in the PJM Region, particularly Ohio and Pennsylvania.

TrAIL owns high-voltage transmission facilities in the PJM Region and has several transmission facilities in operation, including a 500 kV transmission line extending approximately 150 miles from southwestern Pennsylvania through West Virginia to a point of interconnection with VEPCO in northern Virginia.

MAIT owns high-voltage transmission facilities, which consist of approximately 4,260 circuit miles of transmission lines with nominal voltages of 500 kV, 345 kV, 230 kV, 138 kV, 115 kV, 69 kV and 46 kV in the PJM Region, particularly Pennsylvania.

Service Company

FESC provides legal, financial and other corporate support services at cost, in accordance with its cost allocation manual, to affiliated FirstEnergy companies. In addition, pursuant to the FES Bankruptcy settlement agreement discussed below, FE extended the availability of certain shared services to the FES Debtors through June 30, 2020. As of June 30, 2020, FirstEnergy had substantially ceased providing post-emergence services to FES Debtors under the terms of the amended and restated shared services agreement. In connection with the FES Debtors emergence from bankruptcy, FirstEnergy entered into an amended separation agreement with the FES Debtors to implement the separation of FES Debtors and their businesses from FirstEnergy.

Legacy CES Subsidiaries

On March 31, 2018, the FES Debtors announced that, in order to facilitate an orderly financial restructuring, they filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code with the Bankruptcy Court. In September 2018, the Bankruptcy Court approved a FES Bankruptcy settlement agreement by and among FirstEnergy, two groups of key FES creditors (collectively, the FES Key Creditor Groups), the FES Debtors and the UCC. As of March 31, 2018, the FES Debtors were deconsolidated from FirstEnergy’s consolidated financial statements. The FES Debtors effectuated their plan of reorganization on February 27, 2020 and emerged from bankruptcy.

As part of the FES Bankruptcy settlement agreement, discussed below, AE Supply transferred the Pleasants Power Station and related assets to a newly formed subsidiary of FG on January 30, 2020. AE Supply will continue to provide Pleasants Power Station disposal access to the McElroy's Run impoundment facility pursuant to a separate agreement among the parties.
Substantially all of FirstEnergy’s subsidiaries’ operations that previously comprised the CES reportable operating segment, including FES, FENOC, BSPC and a portion of AE Supply (including the Pleasants Power Station), are presented as discontinued operations in FirstEnergy’s consolidated financial statements resulting from the FES Bankruptcy and actions taken as part of the strategic review to exit commodity-exposed generation and become a fully regulated utility.

Operating Segments

FirstEnergy's reportable operating segments are comprised of the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission segments.

The Regulated Distribution segment distributes electricity through FirstEnergy’s ten utility operating companies, serving approximately six million customers within 65,000 square miles of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York, and purchases power for its POLR, SOS, SSO and default service requirements in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. This segment also controls 3,790 MWs of regulated electric generation capacity located primarily in West Virginia, Virginia and New Jersey, of which, 210 MWs are related to the Yards Creek generating station that is being sold pursuant to an asset purchase agreement as further discussed below. The segment's results reflect the costs of securing and delivering electric generation from transmission facilities to customers, including the deferral and amortization of certain related costs.

As of December 31, 2020, FirstEnergy’s regulated generating portfolio consists of 3,790 MWs of capacity within the Regulated Distribution segment: 210 MWs consist of JCP&L's 50% ownership interest in the Yards Creek hydroelectric facility in New Jersey; and 3,580 MWs consist of MP's facilities, including 487 MWs from AGC's interest in the Bath County pumped-storage hydroelectric facility in Virginia, and 11 MWs of MP's 0.49% entitlement from OVEC's generation output. MP's other generation facilities are located in West Virginia.

The Regulated Transmission segment provides transmission infrastructure owned and operated by the Transmission Companies and certain of FirstEnergy's utilities (JCP&L, MP, PE and WP) to transmit electricity from generation sources to distribution facilities. The segment's revenues are primarily derived from forward-looking formula rates at the Transmission Companies as well as stated transmission rates at MP, PE and WP; although as explained in Note 14, "Regulatory Matters", effective January 1, 2021, subject to refund, MP's, PE's and WP's existing stated rates became forward-looking formula rates. JCP&L previously had stated transmission rates, however, effective January 1, 2020, JCP&L implemented forward-looking formula rates, subject to refund, pending further hearing and settlement proceedings. Both forward-looking formula and stated
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rates recover costs that FERC determines are permitted to be recovered and provide a return on transmission capital investment. Under forward-looking formula rates, the revenue requirement is updated annually based on a projected rate base and projected costs, which is subject to an annual true-up based on actual costs. Revenue requirements under stated rates are calculated annually by multiplying the highest one-hour peak load in each respective transmission zone by the approved, stated rate in that zone. The segment's results also reflect the net transmission expenses related to the delivery of electricity on FirstEnergy's transmission facilities.

Corporate/Other reflects corporate support costs not charged to FE's subsidiaries, including FE's retained Pension and OPEB assets and liabilities of the FES Debtors, interest expense on FE’s holding company debt and other businesses that do not constitute an operating segment. Additionally, reconciling adjustments for the elimination of inter-segment transactions and discontinued operations are included in Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2020, 67 MWs of electric generating capacity, representing AE Supply's OVEC capacity entitlement, was included in continuing operations of Corporate/Other. As of December 31, 2020, Corporate/Other had approximately $8.2 billion of FE holding company debt.
Utility Regulation
Regulatory Accounting

FirstEnergy accounts for the effects of regulation through the application of regulatory accounting to the Utilities and the Transmission Companies since their rates are established by a third-party regulator with the authority to set rates that bind customers, are cost-based and can be charged to and collected from customers.

The Utilities and the Transmission Companies recognize, as regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities, costs which FERC and the various state utility commissions, as applicable, have authorized for recovery from/return to customers in future periods or for which authorization is probable. Without the probability of such authorization, costs currently recorded as regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities would have been charged/credited to income as incurred. All regulatory assets and liabilities are expected to be recovered from/returned to customers. Based on current ratemaking procedures, the Utilities and the Transmission Companies continue to collect cost-based rates for their transmission and distribution services; accordingly, it is appropriate that the Utilities and the Transmission Companies continue the application of regulatory accounting to those operations. Regulatory accounting is applied only to the parts of the business that meet the above criteria. If a portion of the business applying regulatory accounting no longer meets those requirements, previously recorded regulatory assets and liabilities are removed from the balance sheet in accordance with GAAP.
State Regulation
The following table summarizes the allowed ROE and the aggregate actual ROE of the Utilities by state for the year ended December 31, 2020, as determined for regulatory purposes:
StateAllowed ROE
Actual ROE(1)
Maryland9.65%8.7%
New Jersey
9.6%(3)
6.5%
Ohio10.5%
13.3%
Pennsylvania
Settled(2)
9.0%
West Virginia
Settled(2)
7.2%
(1) Actual ROE based upon trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2020; assumes actual rate base for distribution assets only (except in West Virginia) and reflects state regulatory adjustments.
(2) Commission-approved settlement agreements did not disclose ROE rates.
(3) On October 28, 2020, the NJBPU approved JCP&L's distribution rate case settlement with an allowed ROE of 9.6%. Rates are effective for customers on November 1, 2021.

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See "Outlook - State Regulation" in Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information and discussion.
Federal Regulation
See "Outlook - FERC Regulatory Matters" in Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information and discussion.
Nuclear Regulation
See "Outlook - Other Legal Matters - Nuclear Plant Matters" in Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information and discussion.
Environmental Matters
See "Outlook - Environmental Matters" in Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information and discussion.
Capital Requirements

FirstEnergy’s business is capital intensive, requiring significant resources to fund operating expenses, construction expenditures, scheduled debt maturities and interest payments, dividend payments, and contributions to its pension plan. See "Capital Resources and Liquidity" in Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information and discussion.

Fuel Supply

MP currently has coal contracts with various terms to acquire approximately 5.5 million tons of coal for the year 2021, which is approximately 90% of its forecasted 2021 coal requirements. This contracted coal is produced primarily from mines located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The contracts expire at various times through 2025. See "Outlook - Environmental Matters" in Item 7. "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for additional information pertaining to the impact of increased environmental regulations on coal supply.

System Demand
The maximum hourly demand for each of the Utilities was:
System Demand202020192018
(in MWs)
OE5,598 5,494 5,604 
Penn889 946 950 
CEI4,253 4,188 4,301 
TE2,265 2,787 2,367 
JCP&L5,902 6,056 5,977 
ME2,976 2,974 3,026 
PN2,908 3,020 2,993 
MP2,114 2,121 2,089 
PE2,905 3,609 3,498 
WP3,827 4,012 3,879 

Supply Plan

Certain of the Utilities have default service obligations to provide power to non-shopping customers who have elected to continue to receive service under regulated retail tariffs. The volume of these sales can vary depending on the level of shopping that occurs. Supply plans vary by state and by service territory. JCP&L’s default service, or BGS supply, is secured through a statewide competitive procurement process approved by the NJBPU. Default service for the Ohio Companies, Pennsylvania Companies and PE's Maryland jurisdiction are provided through a competitive procurement process approved by the PUCO (under ESP IV), PPUC (under the DSP) and MDPSC (under the SOS), respectively. If any supplier fails to deliver power to any one of those Utilities’ service areas, the Utility serving that area may need to procure the required power in the market in their role as the default LSE. West Virginia electric generation continues to be regulated by the WVPSC.
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Regional Reliability

All of FirstEnergy's facilities are located within the PJM Region and operate under the reliability oversight of a regional entity known as RFC. This regional entity operates under the oversight of NERC in accordance with a delegation agreement approved by FERC.

Competition

Within FirstEnergy’s Regulated Distribution segment, generally there is no competition for electric distribution service in the Utilities’ respective service territories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. Additionally, there has traditionally been no competition for transmission service in PJM. However, pursuant to FERC’s Order No. 1000 and subject to state and local siting and permitting approvals, non-incumbent developers now can compete for certain PJM transmission projects in the service territories of FirstEnergy’s Regulated Transmission segment. This could result in additional competition to build transmission facilities in the Regulated Transmission segment’s service territories while also allowing the Regulated Transmission segment the opportunity to seek to build facilities in non-incumbent service territories.

Seasonality

The sale of electric power is generally a seasonal business, and weather patterns can have a material impact on FirstEnergy’s operating results. Demand for electricity in our service territories historically peaks during the summer and winter months. Accordingly, FirstEnergy’s annual results of operations and liquidity position may depend disproportionately on its operating performance during the summer and winter. Mild weather conditions may result in lower power sales and consequently lower earnings.

Human Capital

FirstEnergy focuses on a number of human capital resources, measures, and objectives in managing its business, including: safety, diversity and inclusion, employee development, and compensation and benefits. Collectively, these focus areas may be material to understanding its business under certain circumstances.

Employees and Collective Bargaining Agreements

As of December 31, 2020, FirstEnergy had 12,153 employees located in the United States as follows:
Total
Employees
Bargaining
Unit
Employees
FESC4,419 630 
OE1,135 754 
CEI902 603 
TE373 277 
Penn188 131 
JCP&L1,330 1,027 
ME644 466 
PN752 485 
MP1,131 753 
PE534 333 
WP745 477 
Total12,153 5,936 

As of December 31, 2020, the IBEW, the UWUA and the OPEIU unions collectively represented approximately half of FirstEnergy’s employees. There are 15 CBAs between FirstEnergy’s subsidiaries and its unions, which have three, four- or five-year terms. In 2020, FirstEnergy’s subsidiaries reached new agreements with 3 UWUA locals, covering 550 employees, and 1 OPEIU local, covering 77 employees.

Safety

Safety is a core value of FirstEnergy. FirstEnergy employees have the power and responsibility to keep each other safe and eliminate life-changing events, which are injuries that have life-changing impacts or fatal results. Safety metrics, such as injuries that result in days away or restricted time and life-changing events, are regularly monitored, internally reported, and are included in our annual incentive compensation program to reinforce that a safe work environment is crucial to FirstEnergy’s success.

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FirstEnergy continues to shift its focus from achieving low OSHA rates to proactively identifying and mitigating life-changing event exposure. This shift in focus strengthens FirstEnergy’s safety-first culture by aligning our leadership around the same goal and driving safer decisions from an engaged workforce who puts safety first. To support that shift, FirstEnergy is transitioning from leader and employee training and exposure control concepts to a safety management system that cultivates job site exposure identification and mitigation to prevent life-changing events. Further, FirstEnergy continues to expand its “Leading with Safety” experiences with its employees to achieve excellence in personal, contractor and public safety.

Additionally, FirstEnergy’s employees’ well-being is essential to its core value of safety. FirstEnergy is taking a well-informed, decisive and measured response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as recommended by medical experts, to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public, while also continuing to serve our customers. FirstEnergy continues to provide flexibility for approximately 7,000 of its 12,000 employees to work from home. Pandemic safety and cleaning protocols were implemented for those workers who have continued to report to a FirstEnergy work location during this public health emergency, ensuring FirstEnergy employees can report directly to job sites and work with the same small group of employees every day. FirstEnergy developed a COVID-19 medical screening process under which a medical staff consisting of nurses, doctors and non-medical intake teams were assembled to manage COVID-19 related exposures, illnesses and quarantines; perform contact tracing; and ultimately safely return employees to work. FirstEnergy continues to implement state health directives as they emerge and adjusts its procedures as needed to continue to keep its employees safe.

Diversity and Inclusion

FirstEnergy seeks to expand the diversity of its team and create an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued, motivated and empowered to drive FirstEnergy’s success. Diversity and inclusion metrics are included in FirstEnergy’s annual incentive compensation program to emphasize that a diverse and inclusive work environment at FirstEnergy drives better service for customers, strong operational performance, innovation and a rewarding work experience for its employees.

Affirmative steps taken at FirstEnergy to promote the core value of diversity and inclusion includes:
FirstEnergy sponsors an executive diversity and inclusion council consisting of senior management and other leaders across the company.
A cross-functional working group oversees the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion action plans company-wide.
Additional teams of employees are embedded throughout FirstEnergy to implement local actions supporting diversity and inclusion.
FirstEnergy’s employees have established multiple employee business resource groups, known as "EBRGs," to further support diversity and inclusion objectives through networking, mentoring, coaching, recruiting, development and community outreach.
Employees are provided ongoing training and education on a variety of diversity and inclusion topics.
FirstEnergy has enhanced the recruiting processes to increase the number of diverse candidates considered for open positions and expand the diversity of teams interviewing those candidates.

Employee Development

FirstEnergy’s employees are empowered to take ownership of their careers with increased openness into FirstEnergy’s internal and external hiring process and greater availability of tools and processes that support career management, talent reviews, succession planning and leadership selection. FirstEnergy is committed to preparing its high-performing workforce for the future and helping employees reach their full potential. That means developing employee skills and competencies and preparing emerging and experienced leaders for future management responsibilities.

Understanding FirstEnergy’s rapidly changing industry and strategy is key to employees’ ability to support FirstEnergy’s mission and meet its customers’ evolving needs. In 2020, FirstEnergy launched FE University as an initiative to brand and create synergies among FirstEnergy’s many employee development and training initiatives. Key FirstEnergy development programs include:
a mentoring program,
Discover FE, which is designed to broaden and deepen knowledge of FirstEnergy and the electric utility industry generally,
new supervisor and manager program,
experienced leader program, and
Power Systems Institute, an award-winning program for recruiting and developing the next generation of highly trained, dedicated and motivated line and substation workers.

Compensation and Benefits

FirstEnergy’s total rewards program is designed to attract, motivate, retain and reward employees for their role in the success of FirstEnergy. The base pay program is designed to provide individual base pay levels that balance an employee’s value to FirstEnergy with comparable jobs at peer companies. FirstEnergy is committed to ensuring that our internal policies and processes support pay equity. The annual incentive compensation program is designed to reward the achievement of near-term
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corporate and business unit objectives. Additionally, FirstEnergy’s long-term incentive compensation program is designed to reward eligible employees for FirstEnergy’s achievement of longer-term goals intended to drive shareholder value and growth. In addition to base pay and incentive compensation plans, FirstEnergy offers a comprehensive benefits program, including a 401(k) Savings Plan and a defined benefit Pension Plan.
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Information About Our Executive Officers (as of February 18, 2021)
NameAgePositions Held During Past Five YearsDates
S. E. Strah57President and Acting Chief Executive Officer (A) (B)2020-Present
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (A) (B) (C) (E)2018-2020
President (D)2017-2018
President (E)2016-2018
Senior Vice President & President, FirstEnergy Utilities (B)*-2018
President (C)*-2018
H. Park59Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer (A)2021-Present
LimNexus, Partner and General Counsel2019-2021
Latham & Watkins, Of Counsel2017-2019
PG&E Corporation, Senior Vice President and Special Counsel to Chairman2017
Senior Vice President and General Counsel*-2017
K. Jon Taylor47Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (A) (B) (C) (E)2020-Present
Vice President, Utility Operations (B)2019-2020
President (D)2019-2020
President, Ohio Operations (B)2018-2019
Vice President (C) 2018-2019
Vice President and Controller (E)2016-2018
Vice President and Controller (C) *-2018
Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer (A) (B)*-2018
Vice President and Controller (D) (G)*-2017
Vice President and Controller (F)*-2016
C. L. Walker55Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (B)2019-present
Vice President, Human Resources (B)2018-2019
Executive Director, Talent Management (B)2016-2018
G. D. Benz61Senior Vice President, Strategy (B)*-present
J. J. Lisowski39Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer (A) (B)2018-present
Vice President and Controller (C) (E)2018-present
Controller and Treasurer (G)2017-2018
Controller and Treasurer (F)2016-2018
Assistant Controller (E)2016-2017
Assistant Controller (A) (B) (C) (D) (F) (G)*-2017
S. L. Belcher52Senior Vice President and President, FirstEnergy Utilities (B)2018-present
President (C) (E)2018-present
President and Chief Nuclear Officer (G)*-2018
President, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (B)*-2017
* Indicates position held at least since January 1, 2016
(A) Denotes position held at FE
(B) Denotes position held at FESC
(C) Denotes position held at the Ohio Companies, the Pennsylvania Companies, MP, PE, FET, KATCo, TrAIL and ATSI
(D) Denotes position held at AGC
(E) Denotes position held at MAIT
(F) Denotes position held at FES and FG
(G) Denotes position held at FENOC

FirstEnergy Website and Other Social Media Sites and Applications

FirstEnergy's Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, amendments to those reports, and all other documents filed with or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are made available free of charge on or through the "Investors" page of FirstEnergy’s website at www.firstenergycorp.com. These documents are also available to the public from commercial document retrieval services and the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.

These SEC filings are posted on the website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Additionally, FirstEnergy routinely posts additional important information, including press releases, investor presentations, investor factbooks and notices of upcoming events under the "Investors" section of FirstEnergy’s website and recognizes FirstEnergy’s website as a channel of distribution to reach public investors and as a means of disclosing material non-public information for complying with disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Investors may be notified of postings to the website by signing up for email alerts and RSS feeds on the "Investors" page of FirstEnergy's website. FirstEnergy also uses Twitter® and Facebook® as additional channels of distribution to reach public investors and as a supplemental means of disclosing material non-public information for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Information contained on FirstEnergy’s website, Twitter® handle or Facebook® page, and any corresponding applications of those sites, shall not be deemed incorporated into, or to be part of, this report.

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ITEM 1A.     RISK FACTORS

We operate in a business environment that involves significant risks, many of which are beyond our control. Management regularly evaluates the most significant risks of its businesses and reviews those risks with the Board of Directors and appropriate Committees of the Board. The following risk factors and all other information contained in this report should be considered carefully when evaluating FirstEnergy. These risk factors could affect our financial results and cause such results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of us. Below, we have identified risks we consider material. Additional information on risk factors is included in “Item 1. Business,” “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and in other sections of this Form 10-K that include forward-looking and other statements involving risks and uncertainties that could impact our business and financial results.
Risks Associated with the Ongoing Investigations
We Have Received Requests for Information Related to Government Investigations. The Investigations and Related Litigation Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on our Reputation, Business, Financial Condition, Results of Operations, Liquidity or Cash Flows
On July 21, 2020, we received subpoenas for records from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the S.D. Ohio requesting the production of information concerning an investigation surrounding HB 6 involving the now former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and other individuals and entities allegedly affiliated with Mr. Householder. Following the announcement of the investigation surrounding HB 6, certain of our stockholders and customers filed several lawsuits against us and certain current and former directors, officers and other employees. In addition, on August 10, 2020, the SEC, through its Division of Enforcement, issued an order directing an investigation of possible securities laws violations by FirstEnergy, and on September 1, 2020, issued subpoenas to FirstEnergy and certain of its officers. We are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the SEC in their investigations. See Note 15, “Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies,” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, for additional details on the government investigation and subsequent litigation surrounding the investigation of HB 6.

The investigations and related litigation could divert management’s focus and have resulted, and could continue to result in substantial investigation expenses, and the commitment of substantial corporate resources. The outcome of the government investigations and related litigation is inherently uncertain. If one or more legal matters, including the ongoing investigation, were resolved against us, our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows may be adversely affected. Further, such an outcome could result in criminal liabilities, deferred prosecution agreements, significant monetary damages and fines, remedial corporate measures or other relief against us that could adversely impact our operations; in addition, certain of those outcomes could adversely impact our ability to maintain compliance with the covenants under our credit facilities or result in an event of default thereunder. These matters are likely to continue to have an adverse impact on the trading prices of our securities.

We are unable to predict the outcome, duration, scope, result or related costs of the investigations and related litigation and, therefore, any of these risks could impact us significantly beyond expectations. Moreover, we are unable to predict the potential for any additional investigations or litigation, any of which could exacerbate these risks or expose us to potential criminal or civil liabilities, sanctions or other remedial measures, and could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.

We Have Received Requests for Information Related to Government Investigations. Related Potential Adverse Impacts on Federal or State Regulatory Matters Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on our Reputation, Business, Financial Condition, Results of Operations, Liquidity or Cash Flows

On July 21, 2020, we received subpoenas for records from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the S.D. Ohio requesting the production of information concerning an investigation surrounding HB 6 involving the now former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and other individuals and entities allegedly affiliated with Mr. Householder. On January 26, 2021, staff of FERC’s Division of Investigations issued a letter directing FirstEnergy to preserve and maintain all documents and information related to an ongoing audit being conducted by FERC’s Division of Audits and Accounting, including activities relating to lobbying and governmental affairs activities concerning HB 6. We are cooperating with the FERC in the ongoing audit and document preservation request. See Note 14, "Regulatory Matters," and Note 15, “Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies,” of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, for additional details on the government investigation and regulatory matters related to the investigation of HB 6.

We are subject to comprehensive regulation by various federal, state and local regulatory agencies that significantly influence our operating environment. As previously disclosed, among the matters considered with respect to the determination by the committee of independent members of the Board of Directors to terminate certain former members of senior management for violating certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct related to a payment of approximately $4 million made in early 2019 in connection with the termination of a purported consulting agreement, as amended, which had been in place since 2013. The counterparty to such agreement was an entity associated with an individual who subsequently was appointed to a full-time role as an Ohio government official directly involved in regulating the Ohio Companies, including with respect to distribution rates. FirstEnergy believes that payments under the consulting agreement may have been for purposes other than those represented
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within the consulting agreement. The matter is a subject of the ongoing internal investigation related to the government investigations.

Any appearance of non-compliance with anti-corruption laws, as well as any alleged failures to comply with anti-corruption laws, could have an adverse impact on our reputation or relationships with regulatory authorities, and result in a material inquiry or investigation by such federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and result in adverse rulings against us, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, operating results and operations.

For example, there are several regulatory matters associated with the ongoing governmental investigations including, but not limited to, the following:
On September 15, 2020, the PUCO opened a new proceeding to review the political and charitable spending by the Ohio Companies in support of HB 6 and the subsequent referendum effort, directing the Ohio Companies to show cause, demonstrating that the costs of any political or charitable spending in support of HB 6, or the subsequent referendum effort, were not included, directly or indirectly, in any rates or charges paid by ratepayers.
On November 4, 2020, the PUCO initiated an additional corporate separation audit as a result of the termination of certain members of senior management.
On December 30, 2020, the PUCO reinstated the requirement that the Ohio Companies file a distribution rate case by May 31, 2024, which requirement had previously been eliminated by the PUCO in November 2019.
Also on December 30, 2020, the PUCO reopened the DMR audit docket, and directed PUCO staff to solicit a third-party auditor and conduct a full review of the DMR to ensure funds collected from ratepayers through the DMR were only used for the purposes established in ESP IV.
On January 26, 2021, staff of FERC's Division of Investigations issued a letter directing FirstEnergy to preserve and maintain all documents and information related to an ongoing audit being conducted by FERC's Division of Audits and Accounting, including activities related to lobbying and governmental affairs activities concerning HB 6.
In connection with the partial settlement with the OAG and other parties, the Ohio Companies filed an application with the PUCO on February 1, 2021, to set the respective decoupling riders (Rider CSR) to zero and, in a related action, the Ohio Companies will not seek to recover lost distribution revenue from residential and commercial customers; as a result, FirstEnergy recognized a $108 million pre-tax charge ($84 million after-tax) in the fourth quarter of 2020 and $77 million (pre-tax) of which is associated with forgoing collection of lost distribution revenue.

While FirstEnergy is committed to pursuing an open dialogue with stakeholders in an appropriate manner with respect to the numerous regulatory proceedings currently underway, the rates our Utilities and transmission operating companies are allowed to charge may be decreased as a result of actions taken by FERC or by a state regulatory commission to which our Utilities is subject to jurisdiction, whether as a result of the ongoing government investigations, the appearance of non-compliance with anti-corruption laws, or otherwise. Also, in connection with the internal investigation, FirstEnergy recently identified certain transactions, which, in some instances, extended back ten years or more, including vendor services, that were either improperly classified, misallocated to certain of the Utilities and Transmission Companies, or lacked proper supporting documentation. These transactions resulted in amounts collected from customers that were immaterial to FirstEnergy, and the Utilities and Transmission Companies will be working with the appropriate regulatory agencies to address these amounts.

We are unable to predict the adverse impacts on federal or state regulatory matters, including with respect to rates, and, therefore, any of these risks could impact us significantly beyond expectations. Moreover, we are unable to predict the potential for any additional regulatory actions, any of which could exacerbate these risks or expose us to adverse outcomes in pending or future rate cases, and could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.

We Have Identified a Material Weakness in our Internal Controls over Financial Reporting. If We Fail to Remediate such Material Weakness or Otherwise Fail to Develop, Implement and Maintain Effective Internal Controls in Future Periods, Our Ability to Report Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations Accurately and on a Timely Basis Could Be Adversely Affected

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

As previously disclosed, a committee of independent members of our Board of Directors is directing an internal investigation related to ongoing government investigations. In connection with our internal investigation, such committee determined that certain former members of senior management, including our former chief executive officer, violated certain FirstEnergy policies and our code of conduct. Such former members of senior management did not maintain and promote a control environment with an appropriate tone of compliance in certain areas of FirstEnergy’s business, nor sufficiently promote, monitor or enforce adherence to certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct. Furthermore, certain former members of senior management did not reasonably ensure that relevant information was communicated within our organization and not withheld from our independent directors, our Audit Committee, and our independent auditor. Among the matters considered with respect to the determination by the committee of independent members of the Board of Directors that certain former members of senior management violated certain FirstEnergy policies and its code of conduct related to a payment of approximately $4 million made in early 2019 in connection with the termination of a purported consulting agreement, as amended, which had been in place
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since 2013. The counterparty to such agreement was an entity associated with an individual who subsequently was appointed to a full-time role as an Ohio government official directly involved in regulating the Ohio Companies, including with respect to distribution rates. FirstEnergy believes that payments under the consulting agreement may have been for purposes other than those represented within the consulting agreement. The matter is a subject of the ongoing internal investigation related to the government investigations.

During the preparation of FirstEnergy’s financial statements as of and for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, FirstEnergy identified a material weakness in that these certain former members of senior management did not set an appropriate tone at the top as discussed above, which are inconsistent with the standards to which FirstEnergy’s Board of Directors and senior management are committed.

This control deficiency did not result in a material misstatement of our annual or interim consolidated financial statements. However, this control deficiency could have resulted in material misstatements to the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that would not have been prevented or detected. Accordingly, our management has concluded that this control deficiency constitutes a material weakness.

A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

We are in the process of remediating the identified material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting.

We cannot assure you that we will adequately remediate the material weakness or that additional material weaknesses in our internal controls will not be identified in the future. All internal control systems, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations. Therefore, even those internal control systems determined to be effective can provide only a level of reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation. Any failure to maintain or implement required new or improved controls, or any difficulties we encounter in the implementation, could result in additional material weaknesses, or could result in material misstatements in our financial statements. These misstatements could result in restatements of our financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. Further, if we are unable to maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting, we may be unable to report our financial information on a timely basis, may violate applicable stock exchange listing rules or suffer other adverse regulatory consequences and may breach the covenants under our credit facilities. There could also be a negative reaction in the price of our common stock due to a loss of investor confidence in us and the reliability of our financial statements. See “Item 9a. Controls and Procedures” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the material weakness and our remediation plans.

Failure to Comply with Debt Covenants in our Credit Agreements or Conditions Could Adversely Affect our Ability to Execute Future Borrowings and/or Require Early Repayment, and Could Restrict our Ability to Obtain Additional or Replacement Financing on Acceptable Terms or at All

Our debt and credit agreements contain various financial and other covenants including a consolidated debt to total capitalization ratio of no more than 65% measured at the end of each fiscal quarter.

Our credit agreements contain certain negative and affirmative covenants. Our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions contained in our FE credit facility and FET credit facility may be affected by events related to the ongoing government investigations or otherwise.

On November 17, 2020, we and certain of our subsidiaries entered into amendments to the FE credit facility and the FET credit facility, respectively. The amendments provide for modifications and/or waivers of: (i) certain representations and warranties and (ii) certain affirmative and negative covenants, contained therein, which allowed FirstEnergy to regain compliance with such provisions. The non-compliance for which the waiver was necessary stemmed from the payment of approximately $4 million made in early 2019 in connection with the termination of a purported consulting agreement, as amended, which had been in place since 2013 with an entity associated with an individual who subsequently was appointed to a full-time role as an Ohio government official directly involved in regulating the Ohio Companies, including with respect to distribution rates. Among other things, the amendment to the FE credit facility reduces the sublimit applicable to FE to $1.5 billion, and the amendments increased certain tiers of pricing applicable to borrowings under the credit facilities. In addition, we may be required to seek additional covenant waivers in future periods, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain such waivers on favorable terms, or at all.

A breach of any of the covenants contained in our credit agreements, including any breach related to alleged failures to comply with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, could result in an event of default under such agreements, and we would not be able to access our credit facilities for additional borrowings and letters of credit while any default exists. Upon the occurrence of such an event of default, all amounts outstanding under our credit facilities, which was $2.2 billion as of February 15, 2021, could be declared to be immediately due and payable and all applicable commitments to extend further credit could be terminated. If indebtedness under our credit facilities is accelerated, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient assets to repay the
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indebtedness. In addition, certain events, including but not limited to any covenant breach related to alleged failures to comply with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, an event of default under our credit agreements, and the acceleration of applicable commitments under such facilities could restrict our ability to obtain additional or replacement financing on acceptable terms or at all. The operating and financial restrictions and covenants in our credit facilities and any future financing agreements may adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities.

Risks Associated with the Global Pandemic

The COVID-19 Global Pandemic Has Impacted Us and Could Have an Adverse Effect on Our Business, Results of Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition

The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a global pandemic and has impacted FirstEnergy. For instance, FirstEnergy’s Utilities discontinued power shutoffs as of March 13, 2020, across its five-state service territory and ceased billing for certain late payment charges, and while some of these have been rescinded, similar actions could occur in the future. Furthermore, in response to the pandemic and related mitigation measures, FirstEnergy has implemented its pandemic plan as well as other precautionary measures on behalf of its customers and employees, including supporting remote work opportunities for most of its employees. While FirstEnergy believes that all these measures have been necessary or appropriate, they have resulted in additional costs and may adversely impact its business and results of operation in the future or expose it to additional unknown risks.

Although it is not possible to predict the ultimate impact of COVID-19, including on FirstEnergy’s business, results of operations, cash flows or financial positions, such impacts that may be material include, but are not limited to: (i) lower commercial and industrial customer demand for electricity, (ii) impacts of rapidly-changing governmental and public health directives to contain and combat the pandemic together with executive and legislative initiatives imposing a moratorium on utility disconnections, (iii) increased credit risk, including increased failure or delay by customers to make their utility payments, (iv) reduced availability and productivity of its employees, (v) increased operational risks as a result of remote work arrangements, including the potential effects on internal controls, as well as cybersecurity risks and increased vulnerability to security breaches, information technology disruptions and other similar events, (vi) delays and disruptions in the availability of and timely delivery of materials and components used in its operations, as well as increased costs for such materials and components, (vii) continued volatility in market prices for our securities, and (viii) hampering our ability to access funds from financial institutions and the capital markets on the same or reasonably similar terms as were available to FirstEnergy before the COVID-19 pandemic. To the extent the duration of any of these conditions extends for a longer period of time, the adverse impact will generally be more severe.

Risks Associated with Regulation of Our Distribution and Transmission Businesses
We are Focusing on Growing Our Regulated Transmission and Regulated Distribution Operations. Whether This Investment Strategy Will Deliver the Desired Result Is Subject to Certain Risks Which Could Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition
We focus on capitalizing on investment opportunities available to our Regulated Transmission and Regulated Distribution operations as we focus on delivering enhanced customer service and reliability. The success of these efforts will depend, in part, on successful recovery of our transmission investments. Factors that may affect rate recovery of our transmission investments include: (1) FERC’s timely approval of rates to recover such investments; (2) whether the investments are included in PJM's RTEP; (3) FERC's evolving policies with respect to incentive rates for transmission assets; (4) FERC's evolving policies with respect to the calculation of the base ROE component of transmission rates; (5) consideration and potential impact of the objections of those who oppose such investments and their recovery; and (6) timely development, construction, and operation of the new facilities.
The success of these efforts will also depend, in part, on any future distribution rate cases or other filings seeking cost recovery for distribution system enhancements in the states where our Utilities operate and transmission rate filings at FERC. Any denial of, or delay in, the approval of any future distribution or transmission rate requests could restrict us from fully recovering our cost of service, may impose risks on the Regulated Distribution and Regulated Transmission operations, and could have a material adverse effect on our regulatory strategy, results of operations and financial condition.
Our efforts also could be impacted by our ability to finance the proposed expansion projects while maintaining adequate liquidity. There can be no assurance that our investment strategy in our Regulated Transmission and Regulated Distribution operations will deliver the desired result which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Complex and Changing Government Regulations and Actions, Including Those Associated with Rates, Could Have a Negative Impact on Our Business, Financial Condition, Results of Operations and Cash Flows
We are subject to comprehensive regulation by various federal, state and local regulatory agencies that significantly influence our operating environment. Changes in, or reinterpretations of, existing laws or regulations, or the imposition of new laws or regulations, could require us to incur additional costs or change the way we conduct our business, and therefore could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
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Our Utilities and Transmission Companies currently provide service at rates approved by one or more regulatory commissions. Thus, the rates the Utilities and Transmission Companies are allowed to charge may be decreased as a result of actions taken by FERC or by a state regulatory commission in the states in which our Utilities operate. Also, these rates may not be set to recover such applicable utility's expenses at any given time. Additionally, there may also be a delay between the timing of when costs are incurred and when costs are recovered, if at all. For example, we may be unable to timely recover the costs for our energy efficiency investments or expenses and additional capital or lost revenues resulting from the implementation of aggressive energy efficiency programs. While rate regulation is premised on providing an opportunity to earn a reasonable return on invested capital and recovery of operating expenses, there can be no assurance that the applicable regulatory commission will determine that all of our costs have been prudently incurred or that the regulatory process in which rates are determined will always result in rates that will produce full recovery of our costs in a timely manner. Further, there can be no assurance that we will retain the expected recovery in future rate cases.
State Rate Regulation May Delay or Deny Full Recovery of Costs and Impose Risks on Our Operations. Any Denial of or Delay in Cost Recovery Could Have an Adverse Effect on Our Business, Results of Operations, Liquidity, Cash Flows and Financial Condition
Each of the Utilities' retail rates are set by its respective regulatory agency for utilities in the state in which it operates - in Maryland by the MDPSC, in New Jersey by the NJBPU, in Ohio by the PUCO, in Pennsylvania by the PPUC, in West Virginia by the WVPSC and in New York by the NYPSC - through traditional, cost-based regulated utility ratemaking. As a result, any of the Utilities may not be permitted to recover its costs and, even if it is able to do so, there may be a significant delay between the time it incurs such costs and the time it is allowed to recover them. Factors that may affect outcomes in the distribution rate cases include: (i) the value of plant in service; (ii) authorized rate of return; (iii) capital structure (including hypothetical capital structures); (iv) depreciation rates; (v) the allocation of shared costs, including consolidated deferred income taxes and income taxes payable across the Utilities; (vi) regulatory approval of rate recovery mechanisms for capital spending programs; and (vii) the accuracy of forecasts used for ratemaking purposes in "future test year" cases.
FirstEnergy can provide no assurance that any base rate request filed by any of the Utilities will be granted in whole or in part. Any denial of, or delay in, any base rate request could restrict the applicable utility from fully recovering its costs of service, may impose risks on its operations, and may negatively impact its results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. In addition, to the extent that any of the Utilities seeks rate increases after an extended period of frozen or capped rates, pressure may be exerted on the applicable legislators and regulators to take steps to control rate increases, including through some form of rate increase moderation, reduction or freeze. Any related public discourse and debate can increase uncertainty associated with the regulatory process, the level of rates and revenues that are ultimately obtained, and the ability of the Utility to recover costs. Such uncertainty may restrict operational flexibility and resources, reduce liquidity and increase financing costs.
Federal Rate Regulation May Delay or Deny Full Recovery of Costs and Impose Risks on Our Operations. Any Denial or Reduction of, or Delay in Cost Recovery Could Have an Adverse Effect on Our Business, Results of Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition
FERC policy currently permits recovery of prudently incurred costs associated with cost-of-service-based wholesale power rates and the expansion and updating of transmission infrastructure within its jurisdiction. FERC’s policies on recovery of transmission costs continue to evolve, evidenced by ongoing proceedings to determine an appropriate ROE methodology to determine transmission ROEs and whether FERC’s existing policies on transmission rate incentives should be revised. If FERC were to adopt a different policy regarding recovery of transmission costs or if there is any resulting delay in cost recovery, our strategy of investing in transmission could be affected. If FERC were to lower the rate of return it has authorized for FirstEnergy's cost-based wholesale power rates or transmission investments and facilities, it could reduce future earnings and cash flows, and adversely impact our financial condition.
We Could be Subject to Higher Costs and/or Penalties Related to Mandatory Reliability Standards Set by NERC/FERC or Changes in the Rules of Organized Markets, Which Could Have an Adverse Effect on our Financial Condition
Owners, operators, and users of the bulk electric system are subject to mandatory reliability standards promulgated by NERC and approved by FERC. The standards are based on the functions that need to be performed to ensure that the bulk electric system operates reliably. NERC, RFC and FERC can be expected to continue to refine existing reliability standards as well as develop and adopt new reliability standards. Compliance with modified or new reliability standards may subject us to higher operating costs and/or increased capital expenditures. If we were found not to be in compliance with the mandatory reliability standards, we could be subject to sanctions, including substantial monetary penalties. FERC has authority to impose penalties up to and including $1.3 million per day for failure to comply with these mandatory electric reliability standards.
In addition to direct regulation by FERC, we are also subject to rules and terms of participation imposed and administered by various RTOs and ISOs that can have a material adverse impact on our business. For example, the independent market monitors of ISOs and RTOs may impose bidding and scheduling rules to curb the perceived potential for exercise of market power and to ensure the markets function appropriately. Such actions may materially affect our ability to sell, and the price we
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receive for, our energy and capacity. In addition, PJM may direct our transmission-owning affiliates to build new transmission facilities to meet PJM's reliability requirements or to provide new or expanded transmission service under the PJM Tariff.
We may be allocated a portion of the cost of transmission facilities built by others due to changes in RTO transmission rate design. We may be required to expand our transmission system according to decisions made by an RTO rather than our own internal planning processes. Various proposals and proceedings before FERC may cause transmission rates to change from time to time. In addition, RTOs have been developing rules associated with the allocation and methodology of assigning costs associated with improved transmission reliability, reduced transmission congestion and firm transmission rights that may have a financial impact on us.
As a member of an RTO, we are subject to certain additional risks, including those associated with the allocation among members of losses caused by unreimbursed defaults of other participants in that RTO’s market and those associated with complaint cases filed against the RTO that may seek refunds of revenues previously earned by its members.
In June and July 2020, as part of the PJM stakeholder process, certain competing amendments to the PJM Tariff were filed. The PJM TOs filed amendments that clarified responsibility as between PJM and the PJM TOs for planning for transmission facilities that are at the end of their useful life. Certain load groups filed competing amendments that would transfer authority for such planning from the PJM TOs to PJM. PJM supported the PJM TOs' filing and opposed the load groups' filing. In a series of decisions beginning in August 2020 and running through December 2020, FERC approved the PJM TOs' amendments, and rejected the loads' amendments. Certain of the load groups have filed a petition for review of FERC's decision before the D.C. Circuit and such appeal is currently pending. It is reasonable to believe that the PJM load interests will continue their efforts to limit transmission owner discretion in planning and investing in transmission assets, and further regulatory and appellate cases are expected. The inability to control the investment planning process could adversely affect our business operations, including the Energizing the Future program. In addition, the inability to control the investment planning process for our transmission business could adversely affect our results of operations and our financial condition.

Risks Associated with Environmental and Climate Matters

Mandatory Renewable Portfolio Requirements, Energy Efficiency and Peak Demand Reduction Mandates and Energy Price Increases Could Negatively Impact Our Financial Results
Where federal or state legislation mandates the use of renewable and alternative fuel sources, such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal and such legislation does not also provide for adequate cost recovery, it could result in significant changes in our business, including material increases in REC purchase costs, purchased power costs and capital expenditures. Such mandatory renewable portfolio requirements may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
A number of regulatory and legislative bodies have introduced requirements and/or incentives to reduce peak demand and energy consumption. Such conservation programs could result in load reduction and adversely impact our financial results in different ways. We currently have energy efficiency riders in place in certain of our states to recover the cost of these programs either at or near a current recovery time frame in the states where we operate.
In our regulated operations, conservation could negatively impact us depending on the regulatory treatment of the associated impacts. Should we be required to invest in conservation measures that result in reduced sales from effective conservation, regulatory lag in adjusting rates for the impact of these measures could have a negative financial impact. We have already been adversely impacted by reduced electric usage due in part to energy conservation efforts such as the use of efficient lighting products such as CFLs, halogens and LEDs. We could also be adversely impacted if any future energy price increases result in a decrease in customer usage. We are unable to determine what impact, if any, conservation and increases in energy prices will have on our financial condition or results of operations.
Additionally, failure to meet regulatory or legislative requirements to reduce energy consumption or otherwise increase energy efficiency could result in penalties that could adversely affect our financial results.
We Have Coal-Fired Generation Capacity, Which Exposes Us to Risk from Regulations Relating to Coal, GHGs and CCRs and Could Lead to Increased Costs or the Need to Spend Significant Resources to Defend Allegations of Violation
Approximately 82% of FirstEnergy's generation capacity is coal-fired, totaling 3,160 MW, increasing to 88% upon completion of the Yards Creek sale. Historically, coal-fired generating plants have greater exposure to the costs of complying with federal, state and local environmental statutes, rules and regulations relating to air emissions, including GHGs and CCR disposal, than other types of electric generation facilities. These legal requirements and any future initiatives could impose substantial additional costs and, in the case of GHG requirements, could raise uncertainty about the future viability of fossil fuels, particularly coal, as an energy source for new and existing electric generation facilities and could require our coal-fired generation plants to curtail generation or cease to generate. Failure to comply with any such existing or future legal requirements may also result in the assessment of fines and penalties. Significant resources also may be expended to defend against allegations of violations of any such requirements.
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The EPA is Conducting NSR Investigations at Generating Plants that We Currently or Formerly Owned, the Results of Which Could Negatively Impact Our Results of Business Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition
We may be subject to risks from changing or conflicting interpretations of existing laws and regulations, including, for example, the applicability of the EPA's NSR programs. Under the CAA, modification of our generation facilities in a manner that results in increased emissions could subject our existing generation facilities to the far more stringent new source standards applicable to new generation facilities.
The EPA has taken the view that many companies, including many energy producers, have been modifying emissions sources in violation of NSR standards during work considered by the companies to be routine maintenance. The EPA has investigated alleged violations of the NSR standards at certain of our existing and former generating facilities. We intend to vigorously pursue and defend our position, but we are unable to predict their outcomes. If NSR and similar requirements are imposed on our generation facilities, in addition to the possible imposition of fines, compliance could entail significant capital investments in pollution control technology, which could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Costs of Compliance with Environmental Laws are Significant, and the Cost of Compliance with New Environmental Laws, Including Limitations on GHG Emissions Related to Climate Change, Could Adversely Affect Cash Flows and Financial Condition
Our operations are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental statutes, rules and regulations. Compliance with these legal requirements requires us to incur costs for, among other things, installation and operation of pollution control equipment, emissions monitoring and fees, remediation and permitting at our facilities. These expenditures have been significant in the past and may increase in the future. We may be forced to shut down other facilities or change their operating status, either temporarily or permanently, if we are unable to comply with these or other existing or new environmental requirements, or if the expenditures required to comply with such requirements are unreasonable.
Moreover, new environmental laws or regulations including, but not limited to GHG Emissions, CWA effluent limitations imposing more stringent water discharge regulations, or other changes to existing environmental laws or regulations may materially increase our costs of compliance or accelerate the timing of capital expenditures. Our compliance strategy, including but not limited to, our assumptions regarding estimated compliance costs, although reasonably based on available information, may not successfully address future relevant standards and interpretations. If we fail to comply with environmental laws and regulations or new interpretations of longstanding requirements, even if caused by factors beyond our control, that failure could result in the assessment of civil or criminal liability and fines. In addition, any alleged violation of environmental laws and regulations may require us to expend significant resources to defend against any such alleged violations. Due to the uncertainty of control technologies available to reduce GHG emissions, any legal obligation that requires substantial reductions of GHG emissions could result in substantial additional costs, adversely affecting cash flows and profitability, and raise uncertainty about the future viability of fossil fuels, particularly coal, as an energy source for new and existing electric generation facilities.
We Are or May Be Subject to Environmental Liabilities, Including Costs of Remediation of Environmental Contamination at Current or Formerly Owned Facilities, Which Could Have a Material Adverse effect on Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition
We may be subject to liability under environmental laws for the costs of remediating environmental contamination of property now or formerly owned or operated by us and of property contaminated by hazardous substances that we may have generated regardless of whether the liabilities arose before, during or after the time we owned or operated the facilities. We are currently involved in a number of proceedings relating to sites where hazardous substances have been released and we may be subject to additional proceedings in the future. We also have current or previous ownership interests in sites associated with the production of gas and the production and delivery of electricity for which we may be liable for additional costs related to investigation, remediation and monitoring of these sites. Remediation activities associated with our former MGP operations are one source of such costs. Citizen groups or others may bring litigation over environmental issues including claims of various types, such as property damage, personal injury, and citizen challenges to compliance decisions on the enforcement of environmental requirements, such as opacity and other air quality standards, which could subject us to penalties, injunctive relief and the cost of litigation. We cannot predict the amount and timing of all future expenditures (including the potential or magnitude of fines or penalties) related to such environmental matters, although we expect that they could be material. In addition, there can be no assurance that any liabilities, losses or expenditures we may incur related to such environmental liabilities or contamination will be covered under any applicable insurance policies or that the amount of insurance will be adequate.
In some cases, a third party who has acquired assets from us has assumed the liability we may otherwise have for environmental matters related to the transferred property. If the transferee fails to discharge the assumed liability or disputes its responsibility, a regulatory authority or injured person could attempt to hold us responsible, and our remedies against the transferee may be limited by the financial resources of the transferee.
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The Risks Associated with Climate Change May Have an Adverse Impact on Our Business Operations, Financial Condition and Cash Flows
Physical risks of climate change, such as more frequent or more extreme weather events, changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, and other related phenomena, could affect some, or all, of our operations. Severe weather or other natural disasters could be destructive, which could result in increased costs, including supply chain costs. An extreme weather event within the Utilities' service areas can also directly affect their capital assets, causing disruption in service to customers due to downed wires and poles or damage to other operating equipment. Further, as extreme weather conditions increase system stress, we may incur costs relating to additional system backup or service interruptions, and in some instances, we may be unable to recover such costs. For all of these reasons, these physical risks could have an adverse financial impact on our business operations, financial condition and cash flows. Climate change poses other financial risks as well. To the extent weather conditions are affected by climate change, customers’ energy use could increase or decrease depending on the duration and magnitude of the changes. Increased energy use due to weather changes may require us to invest in additional system assets and purchase additional power. Additionally, decreased energy use due to weather changes may affect our financial condition through decreased rates, revenues, margins or earnings.
We Could be Exposed to Private Rights of Action Relating to Environmental Matters Seeking Damages Under Various State and Federal Law Theories Which Could Have an Adverse Impact on Our Results of Operations, Financial Condition, Cash Flows and Business Operations
Private individuals may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury, property damages or other relief. For example, claims have been made against certain energy companies alleging that CO2 emissions from power generating facilities constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. While FirstEnergy is not a party to this litigation, it, and/or one of its subsidiaries, could be named in other actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could result in the need to make modifications to our coal-fired plants or reduce emissions, suspend operations or pay money damages or penalties. Adverse rulings in these or other types of actions could have an adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and could significantly impact our business operations.
We Are and May Become Subject to Legal Claims Arising from the Presence of Asbestos or Other Regulated Substances at Some of Our Facilities that May Have an Adverse Impact on our Business Operations, Financial Condition and Cash Flows
We have been named as a defendant in pending asbestos litigations involving multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants, in several states. The majority of these claims arise out of alleged past exposures by contractors (and in Pennsylvania, former employees) at both currently and formerly owned electric generation plants. In addition, asbestos and other regulated substances are, and may continue to be, present at currently owned facilities where suitable alternative materials are not available. We believe that any remaining asbestos at our facilities is contained and properly identified in accordance with applicable governmental regulations, including OSHA. The continued presence of asbestos and other regulated substances at these facilities, however, could result in additional actions being brought against us. This is further complicated by the fact that many diseases, such as mesothelioma and cancer, have long latency periods in which the disease process develops, thus making it impossible to accurately predict the types and numbers of such claims in the near future. While insurance coverages exist for many of these pending asbestos litigations, others have no such coverages, resulting in FirstEnergy being responsible for all defense expenditures, as well as any settlements or verdict payouts.
Risks Related to Business Operations Generally
Temperature Variations as well as Severe Weather Conditions or other Natural Disasters Could Have an Adverse Impact on Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition
Weather conditions directly influence the demand for electric power. Demand for power generally peaks during the summer and winter months, with market prices also typically peaking at that time. Overall operating results may fluctuate based on weather conditions. In addition, we have historically sold less power, and consequently received less revenue, when weather conditions are milder. Severe weather, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, ice or snowstorms, droughts, high winds or other natural disasters, may cause outages and property damage that may require us to incur additional costs that are generally not insured and that may not be recoverable from customers. The effect of the failure of our facilities to operate as planned under these conditions would be particularly burdensome during a peak demand period and could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We Are Subject to Financial Performance Risks from Regional and General Economic Cycles as Well as Heavy Industries such as Shale Gas, Automotive and Steel
Our business follows economic cycles. Economic conditions impact the demand for electricity and declines in the demand for electricity will reduce our revenues. The regional economy in which our Utilities operate is influenced by conditions in industries
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in our business territories, e.g. shale gas, automotive, chemical, steel and other heavy industries, and as these conditions change, our revenues will be impacted.

We Are Subject to Risks Arising from the Operation of Our Power Plants and Transmission and Distribution Equipment Which Could Reduce Revenues, Increase Expenses and Have a Material Adverse Effect on Our Business, Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Operation of generation, transmission and distribution facilities involves risk, including the risk of potential breakdown or failure of equipment or processes due to aging infrastructure, fuel supply or transportation disruptions, accidents, labor disputes or work stoppages by employees, human error in operations or maintenance, acts of terrorism or sabotage, construction delays or cost overruns, shortages of or delays in obtaining equipment, material and labor, operational restrictions resulting from environmental requirements and governmental interventions, and performance below expected levels. In addition, weather-related incidents and other natural disasters can disrupt generation, transmission and distribution delivery systems. Because our transmission facilities are interconnected with those of third parties, the operation of our facilities could be adversely affected by unexpected or uncontrollable events occurring on the systems of such third parties.
Failure to Provide Safe and Reliable Service and Equipment Could Result in Serious Injury or Loss of Life That May Harm Our Business Reputation and Adversely Affect Our Operating Results
We are committed to provide safe and reliable service and equipment in our franchised service territories. Meeting this commitment requires the expenditure of significant capital resources. However, our employees, contractors and the general public may be exposed to dangerous environments due to the nature of our operations. Failure to provide safe and reliable service and equipment due to various factors, including equipment failure, accidents and weather, could result in serious injury or loss of life that may harm our business reputation and adversely affect our operating results through reduced revenues, increased capital and operating costs, litigation or the imposition of penalties/fines or other adverse regulatory outcomes.
Cyber-Attacks, Data Security Breaches and Other Disruptions to Our Information Technology Systems Could Compromise Our Business Operations, Critical and Proprietary Information and Employee and Customer Data, Which Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on Our Business, Results of Operations, Financial Condition and Reputation
In the ordinary course of our business, we depend on information technology systems that utilize sophisticated operational systems and network infrastructure to run all facets of our generation, transmission and distribution services. Additionally, we store sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary or personally identifiable information regarding our business, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, business partners and other individuals in our data centers and on our networks. The secure maintenance of information and information technology systems is critical to our operations.
Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the frequency of cyber-attacks by terrorists, hackers, international activist organizations, countries and individuals. These and other unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our network systems or facilities, or those of third parties with whom we do business in many ways, including directly through our network infrastructure or through fraud, trickery, or other forms of deceiving our employees, contractors and temporary staff. Additionally, our information and information technology systems may be increasingly vulnerable to data security breaches, damage and/or interruption due to viruses, human error, malfeasance, faulty password management or other malfunctions and disruptions. Further, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information and/or security.
Despite security measures and safeguards we have employed, including certain measures implemented pursuant to mandatory NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection standards, our infrastructure may be increasingly vulnerable to such attacks as a result of the rapidly evolving and increasingly sophisticated means by which attempts to defeat our security measures and gain access to our information technology systems may be made. Also, we may be at an increased risk of a cyber-attack and/or data security breach due to the nature of our business.
Any such cyber-attack, data security breach, damage, interruption and/or defect could: (i) disable our generation, transmission (including our interconnected regional transmission grid) and/or distribution services for a significant period of time; (ii) delay development and construction of new facilities or capital improvement projects; (iii) adversely affect our customer operations; (iv) corrupt data; and/or (v) result in unauthorized access to the information stored in our data centers and on our networks, including, company proprietary information, supplier information, employee data, and personal customer data, causing the information to be publicly disclosed, lost or stolen or result in incidents that could result in economic loss and liability and harmful effects on the environment and human health, including loss of life. Additionally, because our generation, transmission and distribution services are part of an interconnected system, disruption caused by a cybersecurity incident at another utility, electric generator, RTO, or commodity supplier could also adversely affect our operations.
Although we maintain cyber insurance and property and casualty insurance, there can be no assurance that liabilities or losses we may incur, including as a result of cybersecurity-related litigation, will be covered under such policies or that the amount of insurance will be adequate. Further, as cyber threats become more difficult to detect and successfully defend against, there can
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be no assurance that we can implement adequate preventive measures, accurately assess the likelihood of a cyber-incident or quantify potential liabilities or losses. Also, we may not discover any data security breach and loss of information for a significant period of time after the data security breach occurs.
For all of these reasons, any such cyber incident could result in significant lost revenue, the inability to conduct critical business functions and serve customers for a significant period of time, the use of significant management resources, legal claims or proceedings, regulatory penalties, significant remediation costs, increased regulation, increased capital costs, increased protection costs for enhanced cybersecurity systems or personnel, damage to our reputation and/or the rendering of our internal controls ineffective, all of which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and reputation.
Physical Acts of War, Terrorism or Other Attacks on any of Our Facilities or Other Infrastructure Could Have an Adverse Effect on Our Business, Results of Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition
As a result of the continued threat of physical acts of war, terrorism, or other attacks in the United States, our electric generation, fuel storage, transmission and distribution facilities and other infrastructure, including power plants, transformer and high voltage lines and substations, or the facilities or other infrastructure of an interconnected company, could be direct targets of, or indirect casualties of, an act of war, terrorism, or other attack, which could result in disruption of our ability to generate, purchase, transmit or distribute electricity for a significant period of time, otherwise disrupt our customer operations and/or result in incidents that could result in harmful effects on the environment and human health, including loss of life. Any such disruption or incident could result in a significant decrease in revenue, significant additional capital and operating costs, including costs to implement additional security systems or personnel to purchase electricity and to replace or repair our assets over and above any available insurance reimbursement, higher insurance deductibles, higher premiums and more restrictive insurance policies, legal claims or proceedings, greater regulation with higher attendant costs, generally, and significant damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Capital Improvements and Construction Projects May Not be Completed Within Forecasted Budget, Schedule or Scope Parameters or Could be Canceled Which Could Adversely Affect Our Business and Results of Operations
Our business plan calls for execution of extensive capital investments in transmission and distribution, including but not limited to our Energizing the Future transmission expansion program. We also anticipate spending up to $1.7 billion per year in distribution capital expenditures through 2023. We may be exposed to the risk of substantial price increases in, or the adequacy or availability of, the costs of labor and materials used in construction, nonperformance of equipment and increased costs due to delays, including delays relating to the procurement of permits or approvals, adverse weather or environmental matters. We engage numerous contractors and enter into a large number of construction agreements to acquire the necessary materials and/or obtain the required construction-related services. As a result, we are also exposed to the risk that these contractors and other counterparties could breach their obligations to us. Such risk could include our contractors’ inabilities to procure sufficient skilled labor as well as potential work stoppages by that labor force. Should the counterparties to these arrangements fail to perform, we may be forced to enter into alternative arrangements at then-current market prices that may exceed our contractual prices, with resulting delays in those and other projects. Although our agreements are designed to mitigate the consequences of a potential default by the counterparty, our actual exposure may be greater than these mitigation provisions. Also, because we enter into construction agreements for the necessary materials and to obtain the required construction related services, any cancellation by FirstEnergy of a construction agreement could result in significant termination payments or penalties. Any delays, increased costs or losses or cancellation of a construction project could adversely affect our business and results of operations, particularly if we are not permitted to recover any such costs in rates.
The Outcome of Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation, and Similar Proceedings Involving Our Business, or That of One or More of Our Operating Subsidiaries, Is Unpredictable and an Adverse Decision in Any Material Proceeding Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations
We are involved in a number of litigation, arbitration, mediation, and similar proceedings. These and other matters may divert financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit our operations. Further, no assurances can be given that the resolution of these matters will be favorable to us. If certain matters were ultimately resolved unfavorably to us, the results of operations and financial condition of FirstEnergy could be materially adversely impacted.
In addition, we are sometimes subject to investigations and inquiries by various state and federal regulators due to the heavily regulated nature of our industry. Any material inquiry or investigation could potentially result in an adverse ruling against us, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition and operating results.
We Face Certain Human Resource Risks Associated with Potential Labor Disruptions and/or With the Availability of Trained and Qualified Labor to Meet Our Future Staffing Requirements
We are continually challenged to find ways to balance the retention of our aging skilled workforce while recruiting new talent to mitigate losses in critical knowledge and skills due to retirements. Additionally, a significant number of our physical workforce are
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represented by unions. While we believe that our relations with our employees are generally fair, we cannot provide assurances that the company will be completely free of labor disruptions such as work stoppages, work slowdowns, union organizing campaigns, strikes, lockouts or that any labor disruption will be favorably resolved. Mitigating these risks could require additional financial commitments and the failure to prevent labor disruptions and retain and/or attract trained and qualified labor could have an adverse effect on our business.
Significant Increases in Our Operation and Maintenance Expenses, Including Our Health Care and Pension Costs, Could Adversely Affect Our Future Earnings and Liquidity
We continually focus on limiting, and reducing where possible, our operation and maintenance expenses. However, we expect to continue to face increased cost pressures related to operation and maintenance expenses, including in the areas of health care and pension costs. We have experienced health care cost inflation in recent years, and we expect our cash outlay for health care costs, including prescription drug coverage, to continue to increase despite measures that we have taken requiring employees and retirees to bear a higher portion of the costs of their health care benefits. The measurement of our expected future health care and pension obligations and costs is highly dependent on a variety of assumptions, many of which relate to factors beyond our control. These assumptions include investment returns, interest rates, discount rates, health care cost trends, benefit design changes, salary increases, the demographics of plan participants and regulatory requirements. While we anticipate that our operation and maintenance expenses will continue to increase, if actual results differ materially from our assumptions, our costs could be significantly higher than expected which could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
Changes in Technology and Regulatory Policies May Make Our Facilities Significantly Less Competitive and Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations
Traditionally, electricity is generated at large, central station generation facilities. This method results in economies of scale and lower unit costs than newer generation technologies such as fuel cells, microturbines, windmills and photovoltaic solar cells. It is possible that advances in newer generation technologies will make newer generation technologies more cost-effective, or that changes in regulatory policy will create benefits that otherwise make these newer generation technologies even more competitive with central station electricity production. To the extent that newer generation technologies are connected directly to load, bypassing the transmission and distribution systems, potential impacts could include decreased transmission and distribution revenues, stranded assets and increased uncertainty in load forecasting and integrated resource planning and could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Energy Companies are Subject to Adverse Publicity Causing Less Favorable Regulatory and Legislative Outcomes Which Could have an Adverse Impact on Our Business
Energy companies, including the Utilities and Transmission Companies, have been the subject of criticism on matters including the reliability of their distribution services and the speed with which they are able to respond to power outages, such as those caused by storm damage. Adverse publicity of this nature, as well as negative publicity associated with the operation or bankruptcy of nuclear and/or coal-fired facilities or proceedings seeking regulatory recoveries may cause less favorable legislative and regulatory outcomes and damage our reputation, which could have an adverse impact on our business.
Risks Associated with Markets and Financial Matters
Interest Rates and/or a Credit Rating Downgrade Could Negatively Affect Our or Our Subsidiaries' Financing Costs, Ability to Access Capital and Requirement to Post Collateral

We have near-term exposure to interest rates from outstanding indebtedness indexed to variable interest rates, and we have exposure to future interest rates to the extent we seek to raise debt in the capital markets to meet maturing debt obligations and fund construction or other investment opportunities. Past disruptions in capital and credit markets have resulted in higher interest rates on new publicly issued debt securities, increased costs for certain of our variable interest rate debt securities and failed remarketing of variable interest rate tax-exempt debt issued to finance certain of our facilities. Similar future disruptions could increase our financing costs and adversely affect our results of operations. Also, interest rates could change as a result of economic or other events that are beyond our risk management processes. As a result, we cannot always predict the impact that our risk management decisions may have if actual events lead to greater losses or costs that our risk management positions were intended to hedge. Although we employ risk management techniques to hedge against interest rate volatility, significant and sustained increases in market interest rates could materially increase our financing costs and negatively impact our reported results of operations.

We rely on access to bank and capital markets as sources of liquidity for cash requirements not satisfied by cash from operations. Additional downgrades in FirstEnergy or FirstEnergy subsidiaries' credit ratings from the nationally recognized credit rating agencies, particularly to levels below investment grade, could negatively affect our ability to access the bank and capital markets, especially in a time of uncertainty in either of those markets, and may require us to post cash collateral to support outstanding commodity positions in the wholesale market, as well as available letters of credit and other guarantees. Furthermore, additional downgrades could increase the cost of such capital by causing us to incur higher interest rates and fees
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associated with such capital. Additional rating downgrades would further increase our interest expense on certain of FirstEnergy's long-term debt obligations and would also further increase the fees we pay on our various existing credit facilities, thus increasing the cost of our working capital. Such additional rating downgrades could also negatively impact our ability to grow our regulated businesses or execute on our business strategies by substantially increasing the cost of, or limiting access to, capital.

In addition, events related to the ongoing government investigations may expose us to higher interest rates for additional indebtedness, whether as a result of ratings downgrades or otherwise, and could restrict our ability to obtain additional or replacement financing on acceptable terms or at all. See “Failure to Comply with Debt Covenants in our Credit Agreements or Conditions Could Adversely Affect our Ability to Execute Future Borrowings and/or Require Early Repayment, and Could Restrict our Ability to Obtain Additional or Replacement Financing on Acceptable Terms or at All.”

Financial Risks Associated with Owning Coal-Fired Generation may have an Adverse Impact on our Business Operations, Financial Condition and Cash Flows

86% of MP's generation fleet, totaling 3,093 MWs, is coal-fired. Recently, certain members of the investment community have adopted investment policies promoting the divestment of coal-fired generation or otherwise limiting new investments in coal-fired generation. The impact of such efforts may adversely affect the demand for and price of our common stock and impact our and MP's access to the capital and financial markets. Further, certain insurance companies have established policies limiting coal-related underwriting and investment. Consequently, these policies aimed at coal-fired generation could have a material adverse impact on our business operations, financial condition, and cash flows.

Our Results of Operations and Financial Condition May be Adversely Affected by the Volatility in Pension and OPEB Expenses Due to Capital Market Performance and Other Changes

FirstEnergy recognizes in income the change in the fair value of plan assets and net actuarial gains and losses for its pension and OPEB plans. This adjustment is recognized in the fourth quarter of each year and whenever a plan is determined to qualify for a remeasurement, resulting in greater volatility in pension and OPEB expenses and may materially impact our results of operations.

Our financial statements reflect the values of the assets held in trust to satisfy our obligations under pension and OPEB plans. Certain of the assets held in these trusts do not have readily determinable market values. Changes in the estimates and assumptions inherent in the value of these assets could affect the value of the trusts. If the value of the assets held by the trusts declines by a material amount, our funding obligation to the trusts could materially increase. These assets are subject to market fluctuations and will yield uncertain returns, which may fall below our projected return rates. Forecasting investment earnings and costs to pay future pension and other obligations requires significant judgment and actual results may differ significantly from current estimates. Capital market conditions that generate investment losses or that negatively impact the discount rate and increase the present value of liabilities may have significant impacts on the value of the pension and other trust funds, which could require significant additional funding and negatively impact our results of operations and financial position.

In the Event of Volatility or Unfavorable Conditions in the Capital and Credit Markets, Our Business, Including the Immediate Availability and Cost of Short-Term Funds for Liquidity Requirements, Our Ability to Meet Long-Term Commitments and the Competitiveness and Liquidity of Energy Markets May be Adversely Affected, Which Could Negatively Impact Our Results of Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition
We rely on the capital markets to meet our financial commitments and short-term liquidity needs if internal funds are not available from our operations. We also use letters of credit provided by various financial institutions to support our hedging operations. We also deposit cash in short-term investments. In the event of volatility in the capital and credit markets, our ability to draw on our credit facilities and cash may be adversely affected. Our access to funds under those credit facilities is dependent on the ability of the financial institutions that are parties to the facilities to meet their funding commitments. Those institutions may not be able to meet their funding commitments if they experience shortages of capital and liquidity or if they experience excessive volumes of borrowing requests within a short period of time. Any delay in our ability to access those funds, even for a short period of time, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Should there be fluctuations in the capital and credit markets as a result of uncertainty, changing or increased regulation, reduced alternatives or failures of significant foreign or domestic financial institutions or foreign governments, our access to liquidity needed for our business could be adversely affected. Unfavorable conditions could require us to take measures to conserve cash until the markets stabilize or until alternative credit arrangements or other funding for our business needs can be arranged. Such measures could include deferring capital expenditures, changing hedging strategies to reduce collateral-posting requirements, and reducing or eliminating future dividend payments or other discretionary uses of cash.
Energy markets depend heavily on active participation by multiple counterparties, which could be adversely affected should there be disruptions in the capital and credit markets. Reduced capital and liquidity and failures of significant institutions that participate in the energy markets could diminish the liquidity and competitiveness of energy markets that are important to our business. Perceived weaknesses in the competitive strength of the energy markets could lead to pressures for greater regulation of those
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markets or attempts to replace those market structures with other mechanisms for the sale of power, including the requirement of long-term contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.
Our Use of Non-Derivative and Derivative Contracts to Mitigate Risks Could Result in Financial Losses That May Negatively Impact Our Financial Results
We may use a variety of non-derivative and derivative instruments, such as swaps, options, futures and forwards, to manage our financial market risks. In the absence of actively quoted market prices and pricing information from external sources, the valuation of some of these derivative instruments involves management’s judgment or use of estimates. As a result, changes in the underlying assumptions or use of alternative valuation methods could affect the reported fair value of some of these contracts. Also, we could recognize financial losses as a result of volatility in the market value of these contracts if a counterparty fails to perform or if there is limited liquidity of these contracts in the market.

The Anticipated Phasing Out of LIBOR after 2021 Could Adversely Affect our Financial Results
A portion of FirstEnergy’s indebtedness bears interest at fluctuating interest rates, primarily based on LIBOR. LIBOR tends to fluctuate based on general interest rates, rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks, the supply of and demand for credit in the London interbank market and general economic conditions. FirstEnergy has not hedged its interest rate exposure with respect to its floating rate debt. Accordingly, FirstEnergy’s interest expense for any particular period will fluctuate based on LIBOR and other variable interest rates. On July 27, 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that regulates LIBOR) announced that it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. It is unclear whether new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021, and there is considerable uncertainty regarding the publication of LIBOR beyond 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a newly created index (the secured overnight financing rate or SOFR), calculated based on repurchase agreements backed by treasury securities. It is not possible to predict the effect of these changes, other reforms or the establishment of alternative reference rates in the United Kingdom, the United States or elsewhere. To the extent these interest rates increase, interest expense will increase. If sources of capital for FirstEnergy are reduced, capital costs could increase materially. Restricted access to capital markets and/or increased borrowing costs could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and liquidity.

We Must Rely on Cash from Our Subsidiaries and Any Restrictions on The Utilities and Transmission Companies’ Ability to Pay Dividends or Make Cash Payments to Us May Adversely Affect Our Cash Flows and Financial Condition

We are a holding company and our investments in our subsidiaries are our primary assets. Substantially all of our business is conducted by our subsidiaries. Consequently, our cash flow, including our ability to pay dividends and service debt, is dependent on the operating cash flows of our subsidiaries and their ability to upstream cash to the holding company. Any inability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or make cash payments to us may adversely affect our cash flows and financial condition.

Additionally, the Utilities and Transmission Companies are regulated by various state utility and federal commissions that generally possess broad powers to ensure that the needs of utility customers are being met. Those state and federal commissions could attempt to impose restrictions on the ability of the Utilities and Transmission Companies to pay dividends or otherwise restrict cash payments to us.

We Cannot Assure Common Shareholders that Future Dividend Payments Will be Made, or if Made, in What Amounts They May be Paid

Our Board of Directors will continue to regularly evaluate our common stock dividend and determine whether to declare a dividend, and an appropriate amount thereof, each quarter taking into account such factors as, among other things, our earnings, financial condition and cash flows from subsidiaries, as well as general economic and competitive conditions. We cannot assure common shareholders that dividends will be paid in the future, or that, if paid, dividends will be at the same amount or with the same frequency as in the past.

Certain FirstEnergy Companies Have Guaranteed the Performance of Third Parties, Which May Result in Substantial Costs or the Incurrence of Additional Debt and Adversely Affect Our Results of Operations, Cash Flows and Financial Condition

Certain FirstEnergy companies have issued guarantees of the performance of others, which obligates such FirstEnergy companies to perform in the event that the third parties do not perform. For instance, FE is a guarantor under a syndicated senior secured term loan facility, under which Global Holding's outstanding principal balance is approximately $108 million at December 31, 2020. In the event of non-performance by the third parties, FirstEnergy could incur substantial cost to fulfill this obligation and other obligations under such guarantees. Such performance guarantees could have a material adverse impact on our financial position and operating results.

Additionally, with respect to FEV's investment in Global Holding, it could require additional capital from its owners, including FEV, to fund operations and meet its obligations under its term loan facility. These capital requirements could be significant and if other partners do not fund the additional capital, resulting in FEV increasing its equity ownership and obtaining the ability to direct the
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significant activities of Global Holding, FEV may be required to consolidate Global Holding, increasing FirstEnergy's debt by $108 million.

The Tax Characterization of Our Distributions to Shareholders Will Fluctuate

When we make distributions to shareholders, we are required to subsequently determine and report the tax characterization of those distributions for purposes of shareholders’ income taxes. Whether a distribution is characterized as a dividend or a return of capital (and possible capital gain) depends upon an internal tax calculation to determine earnings and profits for income tax purposes (E&P). E&P should not be confused with earnings or net income under GAAP. Further, after we report the expected tax characterization of distributions we have paid, the actual characterization could vary from our expectation with the result that holders of our common stock could incur different income tax liabilities than expected.

In general, distributions are characterized as dividends to the extent the amount of such distributions do not exceed our calculation of current or accumulated E&P. Distributions in excess of current and accumulated E&P may be treated as a non-taxable return of capital. Generally, a non-taxable return of capital will reduce an investor’s basis in our stock for federal tax purposes, which will impact the calculation of gain or loss when the stock is sold.

Our internal calculation of E&P can be impacted by a variety of factors. FirstEnergy exhausted its accumulated E&P in the second half of the 2019 tax year. This elimination of accumulated E&P will make it more likely that at least a portion of our current or future distributions will be characterized for shareholders’ tax purposes as a return of capital. Upon such characterization, shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the income tax treatment of our distributions to them.

ITEM 1B.     UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.     PROPERTIES

The first mortgage indentures for the Ohio Companies, Penn, MP, PE and WP constitute direct first liens on substantially all of the respective physical property, subject only to excepted encumbrances, as defined in the first mortgage indentures. See Note 11, "Capitalization," of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information concerning financing encumbrances affecting certain of the Utilities’ properties.

FirstEnergy controls the following generation sources as of December 31, 2020, shown in the table below. Except for the OVEC participation referenced in the footnotes to the table, the Regulated Distribution segment generating units are owned by either JCP&L or MP.
Plant (Location)UnitTotalCorp/OtherRegulated Distribution
Net Demonstrated Capacity (MW)
Super-critical Coal-fired:  
Harrison (Haywood, WV)1-31,984 — 1,984 
Fort Martin (Maidsville, WV)1-21,098 — 1,098 
3,082 — 3,082 
Sub-critical and Other Coal-fired:
OVEC (Cheshire, OH) (Madison, IN)1-1178 (1)67 11 
Pumped-storage Hydro:  
 
Bath County (Warm Springs, VA)1-6487 (2)— 487 
Yards Creek (Blairstown Twp., NJ)1-3210 (3)— 210 
697 — 697 
Total