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News & Notices

First Energy Winter Preparations

FirstEnergy’s Ohio Utilities Complete Pre-Winter Inspections, Maintenance and Grid Modernization Work to Keep Power Flowing Safely and Reliably

Companies offer tips for customers to manage seasonal heating bills
Grid Modernization

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 29, 2022 -- With the cold-weather months expected to produce higher electric use, FirstEnergy Corp.'s (NYSE: FE) Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison – recently completed inspections and conducted equipment maintenance to help enhance service reliability for customers when temperatures fall. The companies also are collectively wrapping up more than $500 million in smart grid enhancements in their service areas that began in 2020 under the initial Grid Modernization plan, approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

"Completing inspections and equipment maintenance now can help enhance system reliability to keep power flowing to customers when severe winter weather strikes," said Pat Mullin, acting president of FirstEnergy's Ohio operations. "This work complements the smart grid investments recently made across our Ohio service area, including the installation of new automated equipment and technology in dozens of communities we serve, to help prevent power outages or minimize their impact when they do occur."

Helicopter inspections have been completed on nearly 7,200 miles of high-voltage transmission lines owned by FirstEnergy transmission subsidiaries across the company's entire Ohio footprint. The inspections are designed to detect early-stage equipment issues not visible from the ground. Any potential reliability issues identified during the inspections are addressed.

Tree trimming throughout the year also helps reinforce the power system ahead of the winter season by maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment and helping to protect against tree-related outages caused by the weight of ice and heavy, wet snow on branches. FirstEnergy's utility tree contractors have completed trimming work along more than 7,000 miles of transmission and distribution power lines to date this year across Ohio, and they are on track to complete an additional 1,000 miles of tree trimming by the end of December.

On the ground, proactive equipment inspections include using thermovision cameras to capture infrared images of electrical equipment that can detect potential problems within substations and on power lines that cannot be observed during regular visual inspections. The infrared technology shows heat on a color scale, with brighter colors or "hot spots" indicating areas that could need repairs. These images can identify equipment issues such as loose connections, corrosion and load imbalances, and utility workers are able to proactively make repairs to prevent potential power outages in the future.

Other winter preparation work completed by FirstEnergy utility personnel includes inspections on electrical equipment along neighborhood power lines, like transformers, to ensure the equipment is operational and the lines are ready to perform efficiently when demand for electricity increases during the winter, typically due to heating.

Lastly, company bucket trucks and other vehicles are being inspected to help ensure safe operation during the winter season. Special emphasis is placed on the condition of tires and air braking systems, which can freeze up if moisture is present. Snow removal equipment is also being checked.

Beyond infrastructure maintenance, FirstEnergy's utility employees also participated in readiness exercises and drills throughout the year to test the company's restoration process used to address winter storm-related power outages. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in response to severe weather that has occurred over the last several years.

Customers can review tips to prepare in advance of severe weather, and view restoration updates if storms do cause power outages, by visiting FirstEnergy's 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.

With the winter storm season also comes frigid temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to keep their homes comfortable while managing their electricity bill this cold season. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:

  • Set thermostats as low as comfort will allow. Every degree a customer can decrease the temperature in their home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the winter.
  • Seal any leaks around windows and door frames with caulk or weather stripping to prevent cold air from sneaking into your home.
  • Close the fireplace damper when it is not in use to keep cold air out.
  • Close the drapes at night. During the day, only open those that receive direct sunlight.
  • Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures lower when no one is home and to increase the temperature before arrival back home.
  • Check furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing a heating system to work harder than necessary.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. If you have less than six inches of insulation, you'll benefit by adding more.
  • Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist.

Ohio Edison serves more than one million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OhioEdison, and online at www.ohioedison.com.

The Illuminating Company serves 750,000 customers across Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties. Connect with The Illuminating Company at www.illuminatingcompany.com, on Twitter @IlluminatingCo and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IlluminatingCo.

Toledo Edison serves nearly 315,000 customers in northwest Ohio. Follow Toledo Edison on Twitter @ToledoEdison or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToledoEdison.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter: @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of workers conducting inspections to enhance service reliability for FirstEnergy's utility customers are available for download on Flickr. A video of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection and explaining the work can be found on the company's YouTube channel.

Safety – Administration Building update

Current budget on this project is $3,263,265.

Current Project: The Board of Trustees approved a contract with Infinity Construction in May 2021 for a design-build facility - fire station, police outpost and Town Hall (containing administrative offices & community room). Design and details around the project - designed by DS Architecture, civil engineering by Artman Engineering, Barber & Hoffman as consulting engineers, and EPIC Engineering for electrical & technology. The building structure is a pre-engineered metal building and is scheduled to be completed by late 2022.  

2022 Annual Notice Regarding Required Landscaping and Maintenance of Township Yards

TO ALL PROPERTY OWNERS OF NORTHFIELD CENTER TOWNSHIP:

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT THE FOLLOWING TOWNSHIP ZONING RESOLUTION AND CORRESPONDING SUMMIT COUNTY ORDINANCE IS IN EFFECT IN THE TOWNSHIP OF NORTHFIELD CENTER, AND WILL BE ENFORCED.

SECTION 430.06 OF THE NORTHFIELD CENTER ZONING RESOLUTION, LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE OF YARDS ALONG WITH SUMMIT COUNTY ORDINANCE No. 2011-364 ADOPTED 12-12-11 AMENDING SECTION 521.10, NOXIOUS WEEDS AND RANK VEGETATION.

(a)    It is hereby determined that noxious and/or uncultivated weeds, and grass growing at a height in excess of eight inches or higher and/or landscaping that is damaged dead or overgrown including trees, shrubs or gardens, upon any improved property or if it poses a health and safety hazard to surrounding properties even though it might be on an unimproved property within the Township after the first day of May of each year are a public nuisance.  For purposes herein, property that has constructed upon it, or in proximity to it, any building or similar structure used or intended to be used as the residence or domicile of persons or as a place of business where persons are present during working hours or any property in a residential subdivision/development to which is extended any improvement required by the Subdivision Regulations, shall be considered improved property.  The area designated as the road right-of-way on undeveloped property shall also be maintained in a like manner by the property owner.

(b)    The Township is publishing this determination in a newspaper of local circulation and shall make demand that all owners of improved property, and owners of unimproved property for the road right-of-ways in the Township, regularly remove weeds and cut grass, along with maintaining the landscaping on their property which includes removing all damaged, dead or fallen trees and trimming overgrown shrubs, upon their properties during the ensuing months of the year, and maintain the grass below a height of eight inches.

(c)    Should any weeds, grass or landscaping defined above be found on any improved property or unimproved property in the road right-of-way or determined as a health and safety hazard on any unimproved property within the Township, after the foregoing publication has been completed, the Zoning Inspector shall cause a written notice to be posted on the property and/or with a certified letter of citation to be sent to the owner of record on the tax duplicate lessee, agent or tenant in charge of such land, notifying him that the weeds and/or grass are growing or landscaping is not maintained on such lands and that they must be cut, destroy, trimmed or removed within 5 Days after the service of such notice.  The posted notice on the property will serve as the date of the start of the 5 days. If the owner, lessee, agent or tenant having charge of the lands fails to comply with the above notice, the Zoning Inspector shall cause all weeds herein to be removed, grass to be cut, landscaping to be trimmed and damaged or dead trees or shrubs to be cut, trimmed and/or removed at the expense of the Township.  Thereupon, the expense of all necessary work, including but not limited to cutting, mowing, raking, applying weed killer and removing debris along with administrative fees involved shall be billed to the property owner by certified mail.  Upon his failure to reimburse the Township this amount within thirty days thereafter, the Township Fiscal Officer shall make written return to the County Auditor of the Zoning Inspector’s action with a statement of the charges for the services, including all services referred to above, the fees of the officers who made the service, the notice and return, and a proper description of the premises, and a request that all such cost and fees be entered upon the tax duplicate and a lien upon such lands from and after the date of the entry which shall be collected as other taxes and be returned to the Township according to law.  (Northfield Center Zoning Resolution effective 1-4-01)

Donald A. Saunders, Zoning Inspector

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