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    Utilities under Ohio's FirstEnergy Corp. umbrella announced on July 18, 2012, that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio had approved the Electric Security Plan (ESP), which allows Ohio utilities Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison to extend their current plans for another two years.

    The ESP currently in use has been widely regarded as a success and has led to locked-in prices and more than $10 million put toward economic development in communities around the state. With the extension, Ohio utilities will be able to continue to hold power auctions to ensure electricity supply for those who do not shop around for a retail energy provider.

    The measure will also help protect customers from energy price fluctuations.

    "Today's decision will allow our Ohio utility customers to continue to benefit from affordable electric rates that reflect competitive market prices," said Anthony J. Alexander, CEO of FirstEnergy. "By essentially extending our ESP through May 2016, we can continue to deliver the benefits of our existing plan, while taking advantage of some additional opportunities to provide our customers with long-term rate stability."

    According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the PUC voted four-to-one in favor of the extension.