In the US state of Ohio, utility subsidiaries of FirstEnergy have filed a settlement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to return $900 million to customers.

Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison are seeking to return the amount as a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

The aim is to reduce consumer outages (duration, frequency), ensure accurate energy billing by eliminating estimated billing and improve customer services and energy efficiency.

The proposal includes investing $500 million to install smart meters and other smart grid technologies and business cases.

If approved, the utilities will reduce monthly bills for consumers using 1,000KWh of energy by $3.90.

The $900 million in tax savings will be achieved over the next 25 years.

Grid modernisation

The $500 million will be invested over the next three years to include advanced grid automation devices, real-time voltage controls and some 700,000 smart meters.

The automated equipment will be installed at 200 distribution lines and the voltage regulators on 202 circuits.

Samuel L. Belcher, president of FirstEnergy Utilities, said: “The agreement filed with the PUCO will deliver financial and service reliability benefits for our customers now and in the future.

“The grid modernisation initiative is consistent with the technology supported by the PUCO and the initial deployment of smart meters for our Ohio utilities will ultimately help customers make more informed decisions about their energy usage.”