At FirstEnergy, we have a culture that enables leadership and employees to share and implement innovative ideas to move our company forward while solidifying our role as an industry leading electric utility.

Our Innovation & Digital Factory provides a technology-forward, collaborative space to help us reimagine business processes and explore new and inclusive ways to solve problems. Using Innovation Champions embedded within business units at the company, we identify ideas and process improvements that transform our company.

The organization facilitates cross-functional teams in areas such as advanced analytics, application development and automation to build innovative and transformative solutions that enable the company to improve processes, embrace new technologies and promote data-driven decision making. Collectively, these efforts are moving FirstEnergy forward to a digitally-enabled future by utilizing a hyper-agile, design-thinking approach.

For example, the Innovation & Digital Factory partnered with the Customer Experience team to enhance online payment options for our customers. The Digital Factory team conducted customer research and tested the new designs with them throughout the process to build a digital product our customers asked for. One main goal of the payment initiative was to increase the self-service options available for our customers. As a result, we added more modern and mobile payment methods such as ApplePay®  and GooglePay™.  Additionally, features like Guest Pay make one-time payments easier while Partial Pay and Boost Pay help customers keep the lights on when finances are tight. For additional information, please visit our Customer Experience page.


The Innovation & Digital Factory has also launched two applications that replaced aging software with modern applications, putting an emphasis on the user experience and continuous improvement. Our planners and scheduler use the FirstEnergy Work Scheduler (FEWS) application to allocate and schedule work for the field crews. Our Field Worker Remote Display (FWRD) application is used by our field workers to assist in the execution of their daily work, including construction jobs and restoration efforts. Improving our core technologies enables our front-line workers to serve our customers efficiently and effectively.



FirstEnergy participates in a variety of efforts to support the research, development and deployment of advanced technologies that can enhance reliability and resilience and enable a low-carbon future. Additionally, we participate in many industry collaborations designed to guide energy transition strategies, support equitable decarbonization of the economy and inform climate change responses.

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI): We use EPRI’s industry research to stay informed of the latest energy trends through active membership and advisory participation in research institutes. EPRI is among our most important partnerships through which FirstEnergy participates in numerous research programs and projects, focusing on energy related topics related to transmission, distribution, generation, the environment and sustainability. 

Energy Impact Partners (EIP): We participate in venture capital investments through EIP, a global investment group leading the transition to a sustainable energy future. These investments are focused on transforming the utility industry through the development of emerging industry solutions and close-to-market utility technologies. Our participation provides insight into future industry trends and opportunities, as well as exposure to innovative technologies that can benefit our customers, our company and the environment. For example, FirstEnergy participates in EIP’s Elevate Fund, which is focused on investing in companies founded or run by diverse talent that are driving innovation within EIP’s core mission of advancing the low-carbon economy, including through supply decarbonization, electrification, tech-enabled infrastructure, reliability and resilience, and intelligent demand.

Additionally, FirstEnergy works with coalitions and universities through consortiums and direct research projects. For example, we are participating in a federally funded renewable energy study being conducted by the Smart Electric Power Alliance for the West Virginia Office of Energy. As part of the stakeholder working group, we’re developing a study that outlines natural disaster outage risk and the ability for strategic deployment of microgrids that provide enhanced resiliency to critical infrastructure across the state.


Department of Energy – Grid Resilience & Innovation Partnership (GRIP) Program

FirstEnergy is applying for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) federal grants, which are aligned with our customer-focused Energize365 investments to forge a smarter, more secure electric grid that will deliver the power our customers depend on today while also meeting the challenges of tomorrow. Our Creating Reliable and Equitable Access to energy for customers Through the Energy transition (CREATE) project applications include a robust community benefits plan outlining the expected impact of these projects on jobs; advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; and Justice40 Initiatives.

Last Modified: June 7, 2024