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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Middleburg Heights Resident Wins $1,250 Prize for 1930 Refrigerator in Ohio's Oldest Fridge Contest

Oldest Fridge Contest Highlights FirstEnergy Utility Appliance Recycling Program

CLEVELAND, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mary Schmidt's refrigerator is as old as Mickey Mouse, Scotch Tape and Twinkies.  Schmidt's 1930 refrigerator has tied with a Columbus area resident's 1930 fridge for the title of Ohio's Oldest Fridge.

Mary Schmidt was named the Oldest Fridge Contest winner after scheduling to have her 1930 refrigerator picked up by The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), during this summer's statewide contest.  In addition to the guaranteed $50 incentive that every customer receives for participating in the statewide refrigerator and freezer recycling program, Schmidt also won $1,250 for recycling what is believed to be the state's oldest operating refrigerator.

Schmidt's parents purchased the refrigerator when Mary was only a year old.  She used the fridge throughout her life, and at the time of pickup still possessed all the original paperwork for the appliance.

"That old fridge always ran, and always ran well — I used it my entire life," Schmidt said.  "I read about the contest in the paper, and I thought, 'maybe I'll win something!'"

Schmidt's refrigerator was one of thousands of refrigerators and freezers picked up throughout Ohio during a joint effort among utilities to seek out the oldest functioning fridge in the state.  Another Cleveland resident, Adolph Thomay, won a $250 regional prize for recycling the oldest refrigerator in his utility company's territory.

CEI customers can continue to save money by having an older, less efficient unit in their garage or basement picked up for recycling.  To participate in the program, CEI customers can call 1-877-545-4112, or visit energysaveOhio.com.  The program is limited to removal of two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order and between 10 and 30 cubic feet — standard size for most models.

Recycling refrigerators and freezers provides many benefits for utility customers and the environment.  Many people don't realize older refrigerators and freezers can use up to three times more energy to operate than newer models built to higher energy-efficiency standards.  Program participants can save as much as $150 a year through lower electricity costs by not operating an older refrigerator or freezer.

Units picked up through the program are transported to an appliance recycling facility operated by JACO Environmental.  JACO safely removes harmful materials from the old appliances, reclaiming 95 percent of the materials in the appliances for reuse in manufacturing new products.  Even the foam insulation is safely incinerated to generate electricity.

FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to 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.  Its generation subsidiaries control more than 20,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro, pumped-storage hydro and other renewables.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

www.firstenergycorp.com

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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