FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania Utilities File Rate Plans to Help Ensure Continued Reliability Enhancements
To help ensure continued reliability enhancements for its two million Pennsylvania customers, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiaries Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), West Penn Power Company (West Penn Power), Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) and Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) filed comprehensive distribution rate plans with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PPUC).
For Penn Power, this is the first base rate case filed in 26 years; for West Penn Power, the first in 20 years; and for Met-Ed and Penelec, the first in eight years.
FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania utilities currently have, on average, the lowest rates in the state among investor-owned electric distribution companies. If approved, the new rates would still, on average, be lower than the average rates charged today by other Pennsylvania utilities. Across FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania operating companies, the proposed rate plan would result in an average bill increase of $16.59 per month for residential customers.
Since 2006, FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania utilities have invested more than $1.8 billion for service-related enhancement projects for customers that have not been recovered through the rate process.
"Over the years, with strict cost management and careful planning, we have enhanced service reliability for our customers while holding the line on electric rates," said Dave Karafa, president of Pennsylvania Operations for FirstEnergy. "Our proposed rate plans are needed in order to make critical customer enhancements, including infrastructure enhancements, by using technology to help reduce the number of outages and the duration and number of affected customers when an outage does occur. The plans are designed to bring our revenues in line with our costs, while minimizing the impact to our customers."
The rate requests for each utility will include assistance to low-income customers. Here are the specifics for each rate plan:
- Penn Power has requested an increase of $28.5 million or approximately 8.7 percent over current rates. If approved, the total bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (KWH) per month would increase 11.8 percent, or $12.39, for a new monthly total bill of $117.15. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 2.6 percent or $22.72 for a total bill of $898.94. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 megawatts for 474 hours would decrease 0.1 percent or $354.09 to $405,471.70.
- West Penn Power has requested an increase of $115.5 million or approximately 8.4 percent over current rates. If approved, the total bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (KWH) per month would increase 14.7 percent, or $13.62, for a new monthly total bill of $106.09. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 4.0 percent or $30.26 for a total bill of $784.73. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 megawatts for 474 hours would increase 3.7 percent or $13,618.41 to $384,356.36.
- Penelec has requested an increase of $119.8 million or approximately 8.6 percent over current rates. If approved, the total bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (KWH) a month would increase 16.3 percent, or $19.58, for a new monthly bill of $140.04. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 7.3 percent or $70.59 for a total bill of $1,043.98. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 megawatts for 474 hours would increase 0.9 percent or $4,954.38 to $579,674.81.
- Met-Ed has requested an increase of $151.9 million or approximately 11.5 percent over current rates. If approved, the total bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (KWH) per month would increase 17.8 percent, or $20.78, for a new monthly bill of $137.34. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 7.2 percent or $63.64 for a total bill of $950.04. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 megawatts for 474 hours would increase 2.1 percent or $9,278.51 to $454,140.75.
FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania utilities have requested that the proposed rates would take effect October 3, 2014.
FirstEnergy's base rate plans benefit customers by supporting continued service reliability investments to the local distribution networks that deliver electricity to the homes and businesses in our communities. If approved, planned enhancements would include replacing circuits, enhancing substation security, inspecting and replacing poles, and enhancing tree trimming activities. FirstEnergy will also continue to build infrastructure necessary to support state-of-the-art technologies that can be operated remotely in order to help prevent some outages from occurring, reduce the number of affected customers when an outage does occur, and shorten outage duration.
Penn Power serves approximately 161,000 customers within 1,100 square miles of western Pennsylvania. West Penn Power serves approximately 720,000 customers within 10,400 square miles of central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Met-Ed serves 560,000 customers within 3,300 square miles of eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania. Penelec serves nearly 600,000 customers within 17,600 square miles of northern and central Pennsylvania.
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. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp. For additional information on the plan, customers may call the company at 1-800-545-7741.
While not a part of the submitted rate plans, effective September 1, 2014, FirstEnergy's Pennsylvania utilities will implement reductions in their Prices-to-Compare (PTC) for all customers. The PTC is the price customers who choose not to shop pay for the generation and transmission of electricity. This cost is revised on a quarterly basis and is a cost passed on to customers - the companies make no profit on the PTC or generation portion of the electric bill.
Click here to read the full press release including forward-looking statements.
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