If you are a West Penn Power customer upset by the potential rate hikes, it’s time for the PUC to hear from YOU

April 4 — When news came out recently that West Penn Power, the local provider for First Energy, said they would be asking the Public Utility Commission (PUC) for a 10.6% increase for the electric rates for residential customers effective June 1, a lot of people were not happy. 

The interesting aspect of this is when you look at the SEC report for First Energy, they sure aren’t losing money. In fact in 2023, they had earnings of more than $1 billion. 

The requested rate increase would provide $169 million in additional revenue from just the West Penn Power branch of First Energy. 

PUC will be taking public comment before this happens, so NOW is the time to have your voice be heard. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “You don’t have to be an expert in public utilities. It’s okay to go on there and just say I’m a customer. This will really affect my budget in this way. If the PUC hears a lot of those comments, I would think that certainly will play into the decision they make. They could just deny this outright. They might grant them an increase of 5%, 7%, who knows where this thing will land. But the point is, public input is invited and I would encourage listeners to do it.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “This would be a good one. This would be an actual, beneficial, you could make an impact if you do this one.” 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM suggested, “My keyboard warriors, unite!” 

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “I encourage people to go out there and comment away. The only thing that will put a pause on these or reduce the dramatic increase is just being inundated by comments from the customers because that is who is being impacted by these potential rate increases. Very frankly, I also encourage folks to go out to PA Power Choice and shop for your electricity. It is an option in Pennsylvania. I’ve done it and gotten a lower rate. I’m in the West Penn service territory as well. I went out and shopped and got a lower rate. So comment as a First Energy or West Penn customer but also go out and shop and make the most of your power dollar.” 

Ryan said, “When the phones ring and there’s some activity, if there’s enough energy going on to get people’s attention…” 
For the PUC’s website, click here:  https://www.puc.pa.gov/