West Penn Power asks for OVER 10% ELECTRIC RATE INCREASE beginning June 1st

03 April 2024- FirstEnergy Pennsylvania (FE PA), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) doing business as Met-Ed, Penn Power, Penelec and West Penn Power, will request today a review of its base electric rates by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The proposed rate adjustment builds on service reliability enhancements made in recent years by upgrading additional distribution grid equipment, providing ongoing tree trimming with a focus on off-right-of-way trees and creating a dedicated team to help low-income residential customers participate in bill assistance programs.

The rate proposal is designed to benefit more than two million customers by continuing FE PA’s work to reduce or minimize outages throughout its service territory and enhancing key services. Highlights of the rate review proposal include:

  • Modernizing the grid with automated technologies that can prevent or reduce the scope and duration of power outages.
  • Increasing the frequency of inspections of overhead circuits and transformers to identify and replace aging equipment.
  • Converting about 85,000 company-owned streetlights to energy-efficient LED streetlights that save electricity and money.
  • Removing more than 2.4 million trees and overhanging limbs that pose a threat to damage poles and wires along 14,000 miles of line, both on and around power line corridors, over the next 10 years to help reduce tree-related electric service interruptions. Off-right-of-way trees are responsible for more than 90% of tree-caused service interruptions.
  • Creating an Energy Assistance Outreach Team to increase awareness and participation in energy assistance programs available to low-income customers.
  • Eliminating service fees for customers to pay their electric bills by credit card; benchmarking and customer surveys found 45 percent of customers would pay by credit card if there were no fees.
  • Creating an electric vehicle (EV) pilot program to encourage customers to purchase EVs by providing rebates for licensed electricians to install home chargers and other incentives.

FE PA’s rate request totals $502 million across its four Pennsylvania rate districts. If approved, monthly bills would increase on average in the range of $16.61 to $21.30 or about 9.2% to 11.8% for a typical FE PA residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. The average monthly bill for FE PA customers would be in line with the statewide average for typical customers served by the other three major electric utilities in Pennsylvania.  

FE PA last filed a Pennsylvania rate review in 2016 with rates taking effect in January 2017.    

Specific rate review impacts of the current filing are as follows:

  • Penelec has requested an increase of $132 million. If approved, the total bill for the typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase 9.8% or $19.79 for a new monthly total bill of $220.75. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 4.4% or $66.52 for a total bill of $1,576.49. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 MW for 474 hours would increase by 1.8% or $9,806.10 for a total bill of $558,069.72.
  • West Penn has requested an increase of $169 million. If approved, the total bill for the typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase 10.6% or $16.61 for a new monthly total bill of $172.98. The bill for a commercial customer using 40 KW for 250 hours would increase 4.6% or $61.03 for a total bill of $1,374.25. The bill for an industrial customer using 20 MW for 474 hours would increase by 0.3% or $1,917.74 for a total bill of $642,064.14.

Pending PUC approval, FE PA has requested that the new rates take effect on June 1, 2024. For more information about the proposed rate plan, customers may call the company at 1-800-545-7741.