FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities – Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power (West Penn Power) – filed distribution rate case settlement agreements on October 14 (Docket Number G-2015-2489547), with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PPUC) for a total of over $300 million.
The settlements are aimed at enhancing electric service reliability for more than 2 million customers statewide, according to the company.
If approved by the PPUC, the settlement agreements would result in the following increases for residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month:
- Met-Ed customers would see an average increase of 10.7 percent, or $13.91, for a total bill of $143.73, including an increase in the monthly customer service charge, which helps offset the costs for billing, meter reading and other services, from $10.25 to $11.25. Overall, Met-Ed would receive an increase of $96 million.
- Penelec customers would see an average increase of 12.8 percent, or $17.62, for a total bill of $155.51, including an increase in the monthly customer service charge from $9.99 to $11.25. In total, Penelec would receive an increase of $100.4 million.
- Penn Power customers would see an average increase of 10.4 percent, or $13.51, for a total bill of$143.57, including an increase in the monthly customer service charge from $10.85 to $11.0 Penn Power would receive an increase of $29.2 million as a result of the settlement.
- West Penn Power customers would see an average increase of 7.2 percent, or $8.09, for a total bill of$121.08, including an increase in the customer service charge from $5.81 to $7.44. Overall, West Penn Power would receive an increase of $65.6 million.
The proposed rate plans for each utility are expected to benefit customers by continuing FirstEnergy’s service reliability enhancement efforts in Pennsylvania, including circuit and substation upgrades, pole replacements, additional vegetation management, and equipment inspections. The settlement agreements also include continued assistance for providing service to low-income customers, which is about $95.3 million annually.
Parties to the settlements include the Pennsylvania Office of the Consumer Advocate, the state Office of Small Business Advocate, the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the West Penn Power Industrial Intervenors, the Penelec Industrial Customer Alliance, the Met-Ed Industrial Users Group, The Pennsylvania State University, the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania, Wal-Mart Stores East and Sam’s East, North America Hoganas Holdings, and AK Steel.
“We appreciate the hard work and compromise of all the parties in reaching settlement agreements for Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power,” said Linda Moss, president of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania Operations. “The terms of the settlements will provide us the resources and technology necessary to continue improving our infrastructure to help ensure continued safe and reliable electric service for our customers.”
PPUC final orders on the agreements and new rates for each FirstEnergy utility are expected to be issued on or before January 26, 2017. The utilities would not file for additional distribution base rate increases in Pennsylvania until January 2019 at the earliest, according to the settlement agreements.