PUC Mounts Probe Into FirstEnergy Companies’ $439M in Annual Rate Requests

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted on June 9 to investigate distribution rate increase requests for Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed) and West Penn Power – collectively referred to as the FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Companies.

The PUC voted 4-0 to mount a probe into the requests, which propose a cumulative increase of $439 million in annual rates (Docket Nos. R-2016-2537355 , R-2016-2537359, R-2016-2537352, and R-2016-2537349).

The four utilities had made a request for the commission to consolidate their cases because, they said, “There is a fundamental commonality to virtually all of the components of the companies’ revenue requirements, rate designs, and related issues.”

Specifically, the companies have made the following requests:

  • Penn Power – which provides electric distribution services to about 163,000 ratepayers – asked for an annual increase in rates of $42.0 million, or 9.5 percent over current rates. Under the proposal, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month would increase from $130.06 to $148.51 (14.2 percent).
  • Penelec – which provides electric distribution services to about 584,000 customers – asked for an annual increase in rates of $158.8 million, or 11.4 percent over current rates. Under the proposal, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh/ month would increase from $137.89 to $161.50 (17.1 percent).
  • Met-Ed – which provides electric distribution service to about 558,000 Pennsylvanians – asked for an annual increase in rates of $140.2 million, or 9.5 percent over current rates. Under the proposal, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh/month would increase from $129.82 to $147.34 (13.6 percent).
  • West Penn Power – which provides electric distribution service to about 721,000 customers – asked for an annual increase in rates of $98.2 million, or 5.7 percent over current rates. Under the proposal, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh/ month would increase from $112.99 to $123.88 (9.6 percent).

The requests have been suspended for up to seven months by the PUC, and will be assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judge for public hearings and recommended decisions or settlements. Final decisions must be made by Jan. 27, 2017.

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