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2020 Electricity Rates Increase for Some Pennsylvania Residents

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A press release by the utility provider FirstEnergy has stated that their Pennsylvania electricity rates will increase in order to pay for grid improvements.

The estimated increases for each of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania subsidiaries, based on 1,000 kWh of usage, are as follows:

  • Metropolitan Edison (Met-ed) – $0.64
  • Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) – $0.64
  • Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power) – $1.34
  • West Penn Power – $0.44

This extra charge will show up on customer’s bills as a “Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC)” and is intended to help fund improvements to utility infrastructure.

What Are the Improvements to Utility Infrastructure?

These improvements were set in motion back in 2012 by Pennsylvania Act 11. From 2016-2019, FirstEnergy spent $360 million on infrastructure improvements. This was the first phase of their “Long Term Infrastructure Improvement Plans.”

On January 23rd, FirstEnergy was approved for the second phase. Over the next five years, FirstEnergy will spend $572 million on more grid improvements.

FirstEnergy states that this is necessary to ensure electricity can continue to be delivered reliably to Pennsylvania consumers. The improvements “include replacing older poles, underground and overhead lines and fuses; installing new substation equipment, network vaults, and manhole covers; and reconfiguring circuits.”

How Can You Save Money on Your Pennsylvania Electric Bill?

Although you cannot avoid the DSIC charge, you may be able to save money on your Pennsylvania electricity supply.

Since Pennsylvania is an energy choice state, residents can pick their electricity supplier. To compare your current electricity rate on your bill with competitor rates, you can type your zip code in at ElectricityRates.com. After finding the right supplier for you, you can switch right on the site.

After switching, you just wait for your new rate to kick in within 1-2 billing cycles. That’s it. There is no interruption in your service and your bill is still through your utility provider. Your electricity supplier is the only thing that has changed.

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