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The utility Penelec wants to collect another $20 a month from residential customers.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PAPUC) has scheduled two public hearings to be held at the Ambassador Center to discuss the rate hike.
Unlike the quarterly rate adjustments that utilities are permitted to make — allowing them to pass on the cost of electrical generation to consumers dollar for dollar — Penelec is seeking a rate increase to cover what it says is the rising cost of distribution.
“This is the part of the bill that we control, ” Scot Surgeoner, a spokesman for Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., said in earlier interview. “This is to pay for the work we do, the meters we read, the people we pay. We are trying to match revenue with expenses.”
Penelec had hoped to begin collecting those higher fees at the beginning of October. In what is standard practice, however, the PUC ordered an investigation into the rate hike request.
Input received at recent public hearings is among the evidence that will be considered as the PUC weighs Penelec’s request.
Denise McCracken, a spokeswoman for the PUC, said the public hearings are open to the public. Anyone who wishes to speak is asked to sign in at the beginning of the hearing, she said.