The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) announced it will hold public input hearings on the proposed distribution rate increase requests for FirstEnergy Corp.'s Pennsylvania subsidiaries, including Penelec and West Penn Power.
The PUC's Office of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hold hearings at from 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Warren County Courthouse; and from 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center, 7794 Peach St., Erie.
On Oct. 2, the requests were suspended for up to seven months and will be assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judge for public hearings and a recommended decision or settlement. A final decision must be made by May 3, 2015. More information on the rate-making process is available on the Commission's website.
West Penn Power proposed to increase its distribution rates by $115.5 million (8.4 percent). Under the request for West Penn Power, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase from $92.47 to $106.09 (14.7 percent). West Penn Power serves about 1.48 million customers in 23 counties.
Penelec proposed to increase its distribution rates by $119.8 million (8.6 percent). Under the request for Penelec, the monthly electric bill for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month would increase from $120.46 to $140.04 (16.3 percent). Penelec serves about 1.2 million customers in 32 counties.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings and provide comments. Customer testimony will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision. The PUC and Office of Consumer Advocate offer tips on how to participate. They include the following: Prepare what you are going to say beforehand, even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read; bring copies, if you are attending an in-person hearing, if you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge as evidence, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants; plan to be questioned, as parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.