It’s not set in stone yet, but Penelec customers should expect an increase in their monthly electric bills.
The Office of the Administrative Law Judge for the state Public Utility Commission has filed a recommended decision that would resolve Penelec’s first successful rate hike request in 29 years.
That recommendation calls for increasing the monthly residential customer charge by $2.01 to $9.99.
The proposed settlement would also raise other distribution charges based on the amount of electricity a customer uses. The bill for a typical customer, one who uses 1,000 kWh per month, would increase by 13.1 percent, boosting his or her bill from $120.46 to $136.22.
Scott Surgeoner, a spokesman for FirstEnergy Corp., Penelec’s Ohio-based parent company, said that settlement proposal came directly from a group of 14 parties to the rate case, including FirstEnergy, the Office of the Consumer Advocate and a group of industrial customers.
The utility is not permitted to make a profit on power generation costs, which are adjusted quarterly to reflect actual costs.
Surgeoner said the utility is permitted to profit from the distribution part of the bill, which includes the cost of employees, lines, poles and equipment.
That part of a Penelec bill hasn’t changed in 29 years.
“We are very pleased that the judges both recognize the value of matching our revenues (with the utility’s costs,” he said. “This is going to allow us to continue our reliability improvement program.”
This recommendation is not final.
The proposed settlement will be reviewed by commissioners who can approve, reject or partially approve the settlement.