Penelec rates drop slightly

Customers who use Penelec as their power generation supplier are paying less for their electricity.

Effective today, the residential rate for electricity has decreased from 6.29 cents per kilowatt hour to 5.75 cents per kwh — an 8.6 percent decrease — said spokesman Todd Meyers of FirstEnergy Corp., Penelec’s parent company.

The average residential customer who uses 750 kilowatt hours per month will see his bill decrease from $104.41 to $100.81, Meyers said.

“The decrease is part of the ebb and flow. The cost is generally lower in the spring because we are getting out of the high demand heating season. Temperatures are more mild. We may see a bit of a bump up in the summer due to air conditioning needs,” Meyers said.

Power generation costs have fluctuated since Dec. 31, 2010, when electricity caps expired. The electric generation rate, which Penelec calls its price to compare, is updated quarterly. Electric bills are divided into two parts: the cost of generating electricity and the cost of transmission for maintaining electric lines, etc.

Consumers can choose their electric supplier. For the Altoona area, there are 52 providers in addition to Penelec. The other providers’ rates for the area, according to PAPower, range from Agway Energy Services LLC at 4.90 cents per kilowatt hour (variable rate with no term length) to Blue Rock Energy Inc. at 15 cents per kilowatt hour (fixed rate for 12 or 24 months).

Meanwhile, Kinect Energy is partnering with WGL Energy Services to provide electricity and natural gas to small business customers as part of its Chamber Choice program. WGL Energy serves business and residential customers in Pennsyl­vania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The program is open to any local residential customer.

The current rate being offered to residential customers is a two-year fixed rate of 6.76 cents per kilowatt hour.

Customers can secure the rate by going to the Blair Chamber website and clicking on the icon for the Chamber Choice energy program or by visiting www

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.