Penelec rates drop 1%

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

Effective June 1, the residential rate for electricity decreased from 5.747 cents per kilowatt hour to 5.668 cents per kwh — a 1% 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 slightly from $109.82 to $109.22. That 60 cent decrease represents about a one-half percent bill decrease, Meyers said.

Meyers said it is unusual for the price to dip going into the summer months when power has typically been a little more expensive in anticipation of people cranking up their air conditioners.

“Numerous variables, in­cluding supply and demand, natural gas price to generate electricity, factor into the price to compare. The net result is power prices have slipped just a bit, which is good news for Penelec’s residential customers,” 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 53 providers in addition to Penelec. The other providers’ rates for the area, according to PAPower Switch.com, 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 6.3 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 .wglenergy.com/kinect.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.