Penelec decreases rates

Change reflects market function, milder weather

Customers who use Penelec as their power generation supplier will pay less for their electricity beginning today.

The residential rate for electricity has decreased from 6.74 cents per kilowatt hour to 5.88 cents per kwh, said spokesman Scott Sur­geoner of FirstEnergy Corp., Penelec’s parent company.

The average residential customer who uses 750 kilowatt hours per month will see bills decrease from $105.04 to $98.23, about a 6.5 percent decrease.

There are a couple of reasons for the change.

“It is just a function of the market. The supply of electricity is abundant, and the weather has been fairly mild. Also, the price of natural gas remains low as well,” Surgeoner said.

The 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 49 providers in addition to Penelec. The other providers’ rates for the area, according to PAPowerSwitch.com, range from Vista Energy Marketing LP at 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour (fixed rate for three months) to Energy Inc. and Residents Energy LLC at 10.94 cents per kilowatt hour (fixed rate for 12 months).

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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