Penelec customers will see an increase in their price of electricity beginning June 1.
The residential rate for electricity will increase from 6.98 cents per kilowatt hour to 8.73 cents per kilowatt hour, said spokesman Scott Surgeoner of FirstEnergy Corp., Penelec's parent company.
The average residential customer who uses 750 kilowatt hours per month will see his bill increase from $94.79 to $106.10, an 11.9 percent increase.
The increase in the price of electricity is part of the market volatility, Surgeoner said.
"We are also getting back into the summer months when traditionally electricity prices go higher, due to increased demand. There has also been some improvement in the overall economy, which can drive prices up," Surgeoner said.
When electricity rate caps expired Dec. 31, 2010, Penelec increased the rate from 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour to 7.03 cents per kilowatt hour for residential customers. The rate, which Penelec calls its "price to compare," has fluctuated since that time. The company updates prices quarterly to minimize spikes and deep valleys.
As of the last quarterly adjustment, Penelec's prices had dropped in four of the five previous quarters.
Penelec serves 600,000 customers in 31 western Pennsylvania counties.
For the Altoona area, there are 19 providers in addition to Penelec. The other providers' rates for the area, according to PAPowerSwitch.com, range from Palmco Power LLC at 6.12 cents per kilowatt hour to TriEagle Energy LP at 8.69 cents per kilowatt hour.
To date, more than 2.05 million Pennsylvanians have switched electric suppliers.
The Blair County Chamber of Commerce has offered a residential program to all Penelec customers in Blair County. Through the program, offered through FirstEnergy Solutions, an unregulated subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., customers were able to lock in a rate of 7.25 cents per kilowatt hour through the end of 2013. Those customers can switch to a 5.64 cents per kilowatt hour program through the end of 2014.
Customers who are seeking a longer term rate can lock into 7.31 cents per kilowatt hour through July 2019 through the chamber program.
The chamber program is a bigger bargain than ever, said President and CEO Joe Hurd.
Anyone interested in enrolling in the chamber program should call 866-699-9968 or register online at www.ondemandenergy.com.