Penelec customers will see a decrease in their price of electricity beginning Sunday.
The residential rate for electricity will decrease from 8.08 cents per kilowatt hour to 7.20 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 or her bill decrease from $99.98 to $93.36, a 6.6 percent decrease, Surgeoner said.
"This is just part of the normal fluctuation of the market. The economy in many cases is not as robust as we would like it, and there is an abundance of electricity. Natural gas is cheap, and that has a big effect on the price of electricity," Surgeoner said.
When electricity caps expired Dec. 31, 2010, Penelec increased the rate from 5.7 cents 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 and deep valleys. As of the latest quarterly adjustment, Penelec's prices had dropped in six of the seven previous quarters.
Penelec serves about 590,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.
For the Altoona area, there are 26 providers in addition to Penelec.
The other providers' rates for the area, according to PAPowerSwitch.com, range from American Power & Gas of Pennsylvania LLC at 6.10 cents per kilowatt hour (variable rate) to Starion Energy Pa. Inc. fixed EcoGreen rate of 11.2 cents per kilowatt hour. To date, more than 2.1 million Pennsylvanians have switched electric suppliers.
The new Penelec price to compare is below the price being offered through the Blair County Chamber of Commerce residential program.
The present program being offered is 7.45 cents per kilowatt hour through December 2016, said Cheryl Hefft, marketing manager for the Eastern Region of OnDemand Energy, which along with Chamber Choice unveiled the residential program.
Anyone interested in the chamber program should call 866-699-9968 or register online at www.ondemandenergy.com.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.