Penelec to decrease electric rates

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

Effective Wednesday, the residential rate for electricity decreased from 6.76 cents per kilowatt-hour to 6.51 cents per kwh, according to Todd Meyers, spokesman for FirstEnergy Corp., Penelec’s parent company.

For typical residential customers using 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, bills will drop about $1.91 per month from $116.79 to $114.88, Meyers said.

Meyers said that roughly 50 percent of the Penelec electric bill is for the electricity itself, and the other half is “for us to deliver it to homes and businesses through our wires.”

“I am not sure exactly what caused the slight decrease in winter PTC for Penelec as compared to increases for most of the state’s other major electric utilities. The modest PTC decrease won’t necessarily result in lower monthly bills since it is increased usage that often drives higher winter bills, with customers typically using more electricity for heat to stay comfortable,” Meyers said.

Pennsylvania is a “choice” state where people can choose their electricity supplier, Meyers said.

For the Altoona area, there are 44 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 6.09 cents per kilowatt hour (variable rate) to Smart Energy at 15 cents per kilowatt hour (fixed rate for 6 months).

“For people who choose not to shop, Penelec purchases the electricity on their behalf, collects one bill from the customer for convenience and sends the portion of the bill for the actual electricity itself to the company that provides the generation. For us it is just a pass through. It’s a strange concept, but we don’t care where people purchase the electricity; they remain our customer because we deliver it to their homes or businesses,” Meyers said. “To help customers make an informed decision when shopping for an electric supplier, we print our price to compare on monthly bills that customers who don’t shop will pay. That price to compare changes four times a year — once every three months. Customers need to take time to shop and compare offers … just make sure you read the fine print to understand the details, such as whether it is a fixed or variable price, early termination fees to leave the contract early, etc. You may find a better deal that suits your circumstance.”

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. The current rate being offered to residential customers is a two-year fixed rate of 8.79 cents per kwh.

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 814-946-7467.


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