The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Jan. 19 said that it has approved joint settlements for lower rate increases than originally requested by FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) for its four Pennsylvania subsidiaries – Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power.
The PUC said that it voted 5-0 to approve the joint petitions for partial settlement, which were agreed to by all formal parties in the case, including FirstEnergy; the PUC’s Independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement; and, among others, the state’s Office of the Consumer Advocate.
The PUC said that the rate increases will become effective by Jan. 27.
FirstEnergy, in a separate Jan. 19 statement, said that the new rates will result in the following increases for residential customers using 1,000 kWh a month:
- Met-Ed customers will see an average increase of 10.7%, or $13.91, for a total bill of $143.73; overall, the company will receive an increase of $96m
- Penelec customers will see an average increase of 12.8%, or $17.62, for a total bill of $155.51; in total, the company will receive an increase of $100.4m
- Penn Power customers will see an average increase of 10.4%, or $13.51, for a total bill of $143.57; the company will receive an increase of $29.2m
- West Penn Power customers will see an average increase of 7.2%, or $8.09, for a total bill of $121.08; overall, the company will receive an increase of $65.6m
A company spokesperson on Jan. 26 told TransmissionHub that those costs – which are different than the figures noted in the PUC’s statement – reflect updated rider information. Those numbers are updated annually, he said, adding that one rider, for instance, is for default service support.
According to the PUC’s Jan. 19 order, with limited exceptions under the terms of the partial settlements, the companies have agreed, among other things, that they will not file for distribution base rate increases before Jan. 27, 2019.
The partial settlements provide ratepayers the opportunity to continue to receive safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates, as well as allow the companies sufficient additional revenues to meet their operating and capital expenses and provide them the opportunity to earn a reasonable return on investment, the PUC said.
In FirstEnergy’s statement, Linda Moss, FirstEnergy president of Pennsylvania Operations, said that the PUC’s action “will provide us the resources and technology necessary to continue to enhance our infrastructure and provide safe and reliable electric service for our customers."