April 28--ERIE, Pa. -- Penelec customers could be paying more for electricity in 2017.
FirstEnergy, Penelec's Ohio-based parent company, planned to file distribution rate increase requests today with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for Penelec and three other Pennsylvania utilities.
If approved, it would be Penelec's second distribution rate hike in two years after not having one the previous 29 years. The PUC approved a 13.1 percent increase in 2015.
This time, FirstEnergy has requested a 17.1 percent increase for Penelec, which would increase the bill of a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month by $23.61, to $161.50. It's the largest proposed hike among the four utilities.
"We have done a lot of work on our infrastructure since 2014 and this (increase) is to recoup some of that cost," said Scott Surgeoner, a FirstEnergy spokesman. "Though we are delivering fewer kilowatts to our customers due to energy efficiency mandates, we have more infrastructure: more poles, more miles of lines, more equipment to maintain. We also have more customers."
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