Officials reach agreement to reduce electric rates in West Virginia
New rates to last a year
CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved an agreement with Monongahela Power and Potomac Edison, subsidiaries of FirstEnergy Corp., that will reduce electric rates in 2019.
The agreement will lower electric rates by more than $77 million in 2019 due to reduced costs for fuel, purchased power and energy efficiency programs.
The settlement was negotiated by the utilities, commission staff, the Consumer Advocate Division and the West Virginia Energy Users Group. The new rates began Jan. 1 and remain in place until Dec. 31.
As a result, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will decrease by about 2.2 percent or $2.42, which includes $2.13 for fuel and purchased power costs and $.29 for the elimination of the energy efficiency surcharge. The monthly bill for the companies’ typical West Virginia customers will drop to $105.83 from the current $108.25.
“This is the second time in recent months that we have reduced rates for our West Virginia customers,” said Holly Kauffman, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. “In September, we reduced rates by nearly $2 per month for average residential customers from savings associated with the federal tax cut. Those savings, coupled with lower fuel and purchased power costs, will cut the average residential customer’s monthly bill by more than $4. We are committed to providing our customers safe and reliable electricity at an affordable cost.”
With the decreases, rates for Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s West Virginia residential customers will be about 19 percent below the national average.
Under a cost recovery process established by the PSC in 2007, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customer bills are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. Mon Power and Potomac Edison do not profit from fuel and purchased power costs.
To help customers manage their bills, Mon Power and Potomac Edison offer budget plans, special payment plans, and access to energy assistance programs. For home energy efficiency tips, customers can go to www.firstenergycorp.com or call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-255-3443 to request information.
Mon Power serves about 385,000 customers in the northern half of West Virginia and Potomac Edison serves about 140,000 customers in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.