Promised Savings Unlikely from FirstEnergy Merger
The proposed FirstEnergy merger has already faced some controversy, and there may be more to come. FirstEnergy claims that by merging all of their utilities, they can reduce costs and pass savings on to customers. But it’s beginning to appear this won’t be the case. So, how will this really affect your electricity rates?
FirstEnergy Utilities File with PA PUC
FirstEnergy announced on September 5th that it’s companies filed a settlement agreement with the PA PUC to merge. The companies include Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, and West Penn Power and serve more than 2 million PA electricity customers all across the state. If approved, the merger would create a new single utility company, FirstEnergy Pennsylvania Electric Company.
The agreement with the PUC includes providing income eligible customers a total of $650,000 in bill assistance over five years. Also, the agreement describes how the new utility may track customer cost savings. It would then factor those savings into future base rate reviews.
Certainly, the merger does sound great on paper. But, that’s before we look at the details. In fact, FirstEnergy customers shouldn’t expect any savings to come their way in the near future.
Will FirstEnergy Customers Pay More for Electricity?
At first, FirstEnergy wants to keep the current rate structure for each of the utilities. So each service area will still have their own Price to Compare (PTC) rate. But within the next 5 to 10 years, they want to set a unified rate across the four districts. If the PUC approves the rate change, some customers could see higher PTC rates compared to the current rate structure. And once a unified rate is improved, it’s appear likely for customers to see higher distribution rate charges on their bills as well.
Unfortunately, FirstEnergy is still not entirely off the hook for the bribery scandal in Ohio. They are now being investigated by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. With this in mind, the PA PUC will hopefully weigh these filings carefully.
Save Money on FirstEnergy Utilities PTC Rates
Sure, First Energy‘s new single utility won’t impose its single PTC rate for several years. But, customers can get in the habit of avoiding those high rates by using their power to choose their own electricity supplier.
To start, the current cheapest plan on the market for all four FirstEnergy areas is the Energy Harbor Safe Harbor 15. This 15 month fixed rate electricity plan doesn’t have monthly charges or early termination fees, giving you the freedom to shop if rates fall.
For Met-Ed customers, this plan comes in at 8.89 cents per kWh. You could save $12 a month compared to the current PTC rate. For Penn Power customers, this plan comes in at 9.39 cents per kWh, potentially saving you $10 a month.
If that plan doesn’t sound right for you, there are other options! Penelec customers can also check out the Direct Energy Live Brighter 12. While this plan is only for new customers, it also comes without monthly charges or early termination fees. And at 12 month fixed rate of 8.89 cents per kWh, you could save $7 a month compared to the current PTC rate.
West Penn Power customers can also check out the Constellation 9 Month Home Power Plan. This 9 month fixed rate plan comes in at 8.59 cents per kWh, which could save you about $12 a month compared to the current PTC rate. There are no monthly charges, but this plan does have a $150 cancellation fee.
Save on Electricity Today with PA Energy Ratings
While the FirstEnergy merger might not save you money on your electricity bills, PA Energy Ratings can! Read reviews and shop for electricity plans. See how easily you can find the best rate for you and your family all in one convenient place: https://www.paenergyratings.com