West Penn Power History
West Penn Power owes its beginnings to the small interurban railways that snaked throughout the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania.
In 1904, the West Penn Railways company formed to consolidate 5 interurban railways and 10 electric companies. Because Pennsylvania law at the time forbid electric utilities from doing business under a street railway charter, the West Penn Railways company organized the West Penn Electric Company to run its 10 electric power plants.
In 1910, American Water Works & Electric Company (AWWEC) took control of the railway company, forming West Penn Traction as its parent holding company. In 1916, AWWEC split off interurban railways from its utility operations. It separated 53 some subsidiary electric southwestern PA companies from the West Penn Railway and rolled them into a new company as "West Penn Power Company".
At this point, West Penn Power Company had about 24,000 customers. The typical customer used about 200 kWh per year. That changed in the 1920s when more more customers bought electric appliances for their homes. West Penn Power took advantage by launching a campaign in 1926 to encourage customers to purchase refrigerators.
In the late 1990s, Pennsylvania deregulated its electricity market to offer customers energy choice. As a subsidiary of Allegheny Energy, West Penn Power Company reorganized in order to transfer ownership of its generation capacity to other Allegheny Energy subsidiaries. Thus, as a local distribution utility, West Penn Power Company must buy all its electricity from outside generator companies.
In 2011, West Penn Power joined the FirstEnergy family of companies. Today, West Penn Power serves 720,000 customers in 24 Pennsylvania counties.
The West Penn gives back to its community through a number of charitable programs through FirstEnergy. These include energy conservation efforts like the Community Connections Program, supporting education through its STEM Grant, and charitable giving through the FirstEnergy Foundation.
West Penn Power Service Territory
West Penn delivers electricity to nearly 720,000 customers in some or all of these Pennsylvania counties:
West Penn Power serves these cities:
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- Enter zip code.
- Select "electricity".
- Choose "residential" or "business".
- Click "Shop for Rates".
In Pennsylvania, electricity utility service territories may overlap in some zip codes. If the tool reports that it has found more than one serving your zip code, don't worry! Just choose your local utility from those listed.
You'll then get to see the listing of all the energy suppliers' plans available in your area, along with rates, term lengths, and links to more detail information.
How to Start New West Penn Power Service
Getting set up with West Penn Power is easy and convenient. Just visit the West Penn Power web site and simply fill in the online Start Service form.
Start requests take at least 2 days to process and First Energy will send you an email confirming your start date.
Customers should call the West Penn Power Contact Center if they need their service turned on sooner.
Be ready to supply:
- Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
- The start date for electricity service.
- Personal Information: You will need your name, phone number, email address, and your Social Security Number. These will be required.
- West Penn Power will do a soft credit check to determine if a deposit is required.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
Credit Rating -- West Penn has the right to check your credit history and level of credit risk to determine whether a security deposit is necessary. Other factors include whether the customer was previously disconnected or has unpaid energy bills.
TIP -- Be sure to unfreeze your credit. If you have frozen your credit with any of the major credit agencies, you will need to have it temporarily unfrozen before you submit a new service request.
Pay a Deposit -- West Penn must notify you in writing within 3 business days about the specific reasons why you are required to pay a security deposit. PA law states that deposits cannot be greater than an estimated two months usage.
Customers have 21 days after the utilty sends the deposity request notification to make a payment. However, customers have three months to pay the full deposit. The utlity can hold the deposit for 24 months. If the customer pays their bill in full and on time for 12 consecutive months, the deposit will earn interest.
Customers also have the right to use a guarantor who is a credit-worthy customer with West Penn and can pay your bills if you fail to do so.
Understand West Penn Delivery and Supply Charges
In Pennsylvania, residential customers pay for both the cost to deliver their electricity as well as for the amount of electricity supply that they use.
Understand West Penn PTC Charges
When deregulation began in Pennsylvania, all utilities that wanted to participate in consumer choice had to sell off their generators. However, the PAPUC requires these utilities to provide electricity supply at a default rate to customers in their service territory who don't shop for a retail supplier. As a result, these utilities must purchase their electricity supply for the default rate from generator companies.
The PAPUC oversees West Penn Power's default service rates since these represent generation supply costs that are passed directly through the utility onto their customers without mark up. This default rate is also called the "Price to Compare" or PTC.
Price to Compare (PTC)
The PTC default rate represents the actual price (both generation and transmission) the utility pays for the electricity. It not only includes the generator company's price for making the electricity but also the cost to transmit it from power stations over high tension power lines to West Penn Power's local electrical switch yards. From there, the electricity is distributed throughout the West Penn local electrical grid for delivery to homes.
In Pennsylvania, First Energy's utilities set PTC rates by holding auctions to line up their electricity supplies. Auctions are held four times a year to cover four delivery periods. Consequently, West Penn's PTC rates change every March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. When the auctions are completed, the PAPUC must approve the prices for both the generation supply and transmission.
For customers, it means these electricity rates can vary seasonally; low some months, higher the next.
West Penn Power Current PTC Residential Rate: 5.450 cents per kWh, expires 1/31/2022
NOTE: There are approximately thirty-five borough-owned public power systems in Pennsylvania. These purchase energy for their local residents. Many prohibit residents from shopping for their own provider. If you live in one of these communities, check with your local government to learn more.
How Much Do West Penn PTC Charges Cost?
The DOE EIA estimates that the average Pennsylvania residence uses an average of 864 kWh each month. Therefore, an average PTC bill roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate per 864 kWh Used||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate||5.450 cents||0||$47.09|
|Monthly Distribution Charges (excluding riders)||$0.03487 per kWh||$7.44||$37.57|
Understand Pennsylvania Energy Choice
Pennsylvania electric consumers are free to choose their own competitive retail electricity supplier. These alternative suppliers shop deals with different producers on the wholesale market to offer competitive rates. As such, their rates are not controlled by PAPUC the same way that utilities are. This way, retail suppliers are able to offer competitively priced fixed rate plans for a variety of term lengths.
Though it can seem confusing, shopping electricity plans is an easy process. The trick is finding the one that meets your needs. That's why retail energy suppliers in Pennsylvania offer two types of plans:
Your Energy Usage and Understanding Your West Penn Bill
While your energy usage habits are unique to you, any Pennsylvania native will tell you that winters can be bitterly cold and summers can be hazy, hot, and humid. While most PA homes rely on natural gas for heating, roughly 1.6 million (29%) of homes in the state use electricity.
Want to learn more about your home energy usage? West Penn Power customers can track 12 months of their electric usage plus other relevant information on each monthly bill or by logging on to your First Energy account.
The most effective way to cut your energy bills is to reduce your usage by sealing your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Adding insulation to your attic, sealing and insulating your basement, and purchasing a programmable or smart thermostat could also improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your electric bills. Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and may offer programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.
Understand Your West Penn Bill
Your West Penn bill contains many details that can be confusing to customers. But there's lots of useful information to help you better understand your usage and rate. Below, we break down the most important items on a sample West Penn Power Electric bill.
West Penn Sample Bill
- A, B, & C: Bill Overview. It includes your address and personal account number with West Penn, the billing period, the amount due, and the date that the bill is due.
- D & E: Messages and current PTC rate. Here you find important notifications from West Penn as well as current Price to Compare rate offered by West Penn.
- F: Account Summary shows the amounts of any unpaid balances, current West Penn distribution charges, current supply charges, the total bill and the due date.
- G: Meter Summary: This shows the usage information measured by the electric meter at your address.
- H: Charges from West Penn include the type of rate you are being charged, the monthly customer charge, the distribution charges, and the total.
- I: Charges from Electric Generation Supplier show the name and address of your electricity supplier, their base rate charged, and the total supplier charges due.
- J: Account Balances by Company lays out the amounts that have been paid or are owed to West Penn and your supplier.
- K: Shows your usage history per bill over the course of the past year to help you compare your energy use over time and understand trends.
- L: Payment Stub. Just detach and return with your payment. It also includes your account number, amount paid, amount due, and the due date.
West Penn Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local electric utility, West Penn offers several rebate and energy efficiency programs to help customers save money off their monthly bill by upgrading their home's energy performance. Some programs also offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills much easier during those expensive winter months.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|Appliance and HVAC Rebates Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Pennsylvania residential customers of Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power can now take advantage of rebates on the purchase of ENERGY STAR certified appliances and HVAC systems.
|Appliance Turn-In Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Recycle your old working fridge or freezer and get $50. Plus, you save money on your electricity bill.
|Energy Efficient New Homes||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Pennsylvania Energy Efficient New Homes Program provides financial incentives for construction of more energy-efficient single-family, multifamily and manufactured homes.
Entire new homes can also receive the ENERGY STAR certification. Energy efficient homes not only reduce energy costs but also increase comfort. Homes qualified through the FirstEnergy New Homes Program achieve energy efficiency through established, reliable building techniques.
|Home Energy Analyzer||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy's Home Energy Analyzer is a simple, convenient tool you can use to save energy and money. Best of all, it's free. Just register online with your account number and zip code.
|Residential Energy Audit Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy customers can sign up for the low cost Home Energy Audit Program. A certifeid energy audiotr will:
|Lighting Discounts and Water Heating Rebates||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
First Energy's customers can take advantage of instant discounts on the purchase of qualified ENERGY STAR?® certified bulbs.
Customers can also receive an instant $500 discount at participating retailers when they purchase a qualified heat pump water heater.
|West Penn Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
West Penn offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay their account balance in monthly installments. These installments are billed along with your current monthly charges and both must be paid on time, in full each month.
|WARM Program||Residential Energy Efficiency||
Helps eligible West Penn customers using more than 375 kWh per month a way to reduce their electric bills through home weatherization and conservation.
|Medical Certificate||Bill payment assistance||
This will delay termination of service for up to 30 days if you are eligible for a medical certificate or renewal, and if you or anyone living in your home is seriously ill. A licensed physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must notify West Penn in writing.
|LIHEAP Cash and Crisis Grants||Bill payment assistance||
LIHEAP usually opens in early November and closes in early April. The program is available to eligible customers whose income is 150% of the Federal Poverty Level or below.
|Dollar Energy Fund||Bill payment assistance||
West Penn partners with Dollar Energy Fund to provide help to limited-income households.
|West Penn Customer Assistance & Referral Evaluation Service (CARES) program||Bill payment assistance||
There are no income guidelines to qualify for the CARES Program. You may qualify for CARES if you:
|Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP)||Bill payment assistance||
Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP) helps residential customers maintain electric service and eliminate their past-due balance. To apply. Customers will need to supply the following information:
Participants are billed approximately the same amount each month in order to manageably reduce their debt. Apply through the Dollar Energy Fund.
Read West Penn Reviews
Since West Penn serves a large eastern market segment, western Pennsylvania residential customers can get a better picture of how good a job it does by comparing it to to other large-scale utilities. West Penn Power is not accredited with the BBB and was well-rated in J.D. Power's 2020 utility residential customer satisfaction study.
|PA Energy Ratings Score||Better Business Bureau||J.D. Power 2020 Electricity Utility Study|
No rating; 0 complaints in the last 3 years
of 1000 pts
How Do I Get the Cheapest West Penn Rate?
Shopping for a new West Penn Customer Choice Plan can seem bewildering at first. Once you understand how it works, though, it's an easy and straightforward process. That said, you should have these three things with you when you shop for electricity.
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current West Penn PTC and expiration date. Knowing the current West Penn supply price lets you compare rates offered by retail energy suppliers. This way, you can get a better feel for what suppliers are offering, for how long, and if any of their incentives make their price work for your family's need.
- Your West Penn Power of Pennsylvania customer account number. This 12 digit number is located on your bill. Having it handy lets you sign up with a retail supplier right away.
West Penn Shopping Questions
The best way for a PA energy customer to avoid making a bad choice is to ask the right questions. That way, you can learn exactly the information that can save you money. When you shop for electricity service in Pennsylvania, always be sure to ask these important questions:
- Is the rate variable or is it fixed?
- How long does the plan last?
- Is the rate competitive with the current West Penn supply rate?
- What happens when the contract expires?
- Does the plan include any recurring monthly charges?
- Does the plan have an early cancellation fee?
- Does the supplier offer any customer incentives or rewards programs?
More Commonly Asked Pennsylvania Electricity Questions:
Who bills me? West Penn sends a single bill that outlines and adds up your monthly charges.
What are the Terms of Service? In PA, Customer Choice Plans must include Terms of Service that explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an electricity plan. Not all suppliers have the same terms. That's why all Pennsylvania energy choice customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What are early termination fees? Switching retail suppliers before a contract ends can involve paying early termination fees. These can take a big chomp out of your checking account you if choose to switch retail providers before your plan contract ends.
Where can I find more information on my usage? West Penn customers can request 12 months of their energy usage free of charge. This is most easily available through your West Penn online account.
Compare Electricity in Your Area
Bill Questions? Electricity Out? Contact West Penn!
Having problems or interruptions with your West Penn Power electricity? Here's the proper people to call.
For Billing Problems -
The PAPUC requires all PA public utilities to offer "budget billing" where annual electricity costs are averaged out over the cost of the year. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak times.
- First thing to do is contact West Penn Power. If you are having trouble paying your monthly bill call West Penn Power's Customer Service: 1-800-686-0021. Have your account number ready.
- Need extra time to pay your energy bill? Customers can apply to the Customer Assistance Program (CAP) by calling Customer Service or by applying on-line.
- Residential Customers aged sixty (60) years of age or older or a residential customer receiving Social Security or an equivalent monthly pension payment can request to extend the due date of such customer's bill from 20 days to 30 days.
Emergencies and Outages
All power lines are extremely dangerous! Never attempt to move a downed power line by yourself. Call 911 and then notifiy West Penn Power.
- Report safety hazards involving power lines immediately to West Penn Power at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877).
- You can also report downed lines or outages at West Penn's website.
- Check West Penn Power's current electric outages as they are being repaired.
West Penn Power Service Area Providers
|NextEra Energy Services||
|Santanna Energy Services||
|Sunwave Gas & Power||
|National Gas & Electric||
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The Latest West Penn News
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