Potomac Edison is lowering electric rates for 2021.
Potomac Edison and its sister company, Mon Power, have submitted filings with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia that are expected to lower electric rates by $50 million this year.
Under a process established by the PSC in 2007, the 2 utilities’ customer bills are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. This year's filing reflects a $55 million reduction in these costs, a savings passed to customers.
When approved by the PSC, the monthly bill for a typical West Virginia residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would decrease by 3 percent, or $3.24 month, dropping an average bill to $103.62 from the current $106.86.
With the decrease, rates for Potomac Edison’s West Virginia residential customers will be about 22 percent below the national average.
The 2021 residential customer bills also would reflect the impact of a 2nd filing seeking to recover about $5 million in costs associated with modernizing the boilers at the Fort Martin and Harrison coal-fired power plants in West Virginia to help ensure continued environmental compliance.
The work includes updating existing emissions control equipment, enhancing particulate control systems, and replacing flue-gas removal ductwork and expansion joints.
“These filings continue a trend that has resulted in the rates for our West Virginia utilities being reduced by about $120 million since 2018,” said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. “With electrical use increasing more from time being spent at home during the coronavirus health emergency, any opportunity to save on electric bills is helpful for our customers. We are committed to providing safe and reliable electricity at an affordable cost.”
If approved by the PSC, the new rates begin Jan. 1 and remain in place until Dec. 31.
Potomac Edison serves about 140,000 customers in the state’s Eastern Panhandle.