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West Penn Power penalized $1.3M

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A subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. that provides electric service to part of the midstate has agreed to pay a $1.3 million settlement, according to the state Public Utility Commission.

West Penn Power Co., which services parts of Adams, Franklin and Fulton counties, will pay the penalty related to an alleged violation of the Act 129 electric consumption reduction requirement, according to a news release from PUC. The settlement is with the state Office of Consumer Advocate and the PUC’s Independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement. The civil penalty would be paid to the state’s general fund. 

As part of the settlement, the company admits no wrongdoing. 

West Penn, under Act 129 of 2008, was among a group of power companies required to submit a plan to reduce usage by 1 percent by May 31, 2011, and by 3 percent by May 31, 2013. Peak usage also was to be reduced by 4.5 percent by May 31, 2013, according to the release. 

West Penn’s reduction targets were 209,387 MWh and 628,160 MWh respectively, according to the release. The company reported energy savings of 90,520 MWh on May 31, 2011, and 688,089 MWh by May 31, 2013, meaning the company missed its 2011 target. The company told the PUC in November 2011 that it reached its 1 percent energy reduction target that month. It also achieved 119 percent of its 4.5 percent peak demand reduction goal, according to the release. 

Earlier this month, the PUC approved rate increases for West Penn and other FirstEnergy companies in Pennsylvania. Rates for West Penn customers will increase between 3.7 percent and 14.7 percent, depending on the kind of customer. The penalty is not being paid out of this increase; the settlement requires that West Penn not seek to recover any portion of the settlement payment from ratepayers or in rates, according to the PUC. 

FirstEnergy also operates Met-Ed and Penelec in the midstate.

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