HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today voted to approve a settlement that reduces a distribution rate increase request filed by PECO Energy Company (PECO) on March 27, 2015.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlement, which reduced PECO’s rate increase request by 33 percent and resolves all other issues related to the company’s request. PECO provides electric service to approximately 1.6 million customers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York Counties.
PECO’s initial request called for a $190 million annual increase in revenue from the company’s electric distribution rates. Today’s action by the Commission approved a revenue increase of $127 million. Under the settlement, a typical bill for a residential customer using 700 kWh per month will increase by $4.17 month, or 3.8 percent. This is opposed to the company’s original proposal, which would have increased the typical customer’s bill by $6.55 per month, or 5.9 percent.
A joint petition to approve the PECO settlement was supported by numerous parties including the Commission’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement, the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, the Philadelphia Area Industrial Energy Users Group, the Coalition for Affordable Utility Services and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania, the Tenant Union Representative Network and Action Alliance of Senior Citizens of Greater Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance Energy Education Fund, the Clean Air Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alliance for Solar Choice, the Environmental Defense Fund, and PECO Energy Company – Electric Division.
Additionally, the settlement directs PECO to hold a collaborative open to all interested parties seeking input regarding revenue decoupling. That gathering will be held on or before March 1, 2016.
In a statement during today’s Public Meeting, Commissioner Robert F. Powelson noted that the planned PECO collaborative regarding revenue decoupling is part of a wider discussion on that topic, stressing, “The time has come to better align rate structures in a way that equally benefits all stakeholders, including ratepayers, utilities and the environmental community.”
Commissioner Powelson added that the PUC will hold a hearing on alternative ratemaking in early 2016. He also highlighted a resolution recently passed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) to more deeply discuss rate design approaches and related issues. Powelson currently serves as first vice president of NARUC.
In a separate statement, Commissioner Andrew G. Place encouraged PECO to gather more information regarding distributed generation, in order to better evaluate efforts that can enhance overall system efficiency and utilization.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No.: R-2015-2468981