The WV PSC ordered Ohio based FirstEnergy to proceed with the ENEC rate reduction totaling almost $66 million to take effect on January 1, 2013. The PSC rejected FirstEnergy’s cockeyed plan to eliminate the scheduled rate reduction and substitute a 2% rate increase for a deal that the PSC hasn’t even considered yet.
Or, as the Commissioners put it:
In the pending ENEC matter, the Companies request that revenue from the existing ENEC rates could be used to cover traditional base rate costs, such as the
proposed surcharge relating to the purchase of generating capacity at the Harrison Station. We will evaluate the request to add generating capacity in a separate proceeding, but we stress that our consideration of issues relating to generating capacity for the Companies is separate and distinct from the considerations in an ENEC proceeding.
While we understand the assertions by Mon Power and PE that retaining the ENEC rates in place would offset a possible rate increase in the future, we think the equities favor the rate payers in this instance. In consideration of the challenging economic circumstances that West Virginia rate payers have faced in recent years, and the continuing and escalating annual rate increases during the last six years, it is in the public interest to grant ENEC rate relief to utility customers as soon as possible.
We have not adjudicated the issues in Case Number 12-1S71-E-PC, and we recognize the possibility for rates to increase if the Commission approves the request of the Companies to allow a rate surcharge for rate base/rate of return costs for generating capacity at the Harrison Station as filed. The Commission is not persuaded, however, by the request of the Companies to delay the ENEC rate decrease to prevent a yo-yo effect on rates based upon the Companies’ anticipation of a rate increase in a few months. We do not prejudge the potential for, or magnification of, future increases, but they are unknown and will be adjudicated in a separate proceeding. The period of time that will elapse between January I and resolution of Case Number 12-1S71-E-PC is unknown.We are not faced with a known significant rate increase within a known short time frame.
The Commission also approved a tiny rate increase ($0.00001 per kwh) for residential customers to cover energy efficiency and low income discount programs for Mon Power and Potomac Edison. As we know from past experience, any increase in rates for energy efficiency will be offset by reductions in bills because people will have the ability to reduce their overall electric bills.
Clearly, the WV PSC has done the right thing in this new order.