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In 1916, the West Penn Railway company seperated out 53 of its subsidiary electric utilities from its interurban trolley operations in southwestern PA. It then rolled these companies together to form the West Penn Power Company. Nearly a century of operations later in 2011, it joined the FirstEnergy family. Today, West Penn Power 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 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:
How to Start New West Penn Service
You can set up a new service easily with West Penn Power by filling out their online Start Service form. Processing the request usually takes around 2 days, and you will receive an email confirming the date your services will commence. If you need services sooner, you should call their West Penn Contact Center.
You'll need to give the following information when you apply for service:
- Date of birth
- The service Addres
- Phone number
- Desired start date
- Social Security number
Will I need to pay a deposit?
All Pennsylvania electric utilities can charge a deposit based on a customer's credit worthiness. The amount cannot be greater than two months of estimated usage. Customers have 21 days after the utility sends the deposit request notification to make a payment. However, customers have three months to pay the full deposit.
West Penn may check your credit, and require a deposit to start service based on your credit history. Not all customers must pay a security deposit, and in some instances, the security deposit may be waived.
Customers can contact West Penn customer service at 1-800-686-0021 or via the West Penn Customer Service webpage.
West Penn Electricity Rates
Understand Deregulation in Pennsylvania
When Pennsylvania deregulated its energy market in 1997, customers were allowed to shop around for their electricity supplier, rather than be bound to the local utility rate. Under PA deregulation, utility companies like West Penn Power that wanted to participate in the consumer choice market were obliged to sell off their generators, becoming distribution companies instead.
To protect energy customers from service disruptions the PA PUC requires PA utilities to provide electricity supply at a default rate without mark up to customers who choose not to shop for a retail supplier.
These utility default rates are also called the "Price to Compare" or PTC. These default rates are overseen and must be approved by the PA PUC.
What is the difference between West Penn and a retail electricity supplier?
The primary difference between West Penn and an electricity supplier is that West Penn owns and maintains the distribution network in its service area. This includes all of substations, poles, lines, and meters that bring electricity to your home.
Customers should contact West Penn when they have a problem with their billing or cannot pay the amount due according to their monthly statement. In case of an emergency or outage, Customers should also contact West Penn at at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) or through the FirstEnergy current electric outages webpage.
Lastly, West Penn is the "last resort" supplier if your supplier stops serving customers in PA. This way, your electricity service will not be interrupted if your supplier leaves the state.
What are West Penn delivery and supply charges?
Pennsylvania residential customers now pay separate charges for the cost to deliver their electricity and for the amount of electricity supply that they use.
Because West Penn owns and maintains the distribution network, all electricity customers must pay a fixed distribution charge (sometimes called a "tariff"). This way, all West Penn customers pay the same distribution rate (depending on their service class) no matter which supplier they have.
Utility distribution rates are overseen by the PA PUC and can periodically change. Assuming an average usage of 864 kWh per month, the West Penn distribution portion of a monthly bill could look like this:
|Rate of $0.03487 per kWh||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|Monthly Distribution Charges (excluding riders)||$30.13 for 864 kWh Used||$7.44||$37.57|
The supply charge is the amount you pay for the electricity that you actually use. West Penn customers may choose the "Price to Compare" (PTC) for their electricity supply. However, PA consumers can also choose to buy electricity from competitive retail electricity suppliers.
Retail electricity suppliers purchase energy from generator companies on the wholesale markets. They then sell this power to their customers to use. Rates vary between competing retail suppliers and this acts as an incentive for companies to keep their prices as low as possible. Customers can switch to a new retail supplier at any time but may incur an early termination fee if they break a contract with a retailer.
What is the West Penn Price to Compare (PTC)?
The Price to Compare is the price the utility pays generator companies for electricity. It includes the price to generate the electricity, as well as the cost to transmit it over high voltage transmission power lines to West-Penn's local electrical switch yards. From there, the electricity is distributed throughout the West Penn controlled grid and delivered to homes.
West Penn sets its PTC rates by holding auctions 4 times per year: March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. As a result, West-Penn's PTC rates change every three months. Additionally, when the auctions are over, the PA PUC must approve the prices for both the generation supply and transmission.
For customers, PTC electricity rates fluctuate throughout the year and can vary with the seasons; low some months, and higher during others.
How much does West Penn supply cost?
Understand your West Penn Bill
Your West Penn bill includes a substantial amount of information that may be confusing to customers. To help you better understand your usage and where the amounts come from, we break down the most important items below.
West Penn Sample Bill
- A, B, & C: General bill overview, including due date, billing period, address, and West Penn Power account number.
- D & E: West Penn Power messages and notifications for customers, and the current Price to Compare rate.
- F: Account summary: includes distribution charges, supply charges, unpaid balances, bill total, and the date on which payment is due.
- G: Meter Summary: shows the energy usage as recorded by the electric meter at your address.
- H: Summary of Charges from West-Penn: includes monthly customer charge, distribution charge, the rate, and the total charges.
- I: Electric generation supplier charges: includes the base rate charged, the total charges due, and your generation supployer's name and address.
- J: Account balances: detailing amounts owed or paid to your energy supplier and to West Penn Power.
- K: Usage history over time: shows how much energy has been charged each month in order to help customers measure consumption habits.
- L: Payment Stub. 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 reduce 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.
These new homes can also receive the ENERGY STAR certification. FirstEnergy's New Homes Program will help homes become more energy efficient through well-established and dependable construction techniques. Energy efficiency in home-building makes for cheaper energy bills, and greater comfort.
|Home Energy Analyzer||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||You can sign up to FirstEnergy's Home Energy Analyzer for free. This tool helps you cut down on energy usage, and bills. All you have to do is use your account number and zipcode to sign up online.|
|Residential Energy Audit Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
The Home Energy Audit Program is a low cost service for FirstEnergy customers. An accredited energy auditor will work with you to:
|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.
FirstEnergy customers who buy a qualifying heat pump water heater will also benefit from a discount of $500 at all participating retailers.
|West Penn Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
West Penn offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay their account balance in monthly installments. Customers can settle payments in monthly instalments, paid alongside monthly charges.
|WARM Program||Residential Energy Efficiency||This program helps eligible customers access weatherization and energy conservation for their homes. Customers must be using over 375 kWh of electricity per month to qualify.|
|Medical Certificate||Bill payment assistance||A medical certificate delays termination of service for up to 30 days if you or anyone living in your home is seriously ill. A licensed physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner must notify Met-Ed in writing.|
|LIHEAP Cash and Crisis Grants||Bill payment assistance||This program offers bill payment assistance to qualifying residential customers whose household income is, or falls below, 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. Applications are usually open from early November to Early April.|
|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||This bill payment assistance program is open to West Penn customers in financial hardship. Call Universal Services Center at: 1-888-393-7600.|
|Pennsylvania Customer Assistance Program (PCAP)||Bill payment assistance||
PCAP helps residential customers avoid service termination and repay any overdue balance over time. 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.
How to Shop for Retail suppliers
Retail electricity suppliers in PA can strike different deals on the wholesale electricity market than utilities companies can, and their rates are not controlled in the same way. This gives PA shoppers access to a number of different rates, plan lengths, and types. Therefore, their rates are not dictated by Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) the same way that utilities are.
The PTC provides a useful baseline figure for electric rates, so it can be a good tool for assessing the value of plans offered by retail suppliers. It provides a price for a set period of time to compare with retailer's prices. This way, you can compare the relative costs of electricity over both the short term and long term.
When you're shopping for retail suppliers, you can choose a fixed rate, or a variable rate plan.
- Variable rates change often to reflect market prices, which means your monthly bill will fluctuate. Typically, variable rate plans only last one month and do not have a contract. However, their rates can fluctuate monthly; low some months, higher in others.
- Fixed rate plans will charge you the same rate throughout the course of your contract. You can secure this rate for anything between 3 and 36 months, but if you need to terminate the contract early you will usually need to pay an exit fee. That's why it's essential to carefully consider which type of electricity plan is right for you.
Electricity retailers offer a wide range of different plans to suit different customers. Some suppliers offer plans with renewable energy sources or other greener options such as investing back into solar or wind energy. Additionally, keep an eye out for any kind of perks or deals you may be able to take advantage of. Some retailers may offer reimbursement in the form of gift cards, discounts, or specialty pricing if conditions are met.
Be aware that the West Penn PTC rate changes 3 times per year. Depending on when your supplier contract expires, this means the PTC has very likely changed since last time you shopped for an energy deal. Keep this in mind, because you can make big savings by picking the cheapest price for your energy!
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?
- Is the rate competitive with the current West Penn supply rate?
- How long is the contract?
- Does the plan's contract term last longer than West-Penn's PTC rate?
- Are there any recurring monthly charges?
- Are there any restrictions on the rate being offered? These can be things like new customers only, active military only, seniors only, etc.
- Does the plan have an early cancellation fee?
- Are there any incentives or rewards programs? Do they fit your lifestyle?
- Does the contract automatically renew? If so, what are your options?
Compare Current supplier Rates!
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Don't have it handy? - Don't worry!
According to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, on average, customers who switch to a competitive supplier can expect to save about 10% to 15% compared to the price-to-compare.