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Mon Energy, Potomac Edison search PSC approval for price hike to fund Vegetation Administration Program

MORGANTOWN – FirstEnergy sisters Mon Energy and Potomac Edison have a 3rd rate-hike case in movement earlier than the state Public Service Fee. This one is to fund their Vegetation Administration Program.

The businesses are in search of a rise of $16,969,398 to take impact Jan. 1, 2024, and $16,989,110 to take impact Jan. 1, 2025 – for a complete of $33,938,795. They are saying this displays an general 1% improve aggregated in opposition to all their buyer courses.

For the common residential buyer utilizing 1,000 kilowatt hours monthly, they venture a hike of $2.47 monthly, elevating the invoice from $120.20 to $120.67.

The businesses say the hike is required to compensate for an precise under-recovery (accumulating lower than they spend) of $3,738,716 by June 30 this yr, and a projected under-recovery of $30,200,079 for 2024-25.

On Tuesday, the businesses filed a proposed timeline within the case, with testimony on Nov. 13 and 22, and a public listening to on Nov. 30, after the listening to in one in all their different price instances.

This system is designed to regulate vegetation alongside distribution and transmission traces to make sure protected and dependable operation of their system, the submitting says. The projected under-recovery addresses some further wanted trimming, know-how upgrades and better labor prices.

FirstEnergy advised The Dominion Publish on Tuesday that the businesses file to replace their vegetation administration surcharge each two years.

“Bushes are a number one trigger {of electrical} energy outages,” FirstEnergy stated. “In truth, when timber and energy traces contact it creates a really harmful scenario that will even be lethal to anybody in shut proximity. To assist guarantee dependable and protected electrical service, FirstEnergy’s Vegetation Administration Program works to maintain our transmission and distribution rights-of-way freed from incompatible timber and different vegetation.”

To scale back potential outages, FirstEnergy stated, skilled vegetation administration crews assess every scenario to find out one of the best method to stop timber from interfering with electrical amenities. Primarily based on this evaluation, they might use energy saws, EPA-approved herbicides, mechanical tools, or a mixture of strategies to regulate the vegetation.

From January 2019 by December 2022, the PSC submitting says, this system lined 29,430 miles, trimming virtually 2.3 million timber, eradicating 552,284 timber, and clearing or spraying 98,042 acres.

Since 2014, program prices have fluctuated, from $102.2 million that yr, all the way down to $88.4 million in 2018, and $93.1 million this yr. They venture simply over $100 million for 2024 and $104 million for 2025.

The businesses have two different rate-hike instances earlier than the PSC.

One is their annual ENEC – expended web power price – submitting. They’re asking for $167,465,330, which they venture would add $9.19 to the common month-to-month residential invoice, elevating it from $120.20 to $129.39 – a 7.8% hike.

On this case, Longview Energy has requested the PSC to dismiss $144,805,585, saying the FirstEnergy corporations haven’t prudently managed their prices or complied with PSC directives. They’re asking the PSC to dismiss these prices with prejudice, that means the businesses might by no means once more search to recoup them. That would go away the businesses a hike of simply $22,659,745 on this case.

Additionally earlier than the PSC is the businesses’ base price hike request: $207.5 million for infrastructure and for his or her power help program. The hike would price the common residential buyer $18.07 monthly – elevating a invoice from $120.20 to $138.27.

All three proposed hikes mixed would whole $29.73 for a median residential buyer, elevating the invoice from $120.20 to $149.43.

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