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PUC, West Penn Power Reach $1.3 Million Settlement

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission today approved a $1.3 million settlement with West Penn Power after the distribution company missed energy reduction requirements in 2011.

According to the PUC, West Penn Power, a First Energy company, violated the state’s energy conservation law, Act 129, when it failed to reduce its consumption by 1 percent in May 2011. Under the law, West Penn Power was required to decrease its energy intake by 209,387 megawatt-hours, but reported savings of 90,520 megawatt-hours.

West Penn was the only utility to miss the May 2011 deadline.

PUC spokeswoman Robin Tilley said West Penn Power eventually did reach its phase one target in Nov. 2011.

“The independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement alleged that they had not met that target based on their original goals,” she said. “They did however meet their phase two target in 2013 of reducing their consumption by 3 percent.”

In compliance with the PUC’s order, First Energy spokesman Scott Surgeoner said the settlement payment will not affect customer rates.

“That money will be paid by the company and is not chargeable to customers and cannot be recovered from customers,” he said.

The fine, which was negotiated down from $11.3 million, will be paid to the state’s General Fund.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."