West Penn Power is part of the larger First Energy company, which was formed in 1997 as the result of an Ohio merger. At that time, Alleghany Energy owned and operated West Penn Power. First Energy acquired West Penn Power in 2011 when First Energy merged with Alleghany Energy. While First Energy serves about 6 million customers total, West Penn Power is responsible for over one millions of these customers in western Pennsylvania, primarily in rural areas, as well as some central and southern areas.
Ever since the energy deregulation in Pennsylvania in 1997, West Penn Power customers have had the option to take part in the PA electric choice program. This means that they can shop electric suppliers in PA – no longer is a utility customer bound to the utility company for all services. Indeed, West Penn Power company customers can lower their PA electric rates when they take part in the PA power switch.
Here's how it works…
West Penn Power can provide full service to their customers (AKA Standard Offer Service), meaning they generate power, transmit it to the storage facility and then distribute power to customers. However, consumers can now choose to shop electric suppliers in PA. So even though West Penn Power is still responsible for transmission and delivery, consumers can lower their PA electric rates by choosing one of the alternative PA electric suppliers.
Indeed, in the dozen years after deregulation in PA, just over half a million consumers made the switch to different PA electric suppliers. In the process, they lowered their PA electric rates by an average of $10 per month. Consumers continue to make the PA power switch today – and today they have even more options since there are dozens of PA electric suppliers vying for their business.
Naturally, just the act of switching PA electric suppliers isn't going to lower your PA electric rates. That's because some PA electric suppliers charge roughly the same rates as West Penn Power (and some even charge higher rates). Thus you need to spend a few minutes to really shop electric suppliers in PA so that you can procure the best PA electric rates for yourself.