Monday, May 9, 2011

Merger of Allegheny Power and First Energy leads to Investigation

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved the launch of an investigation into the state's competitive electricity retail market. The Commission voted 4-1 in a joint motion to launch the investigation.

Denise McCraken, spokeswoman for the Commission, says the investigation will be conducted in two phases. "What we want to do is access the status of the current retail market. And then we want to explore what changes need to be made to allow electric customers to best realize the benefits of competition. Then we'll move into the second phase. And what we'll do is examine and address how to best resolve issues that have been raised. And then implement prudent changes identified based upon our reviews of comments."

McCraken says the investigation was prompted by worries that some commission members brought up during the approval of the Allegheny Power/First Energy merger. She says once they receive comments and gather information they will decide how to best make changes to the current system.

The Commission will hold two hearings to allow invited parties the opportunity to speak on the topics raised in the process. the first hearing is scheduled for June 8th in Harrisburg.