Basics of Electric Service

With electric choice, consumers can select the company that generates the power they buy. Competition among electric generation suppliers may bring cost savings to consumers. To make the best choices, you'll need to understand the different services you use and pay for when you receive electricity. These services include the following:

  • Generation: electricity is produced, or generated, at a power plant, also called a generating station.
  • Transmission: electricity transmitted on high-voltage lines from the power plant to areas where it will be used.
  • Distribution: the electric distribution company, for instance West Penn Power, uses its wires, transformers, substations, and other equipment to deliver the electricity to homes and businesses.

Some people compare this system to the way consumer products, such as clothing and furniture, move from manufacturers to customers. Power plants are like the manufacturing plants and the transmission system compares to the system of wholesalers who provide products to retailers. The distribution system would be the retail stores that deliver products to customers.

Your electric generation supplier will charge for the cost of generating electricity. The supplier also will charge you for the cost of getting the energy to our wires. West Penn Power will charge you for the cost of delivering the electricity to you, as well as other costs, such as meter reading and billing.

West Penn Power will continue to provide the same services we have in the past, except that you now will be able to decide who supplies your electric generation. We'll continue to maintain and operate our transmission and distribution system. In addition, we'll continue to supply electric generation to customers who do not choose another supplier, and we'll continue to read meters, bill customers, resolve complaints and restore service if an outage occurs.

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For additional information about electric competition, call our Retail Choice Center toll-free at 866-592-6171.