New Power Lines Reduce Electricity Rates

The PUC recently approved a small portion (1.5 miles) of the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line, Allegheny Energy is responsible for constructing 37.2 miles of the controversial 240 mile transmission line.

Power companies face a variety of obstacles when attempting to expand the transmission network, including high costs, resistance from environmental groups, and complaints from local citizens.

This is a big victory for the power companies and rate payers. Constructing new power lines increases reliability, efficiency, and competition. Like roads, power lines can only handle so much traffic, and when they are transmitting electricity at their full capacity utilities can be cut off from the lowest cost generator (a situation known as congestion). These physical barriers inhibit the market and raise the price of electricity in the form of additional congestion charges.

In other electricity news PPL’s customers can now track their hourly electricity usage via the companies website. Such conservation tools demonstrate that utilities are working to mitigate the future rate increases. Unlike the state legislatures “nannying” approach, which imposes arbitrary conservation goals, utilities are working to give the consumer more control over their own electric bills.