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Electric

Chambersburg is unique among Pennsylvania municipalities. We are one of only thirty-five communities to own and operate our own electric pool for the benefit of the community. Our town is the largest municipal electric system by twice the size and the only municipal electric system in Pennsylvania to own and operate electric generating plants.

The Chambersburg Electric Department using character, competence, and collaboration will provide to our customers valuable energy products and services that are safe, reliable, and competitively priced. The Electric Department will produce economic and other benefits to the Borough, its citizens, its employees, and its customers while operating in a professional and courteous manner within a structure of local accountability and local control.

Department Head: Ronald Pezon, PE

Pride in Public Power
Source American Public Power Association

The Borough's municipal electric utility after decades of purchasing traditional power supplies and in the "traditional" way has for the first time began enjoying the new "Power Supply Portfolio", in the same year as the Department's 120 operates the largest of the thirty-five such municipal power systems in Pennsylvania, and is the only one that still generates its own electricity. Even after such a long and rich heritage generating and delivering power to its residents, the municipal electric industry has continued to be challenged by many fronts over the years.

Prior to 2002, municipal electric utilities purchased their power though the host utility. In our case this was West Penn Power, now a First Energy Company. Everything changed in the power industry after the Pennsylvania Customer Choice Act of 1996 and more substantially for us in 2002 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) freeing municipal electrics to shop for wholesale power in the new generation and transmission system power markets.

Chambersburg had to keep up with the ever increasing numbers of and changing rules, which would last for over a decade while all utilities and the Pennsylvania Jersey Maryland (PJM) Interconnection were restructured for this new thing called "competition". All Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PAPUC) regulated utilities had to "restructure", which meant to separate the generation and transmission components from their usual retail rates and allow their customers to "shop" around for these components.

If you are a Borough Electric customer, in Chambersburg, the Borough itself, shops for your best electric rates. We shop for you.

Chambersburg "shops" for these components on behalf of its 11,150 or so customers.

This is why Borough Electric customers are not experiencing the wild fluctuations of variable electric deals that others, in other towns, in other systems, suffered in the winter of 2014. There are no variable rate electric deals in Chambersburg.

#weshop4u

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Borough Electric Rates, How We Buy Electricity, The Power Supply Adjustment (PSA) and Other Electric Rate Issues July 2014

Links to helpful Power/Energy Information
Residential Energy Services Network

Keystone HELP

Energy Conservation in The Home - Dept of Energy Brochure

Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use

Electric Department Documents

Master Electricians List

Link to "Weather Data Depot" - your source for free heating degree day and cooling degree day reports and charts! Degree days indicate weather severity as it affects building energy usage, so degree day comparisons are useful for energy management, energy efficiency and utility bill tracking.
The Borough owns and operates its own electric distribution system. This makes Chambersburg unique since there are only thirty-five municipalities within the State of Pennsylvania who fall into this category. We have operated a public power system since the inception of electrical utilities in the 19th Century.

1. How many communities own power systems?
In Pennsylvania there are thirty-five; Chambersburg has the largest system. Across the United States there are more than 2,000 publicly owned power systems that serve more than 45 million Americans. Chambersburg is a member of the American Public Power Association (APPA) which represents public power systems: www.appanet.org

2. Does the Borough generate power?
The Borough purchases nearly all of our power, but we generate a small amount of power as a financial tool to help control the cost of power. By making and selling power, Chambersburg realizes lower net power costs than communities that buy all of their power. Chambersburg is the only one of the thirty-five Pennsylvania boroughs with electric utilities to also generate power.

3. Where do we buy the power we do not generate?
The Borough utilizes a Portfolio approach, spreading it's energy purchases in tranches broken up into smaller units spread across a variety of providers with staggering start and stop periods. This helps to price stabilize costs over the years similar to how an individual would manage their financial portfolio.

4. Who is allowed to do electrical work in my home or business?
Only Master Electricians, licensed by the Borough, are allowed to do electric work inside the Borough limits.

5. Does my master electrician need to get a permit for electric work?
This depends upon the type of work that is to be done. For exact guidance on this, please contact the Borough at 717-261-3231.

6. What can I do to lower my electric utility costs?
The number one cost effective way to lower residential power costs is to increased insulation and weather stripping, air seal the house, turn off unneeded lights, disconnect energy hogging appliances such as computers and flat screen televisions; home energy audits are available. In addition, commercial and industrial customers have other flexibility to shave some of their load at opportune times. For more information call Ron Pezon at 717-261-3238.

7. I have a complaint about one of the Borough's traffic signals. Who do I contact?
Call the Service Center at 717-263-4111.

8. I've just seen a downed electric wire. What should I do?
Call 911 as quickly as possible. A downed electric wire is an extremely hazardous situation-especially if it is lying on a car or in the roadway. Do not, under any circumstances, go near a wire in this condition. Occupants of a vehicle that has come in contact with a downed conductor or witnesses are advised not to touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. A fatal shock may result.  A second call to the Borough Service Center at 717-263-4111 can insure prompt response.

9. If I see an electric explosion, arc, bright flash, or some other strange event on or near borough electric facilities, and the power goes out, should I report this?
Yes, a citizen's phone call in this situation can be very helpful to Borough personnel in more quickly locating and fixing any power shortage. In this case, call the Borough service center at 717-263-4111.

10. What other services are provided by the Electric Department?
The Electric Department provides or arranges for other services such as street lighting and traffic light maintenance. In addition, Department employees perform other jobs which would normally have to be contracted out at further expense to the residents. For specific question about the borough's electrical distribution system contact the Electric Utility Department Ron Pezon at 261-3238.

11. Who do I contact with billing questions or to open a new account?
For billing information, contact the Borough Finance Department at 264-5151.

12. Does the end of "Rate Caps" effect the Borough or our residents?
As you may know, in 1996 and more specifically in 2002 for the Borough, the State legislature deregulated the electricity industry. As such, the Borough is not under any artificial rate cap like all of the major Investor Owned Utilities that serve neighboring communities. The lifting of these rate caps does not affect the Borough or our customers; Chambersburg is already buying electricity in the deregulated marketplace. We very much appreciate the involvement and concern of our customers. As a local home-town enterprise, it is the impact of our customers on these decisions, which as much as anything makes Chambersburg's public power system a benefit for our community.

Ron Pezon and the Electric Department can also be contacted by e-mailing them at rpezon@chambersburgpa.gov