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RATE CHANGES APPROVED FOR COPCO CUSTOMERS

 RATE CHANGES APPROVED FOR COPCO CUSTOMERS
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Conowingo Power Company


(COPCO) announced today that as a result of two rate changes approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), customer electric bills will increase by a net of 1.1 percent.
 The first change, approved by the PSC Monday and effective today, increases electric bills an average of 6.9 percent. It reflects the start of a 27.7 percent base rate increase to be phased in over 10 years.
 The second change, to become effective Saturday, Feb. 1, decreases electric bills by 5.8 percent. It reflects the semi-annual recalculation of the Energy Cost Rate (ECR), which passes along to customers changes in COPCO's cost of purchased energy. The new ECR boosts the credit value for customers to 0.562 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) from 0.084 cents per kwh.
 As of Feb. 1, COPCO's average residential bill will be $53.19, up 35 cents from the average residential bill on Jan. 1, 1992.
 COPCO president Samuel M. Gawthrop Jr., said this is COPCO's first electric base rate increase in five years, due primarily to nuclear fuel savings passed on to COPCO by its parent company and power supplier, Philadelphia Electric Company (NYSE: PE).
 Bills for the average COPCO customer are almost the same today as they were in 1985, when the average bill was $52.86. During the same period, inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index increased by about 25 percent.
 The new, 27.7 percent, $15.7 million increase will be phased in equal steps of 6.9 percent for the first five years. Over the second five years, COPCO will recover revenue deferred during the phase-in.
 The rate change was required by an increase in wholesale electric charges by PE, COPCO's power supplier. In addition, Gawthrop said, "COPCO's service area is one of the fastest growing parts of the state, and increased revenues were necessary to meet the demand."
 Since 1986, he said, the population in COPCO's service area of Cecil and Harford counties increased 18 percent, electric sales rose 37 percent, and peak electric demand climbed 45 percent.
 COPCO, an electric distribution company with no generating units of its own, buys all of its power from PE, its parent company.
 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved PE's request to increase wholesale rates help pay for the capital, operating and maintenance costs for Unit 2 of the Limerick Generating Station. The cost to COPCO will be $14.8 million per year.
 -0- 1/29/92
 /CONTACT: Sam Gawthrop of Philadelphia Electric, 301-398-1400/
 (PE) CO: Conowingo Power Company; Philadelphia Electric Company ST: Maryland, Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


CC -- PH034 -- 4895 01/29/92 16:16 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1992
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