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MET-ED FILES FIRST BASE RATE REQUEST IN SIX YEARS

 MET-ED FILES FIRST BASE RATE REQUEST IN SIX YEARS
 READING, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropolitan Edison Company


(MET-ED) today filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) its first base rate request since 1986, asking for a $68 million increase in annual retail base rate revenues.
 This will be partially offset by changes in the state tax adjustment surcharge and a reduction in the energy cost rate, which will result in an overall increase in retail revenues of $55 million or 7.2 percent.
 If the PUC grants the full increase, the bill of the residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will increase by $5.24, from $45.47 a month to $50.71, or 11.5 percent.
 Fred D. Hafer, Met-Ed president, said, "Even with the increase sought today, our rates will continue to compare favorably with rates of other Pennsylvania electric utilities and inflation.
 "Although we are now serving 40,000 more customers than we were in 1986, our aggressive cost control efforts, including reducing the number of Met-Ed employees by 400, along with moderate sales growth, have helped us avoid the need to request a base rate increase for six years.
 "Health, safety and environmental obligations, along with increased capital investment and a modest growth in operating costs to serve our customers, make this filing necessary.
 "This rate increase is needed to maintain a strong financial condition so that we can continue to serve our more than 439,000 customers reliably and safely."
 As part of the rate request, Met-Ed is proposing to offer cost- effective rate options to help customers manage their electric bills. The options include seasonal time-of-day rates, curtailable rates, and off-peak industrial production rates. These options will enhance the company's efforts in electrical load management and minimize the need for future additional generation.
 Met-Ed also is proposing a pilot Customer Assistance Program for low-income customers.
 A portion of the rate request is to recover the costs of investments made during the last six years in plant and facilities at Met-Ed's generation, transmission and distribution and other facilities.
 The rate request also includes costs associated with construction work in progress to install flue gas desulfurization systems (scrubbers) at the Conemaugh Generating Station in Indiana County, Pa., to comply with the Clean Air Act.
 Another part of the rate request includes funds to fulfill Med-Ed's obligation to decommission the Three Mile Island site. The company must also provide for the post-retirement medical and life insurance benefits for current employees on a basis similar to that for pension costs.
 Although Met-Ed requested that the new rates go into effect June 23, 1992, the PUC has the authority to suspend the rate case for investigation and deliberation for the maximum seven months allowed by law. In that event, a final decision would occur in January 1993.
 Met-Ed's last general rate increase allowed by the PUC was $19 million, which increased residential bills 3.1 percent effective Nov. 26, 1986.
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 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Judith D. Botvin, 215-921-6246, or, home, 215-929-3217, or Maria F. Frederick, 215-921-6752, or, home, 215-779-4760, both of Metropolitan Edison/ CO: Metropolitan Edison Company; Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU:


CC-MK -- PH028 -- 2483 04/24/92 12:57 EDT
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Date:Apr 24, 1992
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