Construction is under way for a plant that will burn landfill gas to produce electricity for the Borough of Chambersburg. A greener Chambersburg may lead to lower utility rates.
Crews are building a methane-powered generator at the IESI Blue Ridge Landfill in Greene Township and installing poles four miles to the borough. The plant is expected to provide about 15 percent of Chambersburg’s electricity needs starting in January.
The project is part of a diversified portfolio intended to reduce the borough’s cost of supplying electricity to residents and businesses. Chambersburg has one of the 35 municipal electric systems in Pennsylvania.
The borough is looking at a double digit decrease in the cost of buying electricity in 2013, according to Electric Department Superintendent Ron Pezon. The borough will be buying electricity at rates comparable to those before Pennsylvania deregulated the industry.
Customers are not likely see reduced rates immediately because the municipal utility has been under-collecting for the power it buys wholesale and sells retail, according to Pezon. Borough council controls the electric rates.
Prior to 2002, Chambersburg purchased its electricity from West Penn Power. With deregulation, the borough shopped for electricity and in 2002 signed a five-year contract to buy all its power at 4.3 cents per kilowatt hour from Detroit Edison Energy Trading. When it came time to sign a new contract in 2007, the borough was looking at9.6 cents per kWh.