Allegheny, DQE plan merger vote

August 04, 1997


Staff Writer

Allegheny Power System Inc. and DQE Inc. shareholders will vote on Thursday whether to approve a merger between the two companies that could result in lower customer rates and the loss of 500 jobs, officials said Friday.

Officials with the two companies said they still don't know when the rates would go down or how many of the jobs would be eliminated from the office in the Hagerstown area.

The jobs would be reduced by attrition, not filling vacancies and voluntary early retirement, said John Vincze, Allegheny spokesman.

There might be other employment opportunities for some of the employees in Allegheny's unregulated arm, AYP Capital, Vincze said.

AYP Capital eventually could do retail marketing for Allegheny, including selling surge protectors, he said.

The two companies employ 8,419 people, officials said.

The companies expect to save more than $1 billion over 10 years through the merger and to pass those savings onto customers, Vincze said.


Rate reductions would be more dramatic for customers of Duquesne Light in the Pittsburgh area because their rates are much higher than those of Allegheny customers, said Terri Glueck, a Duquesne Light spokeswoman.

Some Pennsylvania customers, including those of Allegheny's West Penn division, will have an opportunity to choose their own energy supplier, Vincze said.

Customers should receive mailings about the program in late summer or early fall. Only 5 percent of customers can participate in the program, which would start Jan. 1 and last for a year, Glueck said.

Company officials expect the merger to become complete in May 1998.

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