Electricity prices increased by up to 45% starting next week - ExploreClarion.com

Electricity prices increased by up to 45% starting next week – ExploreClarion.com

edifice -503935_1280Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. With electricity generation costs increasing June 1 for many utility customers, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission reminds consumers that they have options to manage expected high bills, and in particular stresses that consumers who are currently struggling to pay their monthly bills should act now and seek help by contact their interest.

Through its ongoing #CallUtilitiesNow campaign, the Commission continues to emphasize that face-to-face conversations between distressed customers and utilities are the best “first step” in addressing outstanding bill balances and discussing assistance programs.

With the summer cooling season approaching, now is the time for consumers to assess energy use, explore ways to improve and conserve energy efficiency in their homes or businesses, and review existing electricity bills and supplier contracts to help mitigate the potential impact of higher summer use and increases in electricity generation costs.

#CallUtilitiesNow to explore customer assistance programs

For consumers who are struggling to pay utility bills, PUC continues to encourage them to call their utilities. Public utilities are the first and most direct mechanisms for connecting struggling families to much-needed assistance — whether those financial hardships are related to the COVID pandemic, the ongoing situation, the national recovery, or other challenging circumstances.

Utilities understand the assistance programs available in their communities for income-eligible consumers—including utility-operated customer assistance programs, national programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and many utility-operated hardship financing programs and non-profit organizations. Utilities can also help enroll consumers in assistance programs, guide them to other available resources and discuss new payment plan options to address overdue balances and help consumers move forward.

energy use management

Energy use is a major factor in the size of summer energy bills, and there are many ways consumers can control this use.

Energy saving tips include:

Pay attention to the thermostat – every degree that raises or lowers the temperature can affect energy costs by up to 3%. Also, consider a programmable thermostat to automatically raise temperatures while you are away from home.

– Have your air conditioner serviced – Regular maintenance of your air conditioner along with clean air filters helps ensure the efficient operation of your cooling system.

Insulate and Seal Leaks Around Your Home Adding insulation, installing windows and doors, and sealing cracks and air leaks can help you keep cool and use less energy.

– Install or repair ceiling fans in rooms with heavy traffic – Use ceiling fans to circulate the air, keeping the room cooler.

Window protection to reduce heat build-up – Smart landscaping and exterior window coverings are just two ways you can better protect windows and reduce the effect of heat buildup in your home.
PAPowerSwitch.com PUC’s electrical shopping site has interactive sections with more consumer-friendly tips for saving energy.

Shopping for competitive power generation suppliers

In most areas of Pennsylvania, consumers can choose who supplies them with electricity, based on price or other factors, such as renewable energy.

As of June 1, most regulated electric utilities in Pennsylvania will adjust the rate they charge the generation portion of customer bills for non-shopping customers, also known as the “comparable price” (PTC). The average PTC is 40% to 60% of a customer’s total utility bill. However, this percentage varies according to the utility and level of use of the individual customer.

Electricity distribution companies reported the following changes to their PTCs on June 1 for residential customers:

Citizens ElectricityUp from 7.3995 cents to 9.3667 cents per kilowatt-hour (26.6%)
Doquen Lightup from 7.98 cents to 9.36 cents per kilowatt-hour (17.3%)
dead edUp from 6.832 cents to 7.936 cents per kilowatt-hour (16.1%)
picoAn increase from 7.066 cents to 7.637 cents per kilowatt-hour (8.1%).
BenelikUp from 6.232 cents to 8.443 cents per kWh (35.4%)
bean powerUp from 7.082 cents to 8.694 cents per kWh (22.7%)
PPLUp from 8.941 cents to 12.366 cents per kilowatt-hour (38.3%).
UGI ElectricUp from 8.854 cents to 12,903 cents per kilowatt-hour (45.7%)
Wellsboro ElectricUp from 7.7569 cents to 9,592 cents per kWh (23.7%)
West Ben PowerUp from 5.667 cents to 8.198 cents per kilowatt-hour (44.6%).

*NB: Pike County Light & Power energy price changes are still calculated.

PUC notes that the commission does not regulate prices for the generation portion of electricity bills. For customers who don’t shop, electric utilities get the default generation service using a PUC-supervised purchase – in effect, the customer “shops.” Generation prices are separate from the closely regulated rates that utilities charge for distribution services – the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses.

Another alternative for virtual service customers not participating in the competitive electricity market might be their utility’s voluntary Standard Supply Program (Standard Supply) – providing these customers the option to receive service from a competing supplier at a fixed price 7% lower than the utility. current PTC. The standard offer price is fixed for one year and the customer can cancel it at any time without cancellation or early termination fees.

The Committee notes that the Standard Offer may not be available in areas where competing suppliers do not participate in the Local Utilities Program.

Understand your electricity supplier contract

Consumers should ensure that they understand all the terms and conditions in their supplier contract. The terms and conditions are found in the contract disclosure statement – including any terms and conditions for termination of the contract.

Consumers who already have an agreement with an electrical supplier, and wish to switch to a different supplier, should carefully review the contract disclosure to see if there is any penalty/switching fees or cancellation fees. Contact your current supplier if you are not sure.

Additionally, consumers should be aware that suppliers may also choose to cancel the contract and return them to virtual service with their benefit. Cancellation of this contract is permitted, provided the supplier abides by the terms and conditions of the contract disclosure statement. If the contract is canceled by the customer or supplier, the customer will be returned to default service with local facilities, and the service is never cut off.

Consumers who have questions or object to canceling this contract may contact PUC’s Office of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380. More information on understanding the contract with the electricity generation and switching supplier can be found here at PAPowerSwitch.com.

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