Posted on Jun 01, 2022 02:45 PM
The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission is alerting consumers that most utilities will adjust their prices for electricity on June 1 — warning that many non-shopped (default service) customers will see sharp increases in energy costs as summer approaches, ranging between 6% and 45% Depending on their electrical utility.
The current PPL rate of 8.941 cents per kilowatt-hour would rise to 12.366 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is a 38% increase.
Met-Ed will rise from 6,832 to 7.936, an increase of 16.1%.
Regulated electrical utilities in Pennsylvania routinely adjust, either quarterly or semi-annually, the default service rate they charge customers who are not shopping for electricity. This price, also known as the “comparative asking price,” is what consumers use to compare prices and potential savings between competing electricity generation suppliers.).
PUC encourages consumers to review their electricity bills carefully to understand the prices they will be paying – and to explore PUC’s official electrical shopping website, PAPowerSwitch.com, for details on competitive offers, along with tips to conserve and save energy.
Currently, rising wholesale market prices for electricity, fueled largely by shifts in supply and demand for natural gas, have increased procurement costs for electricity distribution companies, thus driving many of the comparable prices.
By law, utilities cannot make a profit from electricity generation, because generation costs are simply passed on to utility customers. 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.
One option that consumers may want to explore right away is their utility’s voluntary standard supply program – another alternative for virtual service customers not participating in the competitive electricity market.
The Standard Offer provides these customers with the option to receive service from a competing supplier at a flat rate 7% lower than the utility’s 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. There may not be suppliers involved in all areas.
After exploring the standard offer, consumers may want a discount at the current price of their comparison benefit – which may amount to future savings with the price to compare increases. Resident and small commercial customers can find out more information and register for the Standard Offer program by contacting their electricity utility.
Consumers and small businesses can also use PUC’s PAPowerSwitch energy shopping site to explore and compare other offers from competing energy suppliers that may offer savings compared to their utility’s default service rate. The website provides consumers and small businesses with valuable information on how to shop for electricity supply services – allowing consumers to quickly compare offers from competing suppliers against the default service rate of their local utility and learn more about switching to a competing supplier, or back to default service, if they choose .
Review your bill to understand what you’re paying for your electricity generation supply, either through default service from your electricity utility or a contract with a competing power generation supplier.
Key questions to ask include:
• How do competitive supplier prices compare with the price of the comparison tool?
• Is the supplier contract a fixed or variable price – and if the price is variable, what are the conditions for changing the price of electricity?
• Does the contract include additional fees – such as membership fees or early termination of the contract?
• When will the contract expire – and what options are available to customers as the contract expiry date approaches?
We advise consumers not to sign the contract without knowing the term of the contract, the price, whether it is fixed or variable, and whether there are any fees.
For small business customers, PUC notes that most electricity distribution companies also adjust their prices for comparison in small commercial and industrial price categories. Small business default service rates are increasing on June 1 – ranging from a 20.8% increase in the PPL service area to a 55.6% increase in the West Penn Power service area.
beat the heat
You can save energy and money, even in extreme temperatures, by following some tips from PPL:
• Make sure to pull curtains and blinds during the day to block the scorching sun.
• Wear light clothing and set the thermostat between 72 and 78 degrees. It will save energy for every degree higher you can adjust the thermostat at. The federal Department of Energy recommends 78 degrees.
• Reduce the use of heat-generating appliances such as dishwashers, stoves, washers and dryers during the warmer hours of the day.
• Incandescent bulbs also produce heat, so switching to cooler, more efficient LED bulbs is a smart choice.
• Ceiling fans are economical and the cost of using them is much lower than air conditioners, but they are used only in occupied rooms because they work on the effect of cold winds to cool people. In addition, using a ceiling fan allows you to raise the temperature setting on the thermostat by one to three degrees.
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