HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently alerted consumers that on June 1 most electric utilities will be adjusting electric generation prices charged to non-shopping, or default service, customers — and reminded them they have options to #SaveinPA this summer, including shopping with competitive electric generation suppliers (EGSs) and exploring energy efficiency and conservation measures around their home or business.
“The upcoming price changes, combined with the increased use of electricity that we typically see during the long, hot days of summer, make this a very good time for consumers to evaluate their energy options,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille.
Consumers should be aware of the pending price changes and understand the rates they will be paying. Additionally, they are encouraged to learn more about options for managing energy costs by exploring the Commission’s official electric shopping website, PAPowerSwitch.com, for details on competitive offers along with tips for energy conservation and savings.
June 1 “Price to Compare” Adjustments
All Pennsylvania regulated electric utilities are adjusting their Prices to Compare (PTCs) on June 1 for residential and small business non-shopping customers. Customers not choosing a supplier continue to receive “default service” from the utility – with the utility setting a PTC per kilowatt hour (kWh) on a quarterly or semiannually basis. The PUC approves a utility’s electric generation procurement plan, however, the PUC does not regulate the price of the generation portion of the electric bill which is driven by wholesale market factors.
The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill. However, this percentage varies by utility and by the level of individual customer usage. Beginning June 1, EDCs that have adjusted their PTCs for residential default service customers include:
- Citizens’ Electric, with an increase from 13.4248 to 13.8078 cents per kWh (up 2.8%);
- Duquesne Light, with an estimated increase from 11.25 to 11.45 cents per kWh (up 1.8%);
- Met-Ed, with an increase from 9.991 to 10.24 cents per kWh (up 2.5%);
- PECO, with an increase from 9.726 cents to 10.312 cents per kWh (up 6%);
- Penelec, with an increase from 9.561 to 9.703 cents per kWh (up 1.5%);
- Penn Power, with an increase from 10.439 to 10.556 cents per kWh (up 1.1%);
- PPL, with a decrease from 14.612 to 12.126 cents per kWh (down 17%);
- UGI, with a decrease from 12.54 to 11.084 cents per kWh (down 11.6%)
- Wellsboro Electric, with a decrease from 12.816 to 12.393 cents per kWh (down 3.3%); and,
- West Penn Power, with an increase from 8.228 to 9.929 cents per kWh (up 20.7%).
Note: A Price to Compare for Pike County Light & Power will be available later this month.
For small business customers, the PUC notes that most EDCs are also adjusting their prices to compare in their small Commercial and Industrial rate classes. Among the state’s major EDCs, PPL is seeing a substantial decrease in its June 1 small business default service rate, with a decrease of nearly 21%; meanwhile, small business customers in the state’s four FirstEnergy companies (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power) will see PTC increases ranging from 18 to 45%.
In most areas of Pennsylvania, consumers can choose who supplies their electricity, based on price or other factors, such as renewable energy. Consumers can use the PUC’s electric shopping website PAPowerSwitch.com to explore and compare other offers from competitive energy suppliers which may provide savings compared to their utility’s default service rate.
The website provides consumers with valuable information on how to shop for electric and natural gas supply services – enabling consumers to quickly compare offers from competitive suppliers against the default service rate from their local utility and learn more on switching to a competitive supplier, or returning to default service, should they choose. PAPowerSwitch also has an interactive section providing households and businesses with tips for saving energy to help reduce energy usage and manage bills as the summer cooling season approaches.
Another alternative for default service customers not participating in the competitive electricity market may be their utility’s voluntary Standard Offer Program (Standard Offer) – providing those customers with the option of receiving service from a competitive supplier at a fixed-price that is 7% below the utility’s current PTC. The Standard Offer price is fixed for one year and can be canceled by the customer at any time with no early cancellation or termination fees. Consumers should contact their utility or visit their utility’s website for more information or to enroll in an SOP.
End of Contract Details
The PUC continues encouraging consumers who have contracts with competitive energy suppliers to know their contract expiration dates and to carefully review contract renewal notices from suppliers detailing energy shopping options and next steps.
Shopping customers will receive two contract renewal notices from their supplier – including an Initial Notice 45-60 days prior to the contract’s expiration date and an “Options Notice” at least 30 days before their contract ends. Consumers should read the Options Notice carefully as it includes important information on the supplier’s proposed changes to current terms of service as well as other consumer options – including shopping for another supplier or returning to the utility’s default service. Consumers can also choose to contact their current supplier to discuss other possible offers and products.
Customers who have questions about the end of their contract should contact their current supplier and, if there is a problem, then contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380. More information on understanding a contract with an electric generation supplier and electric switching can be found here on PAPowerSwitch.com.