Expiring rate caps will lead to likely utility increases for most of Pennsylvania’s electricity customers next year. But one lawmaker says rates are already too high for residents of municipalities that operate their own electric authorities. Dozens of municipalities throughout Pennsylvania purchase their own electricity and set rates for their residents.
Representative Tim Solobay, a Washington County Democrat, says many of these townships and boroughs see rates spike each winter, because the municipal authorities aren’t under the supervision of the Public Utility Commission.
He’s introducing a measure to change that.
"They would have to set up for rate increase hearings, and schedule those with the PUC, and then be met by public scrutiny, as far as if the increases are valid, and what they do to make the reliability and the serviceability of that particular utility for those communities."
Solobay acknowledges rates will likely begin rising across the commonwealth, when caps begin expiring in 2010. But he says these authorities would still have cheaper costs if the PUC provided oversight. The bill is before the House Consumer Affairs Committee, which recently approved a measure that would curb rate increases to 20 percent a year from 2010 to 2012.