Electric consumers in central and northeastern Pennsylvania are now dealing with the reality of a thirty percent increase in utility bills.
But PPL customers do have the option of slightly reducing those rates.
For a customer using a thousand kilowatt-hours of electricity, the average PPL bill will be around one hundred four dollars, according to data compiled by Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky’s office.
But Popowsky says customers who switch to one of five competing electricity suppliers, including Con Edison, Direct Energy and Liberty Power Holdings, can cut into that thirty percent increase.
"PPL is charging about ten and a half cents for every kilowatt hour of generation, and the marketers are charging about a penny less – in some cases a little more or a little bit less – but about a penny less per kilowatt-hour, so if you’re a customer and you’re using a thousand kilowatt-hours per month, you would save a penny per kilowatt-hour, or about ten dollars a month, if you switch."
A PPL customer who uses a thousand kilowatt-hours will likely see a 104-dollar bill this month.
Popowsky says about ten percent of PPL customers have already switched suppliers.
When other utilities’ rates expired in previous years, Popowsky says most customers didn’t make the switch.
"Well in the Duquesne territory in Pittsburgh we saw a lot of activity early on and about twenty percent of the residential customers switched – twenty to twenty five percent. But the majority of customers, the other 75 or 80 percent, continued to buy their generation from Duquesne. "
Another Western Pennsylvania utility, Penn Power, saw about ten percent of its customers changed suppliers.