Aug 16, 2011
With PPL Electric Utilities’ generation service charge and “price to compare” slated to change Sept. 1, the utility reminds customers to explore their options for buying power supply in the competitive market.
Customers can use the company’s price to compare to see how the cost of the utility’s default electric generation supply stacks up against offers from other suppliers licensed by the state.
The company adjusts its generation charge for PPL Electric Utilities’ customers every three months to more closely track actual power supply costs. The rate now changes March 1, June 1, Sept. 1 and Dec. 1 every year, similar to other electric and natural gas utilities in Pennsylvania.
The price to compare reflects generation and transmission charges, which make up about two-thirds of a typical residential customer’s bill. It is the rate per kilowatt-hour customers pay PPL Electric Utilities if they do not switch to a competitive supplier.
Early forecasts for many rate classes effective Sept. 1 suggest PPL Electric Utilities’ prices to compare may decrease slightly for residential customers and by a somewhat larger percentage for small-commercial customers. The company will formally file its new rates with the state Public Utility Commission no later than Monday (8/22). The utility is finalizing its anticipated power supply costs and reconciling costs from the current three-month period.
Customers can visit www.pplelectric.com/choice on or after Monday to review the new utility rates and updated price to compare for all rate classes. Prices from other electricity suppliers can be viewed at the PUC’s website, www.papowerswitch.com.
PPL Electric Utilities does not make money from the generation portion of a customer’s bill. If a customer is shopping, payment for that portion of the bill is passed on directly to the customer’s electric supplier. If a customer does not switch to a third-party supplier, payment for that portion of the bill is used to pay the wholesale suppliers providing power supply to PPL Electric Utilities as the default service provider. PPL Electric Utilities buys power from about a dozen different wholesale suppliers under short-term and long-term contracts.
The distribution charge makes up the remaining portion of the customer bill. It covers utility operating expenses for system maintenance and improvements, metering, billing, universal services and energy efficiency programs, and other customer service.
“We encourage our customers to stay aware of what they pay for electric supply, consider what option makes the most sense for them, and make an informed decision,” said David G. DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities. “At PPL Electric Utilities, our job is to reliably deliver that power so the lights come on when you flip the switch. We’ll be there to fill that need, regardless of the customer’s choice of supplier.”
DeCampli said the utility aims to be a trusted adviser for customers with information they need on their energy usage, the competitive market and ways to manage their energy costs. In coordination with the state’s suppliers and the PUC, the company works to ensure the quality of service is the same whether a customer receives power supply from the utility or a third-party supplier.
“If you consider shopping, keep in mind price is not the only factor in making a decision,” DeCampli said. “Be sure to understand the terms of each supplier’s offer, such as the length of the contract, any cancellation fees and any available discounts that might apply to you. Suppliers offer a variety of options to suit customer needs.”
For those who decide to switch suppliers, the account change is made effective at the end of each customer’s billing cycle.
As of Aug. 15, 580,000 customers — more than 40 percent of the total — have chosen an alternative supplier, making up nearly 75 percent of the utility’s total electricity delivered. Statewide, more than 1.2 million utility customers have chosen an alternative electric supplier, according to the PUC.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.