Small and medium-sized business customers will see electric rates increase starting March 1 at the three FirstEnergy utilities in Pennsylvania, including Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), Metropolitan Edison (Met-Ed) and Pennsylvania Electric (Penelec), if they do not choose to buy their electric supply from a competing electric supplier.

The electric rate hikes range from 10-18%, depending on the FirstEnergy utility area.  The three service areas cover the majority of the state, from the outer Philadelphia region all the way west to Erie.

At Met-Ed, rates for small and mid-sized businesses, including Rates GS-Small and GS-Medium, will increase about 10% to 8.983 cents per kWh.

At Penelec, rates for small and mid-sized businesses, including Rates GS-Small and GS-Medium, will increase over 13% to 8.216 cents per kWh.

At Penn Power, rates for small and mid-sized businesses, including Rates GS and GSM, will increase 18% to 6.266 cents per kWh.

Pennsylvania businesses who buy their power supply from their utility, instead of choosing a lower-cost energy supplier, will pay these higher rates.  Worse, the utilities' electric rates will continue to change every three months, exposing businesses to rate volatility and depriving them of budget certainty in planning their business.

Businesses can avoid these rate hikes by finding a lower electric rate.  Getting electric suppliers to compete head-to-head with one another drives prices down, and produces savings for businesses, helping reduce their costs and overhead.