Business customers at Duquesne Light in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas can soon expect to start paying more money for electricity if they continue to buy their power supply from Duquesne Light instead of shopping for a lower rate from a competing electric supplier.

That's because Duquesne Light's Price to Compare, or the electric rate for customers who buy their electric supply from the local utility instead of a competing energy provider, is forecast to increase on June 1 for small and medium business customers.

Pennsylvania electric customers now have a choice when it comes to their electricity provider, and no longer have to buy their power supply from the local utility.  In fact, the local utilities do not even own power plants anymore, and only maintain the poles and wires to deliver electric supplies to customers from competing providers in the market.

If you shop for a lower electric rates in Pittsburgh, the only thing that changes is you get a lower bill; Duquesne Light will continue to deliver your power at rates regulated by the Public Utility Commission (PUC), and will respond to all outages and service interruptions as normal.

Because many customers still have not shopped for an alternative electric supplier, despite the large savings, Duquesne Light provides "default" power supply to customers who have not switched to a competing supplier.  The "default" rate (Price to Compare) changes every three months, and on June 1, the PUC forecasts that the default electric rate will increase for small and mid-sized business customers at Duquesne Light.

Specifically, for Rate GM - General Service Medium customers under 25 kW (including the GMH heating subclass), the Duquesne Light Price to Compare is forecast to increase by about 5% to 6.2¢/kWh.

For Rate GS - General Service Small customers, the Duquesne Light Price to Compare is forecast to increase 4% to nearly 6¢/kWh.

Commercial electric customers in these rate classes can currently find electric rates in the low 5¢/kWh range by shopping for a competing electric supplier.  While that may not seem like big savings, for even the smallest business using 2,000 kWh per month, it means savings of nearly $250 annually.  Business using more power can see savings of thousands of dollars annually.