Large commercial and industrial customers at PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania will only be able to receive a flat rate for electricity -- that doesn't spike throughout the day -- if they shop for a competing energy supplier.

PPL recently conducted an auction to buy power supplies for customers who do not choose a competing electric supplier, and instead take "default service" from PPL.

Currently, large business customers on default service at PPL cannot receive a flat price -- instead, they receive "hourly" electric rates that vary with spikes in the wholesale market throughout the day, especially as demand increases.  These volatile prices expose customers to prices four to five times higher than normal electric rates, and deprive customers of budget certainty.

Flat pricing, that is level throughout the day, for large business customers at PPL is only available by choosing an alternative electric supplier for your supply needs.

However, PPL's default service plan does call for PPL to occasionally solicit interest from wholesale power suppliers in offering an optional, flat price -- instead of hourly rates -- to customers who don't shop and instead take PPL default service.  To date, wholesale energy suppliers have not shown sufficient interest in supplying flat pricing to PPL, and the most recent auction in July was the third straight solicitation in which PPL failed to attract any suppliers for an optional fixed price default service.

Accordingly, PPL will only offer non-shopping large business customers the volatile hourly electric rates for the period September 1, 2011 through November 30, 2011.

Business customers still buying their power from PPL who desire today's current low energy rates and budget certainty need to shop for a competing electric supplier.  The low rates available from suppliers competing head-to-head shield customers from the spikes in PPL's hourly rates, and avoid any nasty surprises in the customer's bill at the end of the month.