Small and mid-sized business customers in Pennsylvania who buy their power supply from PPL Electric Utilities instead of choosing an alternative electric supplier will see a hike in their electric rate of over 20% on December 1, 2013.

Under the competition that has been introduced into Pennsylvania's electric market, customers can choose among competing electric companies offering lower rates for power "supply", meaning the electricity you consume.  No matter who you buy your power supply from, the "delivery" of your power supply is handled by the utility over its wires, with no change in service or reliability.

If customers do not make a choice in power supplier, customers continue to receive "default" supply service from their local utility.  The default service supply rate is called the "Price to Compare" and changes every three months.

At PPL, the Price to Compare will next change on December 1, and will jump over 20% for small and medium commercial customers.

Specifically, the PPL Price to Compare will increase to 9.250 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on December 1 for customers in the GS-1 (General Service - 1) and GS-3 (General Service - 3) rate classes, which cover small and medium businesses. This electric rate hike is even higher than a forecast hike that SaveOnEnergy had warned customers about in October.

The current (November) PPL Price to Compare for GS-1 and GS-3 customers is 7.605 cents per kWh -- meaning that commercial electric customers are facing a more than 20% rate hike if they continue to buy their power supply from PPL in December.

Commercial customers at PPL don't have to pay the new, higher Price to Compare, and can avoid the rate hike by shopping with a competing electric supplier.