Small and medium-sized business customers in eastern Pennsylvania are projected to be hit with large electric rate hikes on December 1 if they continue to buy their power from their local utility, PECO or PPL, instead of shopping for a lower electric rate.

That's because the "Price to Compare" is projected to significantly increase on December 1 at both PECO and PPL. The Price to Compare is the electric rate paid by customers who do not choose an alternative electric supplier, and who continue to buy their power supply from the local utility under "default" service.

Specifically, at PPL, the Price to Compare for small and mid-sized commercial and industrial customers (rate classes GS-1 and GS-3) is projected to increase to nearly 8.7¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh), under an official estimate filed with the state Public Utility Commission. The current GS-1 and GS-3 Price to Compare at PPL is 7.6¢/kWh.

In other words, small and medium businesses at PPL are facing an electric rate hike of 14%.
Small and medium businesses at PECO are also projected to pay a much higher electric rate starting December 1.

Specifically, at PECO, the Price to Compare for small and mid-sized commercial and industrial customers (rate class GS That's a nearly 10% increase from the current Price to Compare of 9.4¢/kWh.

Business customers at PECO and PPL can easily avoid these electric rate hikes, however.

With the competition that has been introduced into Pennsylvania's electricity market, customers can now shop among competing electric suppliers to find the lowest rate. When you shop for a lower rate, your power supplier changes, but your electricity is still delivered by PPL or PECO over the utility's wires, at rates set by the Public Utility Commission. Outage restorations are handled by PECO and PPL the same as if you still bought default service from them; there's no impact to your electric service reliability from shopping. All that happens is that you get your power supply at a lower cost.

The smallest businesses at PECO can save nearly 30% versus the December 1 Price to Compare by shopping for a competing electric supplier, with an electric rate in the 7-cent range versus PECO's 10-cent rate. Larger businesses can save even more.

At PPL, small businesses can save over 20% versus the December 1 Price to Compare by shopping for a competing electric supplier, with bigger savings available for larger businesses.