PECO announced on Friday its uncapped electric rates for January 1, 2011 when rate caps expire.  Customers who do not shop around for a lower priced energy supplier will end up paying more for their electricity.

Not only will customers who choose a low energy rate avoid the higher PECO prices, their prices will actually go down versus the capped rate, the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms.

For small commercial customers, PECO's electric generation rate, or "Price to Compare," will be 9.47 cents per kilowatt-hour.  For medium-size commercial customers, the Price to Compare is 9.37 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Competing electric suppliers are already beating these prices, providing the opportunity for business customers to save hundreds if not thousands on their electric bills.

Although savings will vary by customer size and usage, a typical business customer can save at least 20% off of the PECO electric rate.  For even smaller-sized businesses, that can translate into savings of nearly $1,000 per year.

As noted previously, large commercial and industrial customers, by default, can no longer receive a flat rate from PECO, and will pay volatile hourly prices throughout the day if they do not shop.  While PECO offers an alternative, opt-in fixed rate of 9.59 cents for these large customers, it is not competitive with the much lower prices available from competing electric companies in the market.

When you shop for a lower priced energy provider, PECO still delivers your electricity over its wires.  PECO no longer generates electricity itself, and only acts as a middle-man.  That's why it encourages its customers to shop around for a lower cost electric supplier.

“My main message today is ‘shop, shop, shop,’” PECO CEO Denis O’Brien told the Daily Times. “You want to find the best prices you can.”