PPL's official announcement confirms what SaveOnEnergy.com® first warned 1.4 million customers in Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Lancaster, and surrounding areas about last month -- that PPL's residential electric rate was forecast to jump nearly 15%.
Specifically, PPL has announced that the residential "Price to Compare" will increase to 8.227 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) starting June 1. That's about a 14% increase from the current residential Price to Compare of 7.237 cents per kWh.
The "Price to Compare" is the electric rate charged by PPL for customers who do not choose to buy their power supply from an alternative electric supplier. PPL supplies these non-shopping customers with "default" service, and buys power for them on the open market. The Price to Compare changes every 3 months and can be volatile.
With the competition that has been introduced into Pennsylvania's electric market; however, customers don't have to buy their power supply from PPL. Instead, customers have the power to choose among competing electric suppliers offering lower rates -- just like customers can shop for long-distance service, cellular service, and in some areas cable and internet service.
Even though residential customers can avoid PPL's rate hike by shopping, and can save up to 15% to 20% by choosing an alternative supplier, most residential customers at PPL haven't shopped, and continue to buy their electric supply under default service. In fact, nearly 60% of residential customers at PPL have not yet shopped for a lower electric rate.
Customers are needlessly paying more money by not shopping for a lower rate, because when you shop, the only thing that changes is that you get a lower electric bill.
When you choose an alternative electric supplier, PPL still delivers your electricity over its poles and wires. PPL still responds to all outages and emergencies as it normally does, and its delivery of your power supply remains regulated by the Public Utility Commission. You don't need to change meters or do anything special to switch electric suppliers. Moreover, PPL is not financially harmed in any way from its customers shopping for a competing supplier, and, in fact, PPL encourages customers to shop around for the best product that meets their needs.