Prices increased in January when generation rate caps expired. Those rate caps kept prices at 1990s levels for more than a decade while the cost to generate electricity rose across the country.
By shopping for generation supply, their customers may be able to lessen the impact of rising prices.
Business and residential customers have been receiving supply offers from companies for months. More than 260,000 customers had already selected another supplier by late January.
PPL Electric Utilities continue to receive phone calls from other customers asking what they should do and whether offers are legitimate. Some have said they are reluctant to switch out of loyalty to PPL Electric Utilities.
The message to those who call is, explore all of your options.
PPL Electric Utilities cannot and does not endorse any particular supplier. There are no PPL Electric Utilities “preferred” or “approved” suppliers. Their role is to be impartial and explain how customers can shop and the types of questions they should ask suppliers.
To be clear: PPL Electric Utilities is not competing with generation suppliers. They do not produce electricity. Their job is simply to deliver it.
If you do not choose another supplier in 2010, they are required by law to buy power for you. Prior to 2010, they sought competitive bids from suppliers through a process approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
PPL Electric Utilities and other distribution companies in Pennsylvania are not allowed by the Electric Energy Choice Act to own generation resources. However the act does require PPL EU and other Pennsylvania distribution companies to be the provider of last resort (POLR) or to provide default service for those customers who have not chosen a energy supply so they will have a continual flow of electric energy.
Therefore since PPL EU has no generation capacity the Public Utility commission requires us to put this POLR supply out for contract bid. The bids are approved by the PUC and the price PPL Electric Utilities is charging for generation in 2010 is the average price it pays 11 different suppliers based in 8 different states. Remember: PPL Electric Utilities doesn’t produce power. It’s strictly a delivery company. If you don’t choose a supplier, it will buy power for you and pass along the costs without profit. The bottom line: PPL Electric Utilities won’t make a penny from the increase that customers pay in 2010. That money will go to 11 different generation companies.
They are now passing suppliers’ prices on to you without profit. Those charges appear on the generation portion of your bill.
In fact, PPL Electric Utilities is not making money from the increase you are paying in 2010. If you do not shop the money you pay goes directly to 11 different generation suppliers based in eight different states.
The bottom line is that it neither hurts nor helps PPL Electric Utilities if you shop. Rather, it is in your interest to explore all of the options you may have. That is why they are encouraging all customers to do so.
No matter what you choose, they will still deliver your power. You will see no difference in your electric service, or their commitment to customers. They will still be the company you call to report a power outage. And they will continue to offer you programs, tools and information that can help you save energy and money.
As recent weeks have shown it is a new world. Competition is here. It will transform the energy business, leading to more choices, better deals and real innovation.
About the Author:
Jim Nulton is the Harrisburg Regional Community Relations Director for PPL Corporation which includes Dauphin, Cumberland, York, Perry and Juniata counties. Jim has had held numerous management assignments during his 32 year career, including serving as PPL Corporations International Director for economic development. Jim can be reached by phone at 717-257-5608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PPL Projects a Huge Rate Increase
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