Pennsylvania electricity choice

Residential customers in the PPL service area who are not receiving their power supply from a competitive supplier will be hit with a large price hike on June 1, 2017. The increase will manifest on the price to compare rate which encompasses the generation and transmission components of the bill. Customers who have entered into electricity contracts with competitive Pennsylvania electricity suppliers will not be effected by the change.

PPL Energy is required by law, through the Pennsylvania Energy Choice and Competition Act, to provide default service for the generation and transmission charges on the PPL electric bill for those customers who do not shop for competitive rates. The default price, often referred to as the ‘Price to Compare’ is calculated through an auction process whereby competitive suppliers bid to service a portion of the default paying customers. For the past two years, and foreseeable future, PPL enacts a change to the price to compare rate twice a year. Prior to that the change was made every three months.

Over the last six months default paying customers have paid a rate of $0.07439 for the price to compare rate. On June 1 that price will rise to $0.08493, representing a 14.17% increase on the bill for PPL customers who continue on the default rate structure. This will be the first price increase since March 1, 2015. The last four price changes have been rate decreases. Despite the downward price trend over the last two years, customers were still able to find significant savings off of the price to compare rate in the competitive market; licensed competitive suppliers were able to offer fixed rates that were lower than the PPL default rate. Customers who have become used to seeing a decreasing electric bill might be surprised when they get their PPL electric bills in July showing a large increase.

Though the competitive market has presented savings to customers over the last several years, the upcoming price hike will present an even greater opportunity for customers to save money through Pennsylvania electricity choice. As of April 2017 PPL reported that 57% of their over 1.2 million residential customers were still on the default price to compare rate. These customers have the opportunity to avoid the upcoming rate increase and even lower their existing rate by taking the time to shop the market for competitive offers. In addition, by locking in a long term fixed rate customers may be further protecting themselves from a future PPL rate increase that could occur in the next rate change happens later this year in December.


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On March 1, 2013 PP&L raised their price to compare electric rate by an average of 13% for small and medium size businesses. The price to compare is the default rate that PPL customers pay for generation and transmission service who have not entered into a competitive electricity agreement with a competitive power supplier. Through Pennsylvania electricity choice businesses have the ability to shop for competitive electric rates than can offer substantial savings versus the PPL utility default rate.

As the state’s second largest electric utility, the rate increase imposed by PP&L will effect a large number of businesses throughout central Pennsylvania. Roughly 90,000 businesses in the area will see their electric rate increase to $0.1039 (10.39 cents) per KWh. Meanwhile competitive rates for business consumers spending over $600 a month are as low as $0.082 (8.2 cents) which can provide savings of 17.5% once the gross receipts tax is factored.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reports that 47% of commercial customers in the PP&L service area are still on the price to compare rate structure. All of these customers should take immediate action and find a low fixed electric rate that will provide lower PP&L electric bills. Low PP&L electric rates will offer immediate savings versus the default rate and also protect the business customer from further potential price hikes that can take effect as early as June.

Compare low PP&L business electric rates below. Simply choose your utility (PPL) and your average monthly electric bill. You will then be given a matrix that will let you compare fixed electric rates by term and start month.

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