PPL default rate

rate-increase-signHigher summer electricity bills have become all too familiar for PPL residential customers over the last several years. 2019 will be more of the same as the central Pennsylvania utility has again announced a rate increase that will go into effect on the first of June. PPL, the second largest utility in the state, released the auction results that determine the default rate for their residential customer pool.

PPL’s current residential Price to Compare, which has been in effect since December 1, 2018, will jump from $0.07039 to the higher price of $0.07585 on June 1, 2019. The higher price represents a 7.8% increase on the supply price and will be seen on PPL electric bills that start arriving in customer’s mailboxes and email inboxes in early July. The new rate will stay in effect through the end of November.

Higher summer electricity bills can be avoided for default paying customers by simply searching for and comparing competitive PPL electricity rates. Price to Compare rates do not effect customers who are receiving their power supply from a third party competitive supplier. Pennsylvania electricity choice allows customers to choose competitive rate plans and replace the PPL default rate with the alternative supplier’s electricity price.

Data obtained from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s energy choice website reveals that currently only 39.7% of PPL residential customers are receiving their power from a competitive Pennsylvania electricity supplier. This data concludes that there are roughly 700,000 residential customers on the PPL Price to Compare who can avoid the price increase that will take place on June first by finding a lower fixed rate.

Competitive PPL electricity rates are available below. In addition to plans offering lower prices than the default rate, many plans are offering renewable energy or “green energy” options that allow customers to purchase electricity generated from cleaner sources such as the wind, sun, or hydro. All suppliers below are licensed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.



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.