PECO Electric Rates Going Up
What you can do to save

What happens after Jan. 1? Are the rates going to jump 30% like some of the Chicken Little posts on the DIG Answer Line have been suggesting for the last couple of years? The quick answer is no. PECO’s rates are going up 5%.

If you stay with PECO, you’ll now be charged a market price for power, set at 9.92 cents per kilowatt-hour through March and the rate is slated to adjust each quarter. The 5 percent increase you’ll face in January is the result of regulators’ decisions to raise PECO’s distribution rate and its flat-fee monthly “Customer Charge.”

Where is your electricity going to come from? PECO will still be your regulated utility, required as always to maintain the power lines and other equipment that make a modern electric system function. You’ll still call PECO about outages, and PECO will still send you your bill.

How much can I save by switching? Some marketers are muddying the waters by saying that power prices are about to rise 30 percent – conveniently ignoring that Peco’s generation charges were kept artificially low by the cap. Still, the potential savings are real, if modest.

Right now, some alternative suppliers are offering fixed prices, guaranteed for a year,  that can save you more than a penny per kilowatt-hour vs. PECO’s 9.92-cent price – formally known as its “price to compare.”

The typical PECO customer uses about 750 kilowatt-hours per month. At that level, a customer could save about $7.50 per month or $90 a year – more than offsetting PECO’s projected $6 increase. Higher-end customers could save even  more.

How do I find a supplier? You may get calls or direct-mail offerings, or even pitches from friends, neighbors, or relatives – some suppliers are using multilevel-marketing methods.

Your best bet? See the Comparing Electricity Providers chart on this page or go to a reliable website like the ones maintained by the PUC (http://www.papowerswitch.com/shop-for-electricity/shop-for-your-home/by-distributor/peco-energy/rs/)

or the Office of Consumer Advocate (www.oca.state.pa.us/Industry/Electric/elecomp/ElectricGuides.htm). Each lists more than a dozen alternative suppliers.

Whichever you choose, you need to remember that either choice does not do anything to reduce the amount of electricity that is used by the household.

Regardless of the choice of suppliers, there are hundreds of ways to reduce the amount of energy used in a home, most of which cost nothing or next to nothing and are very, very simple to do. Check out this website for some of those:

http://www.dailyhomerenotips.com/energy-conservation

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