Was your most recent electric bill more expensive than usual? There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just the normal summer months spike caused by increased AC use. The state of Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission recently announced that, as of June 1st, utility costs would be rising statewide. Here’s what you need to know about this utilities increase.
How Much Are Electric Costs Rising?
Different electric utility companies service different parts of the state and each company is responsible for its own pricing model. This means that the amount by which your utilities increase depends on who your service provider is. The state’s Public Utility Commission provided a wide range, saying that price increases will range from a 6% increase to a 45% increase.
Here’s the full list of Pennsylvania electric companies and their respective price increases as provided by the Commission:
- Citizens’ Electric, up from 7.3995 cents to 9.3667 cents per kWh (26.6%)
- Duquesne Light, up from 7.98 cents to an estimated 9.36 cents per kWh (17.3%)
- Met-Ed, up from 6.832 cents to 7.936 cents per kWh (16.1%)
- PECO, up from 7.066 cents to 7.637 cents per kWh (8.1%)
- Penelec, up from 6.232 cents to 8.443 cents per kWh (35.4%)
- Penn Power, up from 7.082 cents to 8.694 cents per kWh (22.7%)
- PPL, up from 8.941 cents to 12.366 cents per kWh (38.3%)
- UGI Electric, up from 8.854 cents to 12.903 cents per kWh (45.7%)
- Wellsboro Electric, up from 7.7569 cents to 9.592 cents per kWh (23.7%)
- West Penn Power, up from 5.667 cents to 8.198 cents per kWh (44.6%)
Why Are Electric Costs in Pennsylvania Going Up?
The short answer to this question is that the cost of natural gas has increased. Because natural gas produces approximately half of the state’s electricity, utility companies are raising their rates to match. The reason these prices have soared to a 14-year high is that the available supply of natural gas has decreased; per the principles of supply and demand, rarer commodities require a greater barrier to entry in the form of a higher price tag.
Will Prices Go Back Down Again?
It’s typical for electric companies to adjust their prices on a quarterly or biannual basis, so it’s possible that prices could start to fall in a few months. However, the shortage of natural gas isn’t expected to have been resolved by the next adjustment period. In fact, there is no real projected date by which natural gas reserves will be replenished; this means that the price spikes could linger or even increase.
What Can I Do About This?
Pennsylvania residents have a few options to address their increased utility bills.
The Standard Offer
The Standard Offer is available to Pennsylvania residents who are interested in comparing their current electric provider with a different local electric company. It allows residents to get 7% off the current price for the comparison period, which is one year long. You get access to that 7% discount for 12 billing cycles, but are not locked in and can switch at any time.
You can shop for a different provider on the Public Utilities Commission’s PA Power Switch website, which allows you to compare monthly rates across different electricity companies. You may find that your current electricity rates are your best option or you may elect to switch.
Install Solar Panels
Homeowners who install solar panels experience significant monthly energy savings and enjoy consistent energy costs by gaining independence from the fickle pricing structures of electricity companies. While there is an upfront cost associated with installing solar panels, the various financing options available and the long-term energy savings make solar panels a surprisingly affordable option for homeowners (and business owners).
Get in Touch With Bright Eye Solar
Bright Eye Solar is a solar company based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Our team of renewable energy experts is available for energy audits and solar installations. Contact us today for a free quote!