PPL Electric Utilities encourages thrifty shopping

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PPL Electric Utilities would like to see more Pennsylvanians shop for competing electricity suppliers online at PAPowerSwitch.com.

Under state law, PPL is a default supplier. The utility no longer owns any power plants and sees its purpose as delivery of electrical power.

“We deliver the electricity,” PPL Electric Utilities spokeswoman Tracie Witter said. “We’re the poles and wires.”

Currently, PPL has about 460,000 customers to whom it delivers electrical service purchasing the supply from elsewhere. That leaves 60% of the homes, businesses and offices to which PPL delivers electricity also purchasing PPL’s supply under default rates.

As Brian Roche for WGAL, a Lancaster-based TV station, reported, PPL is required to provide power to all customers, at all times and is also required to secure its power supply “well in advance of when it is to be used.”

Under these requirements, PPL must buy power supplies twice a year, under short-term, mid-term and long-term contracts.

Other suppliers, WGAL noted, can buy and sell as they choose, with no time-frame constraints.

Witter and PPL advocate for consumers to begin shopping with these other suppliers now, as energy costs continue to rise. In December, the default rate per kilowatt hour rose from 12 cents to 14 cents.

“It’s been going up and up,” Witter said. “Now, it can really make a difference.”

PPL encourages consumers shopping for a new power supplier to be thorough in reading the fine print. Some suppliers offer low introductory rates that rapidly increase once a contract locks a consumer in.

“You have to look at the terms and conditions,” Witter said.

PPL also encourages consumers to find ways of improving the efficiency of their energy use. The utility’s website, PPLElectric.com, has tips.

“As market forces have driven up the cost of power we buy for non-shopping customers, our Price to Compare has risen significantly,” Witter said. “We encourage all customers to make sure they are getting the best deal for electricity supply by comparing prices offered by suppliers at PAPowerSwitch.com.”

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