Are you staying on top of your electricity supply rate?

Are you staying on top of your electricity supply rate?

Here in Pennsylvania, you can shop for your electricity supply. Just like you would shop for a car, you compare different offers and choose what is right for you at the lowest cost. Then, PPL Electric Utilities delivers the electricity to you.

We support shopping for electricity supply, but because we deliver the electricity, we have no vested interest in which supplier you choose. But we do care whether you’re paying a reasonable rate.

We’ve been monitoring the rates shopping customers pay compared to the default rate, which is the rate charged if you do not choose a supplier.

We’ve found many of our residential customers are paying more for electricity through their supplier than they would have on the default rate. Over a one-year period, our residential customers paid about $97 million more than they would have paid on the default rate. Small business customers paid $34 million more.

This is alarming.

The data really made me stop and take a step back. How is this happening? One of the biggest issues I find is that suppliers sometimes use deceptive marketing tactics to attract customers.

I am sure we all know someone — or you yourself — who received a phone call or letter claiming to provide a new and better rate. Often these solicitations are disguised as a PPL-endorsed communication, using our logo or stating that the call is about your PPL bill. You may be told that if you switch now, you can get $300 in gift card rewards.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Those gift cards they offer you are often short-term discounts to mask higher rates. And the low rates they offer you are often teaser rates. They only last a short while and then they skyrocket.

Suppliers are intentionally vague in hopes you won’t understand the long-term cost increase or aren’t monitoring your electric bill closely. In fact, there are more than 26,000 PPL customers paying double the price of default energy.

I recently appeared in front of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to encourage our representatives to take steps to protect our customers from this type of deceptive marketing.

We’re committed to advocating for our customers. In the meantime, it’s critical you continue to shop smart. Read the fine print, be aware of deceptive marketing tactics and check your electric bill regularly to see how much you are being charged.

The time for change is now or Pennsylvania customers will continue paying the price. I encourage you to speak to your local officials to raise awareness about the consumer protections that are needed and continue to shop smart.

To learn more about how to check your electricity supply rate and make informed decisions, visit today.

By: Greg Dudkin, Chief Operating Officer, PPL Corporation

Photo of Greg Dudkin


Three steps to energy savings this winter

Three steps to energy savings this winter

Last winter, many customers on variable-rate plans for their generation supply faced high bills, resulting from a combination of high usage during the prolonged cold weather and volatile market prices.

We suggest a three-step plan to help customers avoid paying more than they have to for electricity:

1. Use energy wisely

We have many low-cost and no-cost tips to help you save energy. They include turning the thermostat down, if you can. Heating accounts for more than 30 percent of an average home’s energy bill. Turning the thermostat down about 1 degree saves about 2 percent on your heating bill, while turning it down 5 degrees saves about 10 percent. Also, seal your house against drafts, and have your ductwork checked for air leaks.

2. Shop for electricity

Shopping for everything from groceries to gasoline is part of almost every family’s routine. So why not shop for electricity, too? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has a website that makes shopping easy:

3. Shop smart

Customers have two choices when they shop for their electricity: fixed rate and variable rate. If you have a variable rate, it means the price you pay per kilowatt-hour can change anytime, based on factors like weather and market conditions. A fixed-rate plan offers pricing stability for a defined period of time. There are many fixed-rate offers below PPL Electric Utilities’ price to compare — the rate PPL Electric Utilities charges customers who don’t shop.

Even if you’re already on a fixed-rate plan, it’s a good idea to check the terms and expiration date of your supply agreement. Sometimes fixed-rate plans automatically shift to variable-rate plans when they expire.

As with any purchase you make, it’s always good to double-check what you’re buying, and know the terms of your energy contract and the price you’ll pay this winter.

No matter where you buy your electricity, it will still be delivered safely and reliably by PPL Electric Utilities.