Peco rate rise more likely

The likelihood of a Peco Energy Co. rate increase in 2011 became stronger today after the Philadelphia utility announced the results of the first of four auctions to buy power when market-based rates are introduced at the end of next year. The competitive bidding indicates the energy cost of a customer's bill would increase 9 percent, according to Cathy Engel, Peco spokeswoman. The total rate increase will probably be from 10 to 15 percent because customers will have to pay for costs of state-imposed energy conservation programs. The auctions being conducted this year and next will determine Peco's default rate, but customers will be free to sign up with other energy suppliers when the electrical markets are deregulated. Peco's rates have been stabilized since the 1990s, but rate caps are scheduled to be lifted at the end of 2010.

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