Expect to pay more when you flip that switch in your home, if you're still using PECO.
The Philadelphia-based utility is raising rates about 5.5 percent on April 1.
The adjustment, which is currently done quarterly, amounts to about $4.52 more a month per household. For the average residential customer, that means a monthly bill of $86.
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“It’s like a quarterly true-up,” said Ben Armstrong, a spokesman for Exelon, which is PECO's parent company. “A correction for the last quarter.”
The hike is PECO’s way of balancing out the actual cost of energy with what costumers actually paid last quarter, said Armstrong.
The greatest cost is for the power itself -- the cost per kilowatt hour is currently 8.69 cents. That cost will jump to 9.61 cents per kWh in April. The average home uses about 500 kWh a month so that means nearly $50 per household per month.
The rest of the bill is the delivery cost that all 1.4 million PECO residential customers pay for -- even those who use another supplier.
With deregulation, PECO customers got the chance to shop for cheaper energy yet only 500,000 of them did. The other 900,000 still are paying the pass-through commodity rate from PECO, which could potentially be more expensive than prices offered via PAPowerSwitch.com.
“We encourage all of our customers to shop around to look for opportunities to save.”
Armstrong warned that shoppers should be careful to read all the fine print before picking a new power supplier because not every change will save people money and some deals can change over time.
April's price increase, like any other price fluctuations, will show up in the “Price to Compare” section of a customer's monthly utility bill.
The current price hike pales in comparison to the 21.5 percent increase PECO put into effect Oct. 1. That hike raised prices on PECO customers in six counties (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery & York) about $13.95 as the kWh cost jumped from 8.64 cents to 10.50 cents.
Sometimes instead of higher costs, customers actually save money. For example PECO’s prices actually dropped in January and similar good news could be on the horizon. PECO is currently projecting that when they change their quarters to the same system used by most utilities in the state on June 1 that prices will actually drop to 8.82 cents per kWh from June through August.
The proposed rate decrease still must be approved by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission, Armstrong said.