The agency supervising public utilities in Pennsylvania warned that many energy companies will raise their prices on December 1.
In a statement, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said that there will be “potentially large winter energy cost increases” in many areas:
Most Pennsylvania regulated electric utilities are adjusting the price they charge for the generation portion of customers’ bills on December 1 for non-shopping customers, also known as the “Price to Compare” (PTC). The PTC averages 40% to 60% of the customer’s total utility bill. However, this percent varies by utility and by the level of individual customer usage.
The PUC notes that the Commission does not regulate prices for the generation portion of electric bills. For those customers that do not shop, electric utilities obtain default generation service using a procurement process overseen by the PUC — the electric utility in effect “shops” for the customer. Generation prices are separate from the closely regulated rates that utilities charge for their distribution services — the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses.
Providers increasing their prices include:
- Citizens’ Electric — 6.9777 cents to 7.9476 cents per kWh (13.9%)
- Duquesne Light — 7.41 cents to 7.98 cents per kWh (7.7%)
- PECO — 6.597 cents to 7.021 cents per kWh (6.4%)
- PPL — 7.544 cents to 9.502 cents per kWh (26%)
- Pike County Light & Power — 6.5234 cents to 9.796 cents per kWh (50.2%)
“The upcoming price changes, combined with falling temperatures, make this an important time for consumers and businesses to evaluate their energy options and explore ways to save money and energy in the coming months,” said Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille in the statement. “We encourage consumers to carefully review their electric bills, understand the energy prices they will be paying if they stay with default service, and then explore the PUC’s official electric shopping website… for details on competitive offers, along with tips for energy conservation and savings.”
Price hikes ahead of the winter months extend beyond Pennsylvania. Indeed, an October report from the United States Energy Information Administration forecasted the largest nationwide increase in winter heating prices since 2008.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Nearly half of U.S. households that warm their homes with mainly natural gas can expect to spend an average of 30% more on their bills compared with last year. The agency added that bills would be 50% higher if the winter is 10% colder than average and 22% higher if the winter is 10% warmer than average.
The forecast rise in costs, according to the report, will result in an average natural-gas home-heating bill of $746 from Oct. 1 to March 31, compared with about $573 during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is urging limits on available areas for new drilling, as well as higher costs on energy companies. A report from the Department of the Interior recommended that the federal government increase royalty rates for oil and gas drilling above the current rate of 12.5% — which would constitute the first such rate hike in a century.