PPL sees 18% of customers switch suppliers

March 23, 2010

By Andrew Maykuth

Retail electrical choice is off to a fast start in PPL Electric territory.

Nearly a quarter million PPL Electric Utilities Corp. customers – 18 percent – had switched to alternative power suppliers as of Monday, the Allentown utility said.

And state officials expect that more PPL customers will sign up with discounted suppliers after they glimpse their bills, which reflect a 30 percent increase for power consumed after Jan. 1.

“When people see that high bill – especially if they’re a heating customer and it’s a high winter bill – that’s certainly going to arouse more interest in switching power suppliers,” said Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Irwin A. “Sonny” Popowsky.

Caps on PPL’s rates came off Jan. 1, and the utility’s 2010 default rate, based on power purchased from 2007 to 2009, increased 30 percent.

But alternative suppliers, which can buy wholesale power at current market rates, are offering discounts of more than 10 percent off PPL’s current retail rates.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has certified eight alternative suppliers for PPL customers, including two that offer renewable power at a higher cost than PPL’s default rate of 10.45 cents per kilowatt hour.

PPL Electric, which serves 1.2 million customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania, is encouraging customers to shop around because the utility does not lose money on customers who choose alternative suppliers.

Customers who choose an alternate supplier still get billed and serviced through PPL, which collects a standard fee for distributing the power through its lines.

Of 248,000 PPL customers who have switched, 205,000 are residential, said Ryan Hill, the utility’s spokesman.

Deregulation in PPL territory has more than doubled the number of Pennsylvania electrical customers who get power supplied by independent operators. Nearly 414,000 customers statewide are served by alternative suppliers, according to the consumer advocate.

Rate caps will remain in place in Peco Energy Co. territory through the end of 2010, when customers of the state’s largest utility are expected to get offers from alternative suppliers.

Our Perspective:

HBS is an independent energy broker who is currently selling deregulated energy in the PPL territory. We are finding prices in the mid to upper 8 cent area. Shold yo like to know more about deregulated savings in the PPL territory email george@hbsadvantage.com

2 Responses to “PPL sees 18% of customers switch suppliers”

  1. How long does it take to switch suppliers Switching suppliers takes on average 6 to 8 weeks. Buy Wholesale

    • ghutch said

      The cutover is based on the meter reading date. You will need at least a minimum of 4 weeks before this date to be able to start the following month. Otherwise you will go to the next month.

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