Few investing in easing rate-cap expiration

    A pair of local electric providers are offering the opportunity to put some money away for when electric deregulation hits, and rate caps come off, in Pennsylvania at the end of 2010. But not many people are taking them up on the offer.

    A pair of local electric providers are offering the opportunity to put some money away for when electric deregulation hits, and rate caps come off, in Pennsylvania at the end of 2010. But not many people are taking them up on the offer.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090625tmpeco.mp3]

    PECO and PPL provide most of southeastern Pennsylvania’s electricity. The utilities are giving customers the opportunity to pay extra now to keep their bills stable when rate caps come off in a year and a half.

    PECO is expecting about a 10 percent rate increase when deregulation kicks in; for PPL, it’s 30 percent. Sonny Popowsky is Pennsylvania’s Consumer Advocate.

    Popowsky: PECO rates were already much higher than PPL’s rates to begin with. What we are seeing is that the PPL rates are going up closer to the level that PPL customers are already paying. But as a result of that, we don’t expect to see very substantial increases in the PECO territory when the rate caps do come off at the end of 2010.

    Popowsky says many customers can not afford the savings plan or just don’t expect the hit to be too hard.

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