Rate hikes coming, but less than expected

    Electric rate caps come off for four energy companies that supply Pennsylvania customers on January 1, but PECO customers rate hikes will be far less than anticipated a few years back.

    Penelec customers in western Pennsylvania will likely see the biggest increase, with rates expected to jump by 17 percent.

    But inceases should be less than the 30 percent hike Pennsylvania Power and Light customers experienced last year.

    Pennsylvania Consumer Adocate Sonny Popowski said the sagging economy will help moderate the rate hikes.

    “The demand for energy, particularly demand for electricity, is down from where it had been,” Popowski said.”The second factor is, we have an increase in supply for energy, particularly natural gas, as a result of developments like the Marcellus Shale.”

    PECO customers in the Philadelphia area are expected to see a five percent increase, and southwestern Allegheny Power customers’ bills are expected to go up 4 points.

    MetEd customers have the easiest transition, with an expected 2.2 percent hike.

    This is the final wave of rate cap deregulation.

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