Sticker shock comes to some Pa. customers switched electric providers

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Some Pennsylvanians are getting sticker shock when opening their energy bills this month. 

Acting Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Tanya McCloskey says the very cold weather in January did more than make people run their furnaces longer. It caused price spikes on the wholesale electrictity market. Those higher costs were passed on to people who did not lock in a guaranteed price for buying power, sparking many complaints.

“These are the people that were not on default service with their local utility or not on a fixed rate option with an alternative electric generation supplier,” McCloskey said. “These are customers who were on a variable rate option with the electric generation supplier.”

McCloskey says for some, the price per kilowatt hour tripled or quadrupled. Ben Armstrong of PECO says the utility changes its supply charges every three months.

“We believe that the rates our customers pay today will be about the same that they will be paying on March 1 and we would provide advance communication through bills of any changes that do occur,” he said.

Armstrong says if you have a question and even if you use an alternative supplier, PECO has a phone number on your bill to call for assistance.

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