As Deregulation grows closer in the PECO market some things may remain unclear when it comes to judging prices. The first question is how much am I currently paying? PECO offers a “price to compare” which gives customers a price to use for comparison between the current prices and an alternate supplier. In addition to offering their current price they also list the future price at the beginning of next year, when deregulation officially kicks in. As with most utility bill pricing there can be some confusion. The current rate is calculated from two charges, generation and transmission, and is 9.94 cents per kWh, the rate at the beginning of the year will be 9.92 cents per kWh for three combined charges. At first glance this appears to be a great price decrease! Don’t get excited just yet, things will change in the future.
To begin a new charge will be added to your PECO bill. This charge is being labeled as an Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) fee which will remain consistent at .12 cents per kWh. The three fees now combined to make your total charge are the AEPS, Generation and transmission fees. The other distribution related fees will remain consistent regardless of the supplier. The price to compare is the combined total of the three fees. The rates will change regularly, depending on the season. The estimated rates for April 1 - June 30 are 10.16 for below 500 kWh used and 11.40 for above 500 kWh used. For the same time period last year the rate was 6.92 for under 500 kWh consumed, that equals an estimated increase of 31.9%! This is even larger than the close to 30% increase PPL customers saw a year earlier.
What does this mean for the average consumer? It means that momentarily your electric rates may get slightly lower, even with the addition of a new fee, which at first seems great. But be weary of the impending summer. Electric rates will generally fluctuate as heating season ends and air conditioning begins, this year looks to be a real shocker.
Thanks to the new deregulated system you do not have to stand for the drastic increase. You have the ability to pick your electric supplier. One example for PECO customers is Viridian Energy. Viridian prides itself in saving consumers money over the course of the year. They currently boast $35.56 a month in savings for customers in the United Illuminating district. The ability of PECO customers to sign up for Viridian started November 22. The sign up is hassle free and only requires an account number from your current utility bill. There are no contracts or sign up fees. The only thing you stand to lose is your money in the form of higher electric bills.