Met-Ed and PPL customers hoping to get a vacation from high electricity bills are out of luck.

The big bills caused by greater demand during a harsh winter are extending into summer.

Beginning Sunday, generation rates climbed 25 percent for Met-Ed customers and 3 percent for PPL customers.

Met-Ed's typical residential customers, using an average 750 kilowatts of electricity, will see their monthly bills grow from $93.03 to $107.81, said Scott Surgeoner, Met-Ed spokesman.

That $14.78 difference is a 16 percent increase in customer bills.

"Beginning with late June bills, but most likely July, customers will start seeing the increase," Surgeoner said.

Met-Ed serves 172,000 customers in York County.

PPL serves 8,000 customers in the county, and their generation rates increased from 8.75 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.04 cents per kilowatt hour.

Company spokesman Paul Wirth said he doesn't know what the increase will mean to the average customer's bill.

How it works: The generation rates are only a portion of the overall customer bill and represent what the companies pay for the energy on the wholesale market. It's a part of the bill that is passed on dollar for dollar to the customer and yields no profit to the utility providers.

The rates are typically re-evaluated every quarter.

"It's the portion of the bill not regulated by the PUC," said Jennifer Kocher, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.


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Met-Ed and PPL are among six electricity providers in the state that issued higher generation rates on Sunday. Of those, Met-Ed has the highest comparable rate at 9.73 cents per kilowatt hour.

Only one electricity provider in the state is reporting a lower generation rate. PECO, which serves 4,500 customers in York County, issued a 2 percent decrease in its generation rate this week, dropping from 8.77 cents per kilowatt hour to 8.58 cents per kilowatt hour.

"It all depends when they purchased energy on the wholesale market," Kocher said of the increases and decreases.

Nearly all of the electricity providers purchased power in January, according to the PUC.

"We made our purchases during January, when the polar vortex was impacting prices," Surgeoner said.

PPL bought energy at various times, Wirth said.

Shopping around: The company is encouraging customers to shop around for lower rates.

"This is not a rate increase. It's an increase in the price people will pay if they choose not to shop for energy elsewhere," he said.

State law allows consumers to shop for the cheapest supplier, and Met-Ed, PPL and other companies will still deliver the energy.

The PUC is advising customers to shop with caution.

For example, some companies sell variable rates that fluctuate with the market. Variable rates were largely responsible for high bills during the winter, the commission reported.

"We encourage consumers to know what they're shopping for. They should check out papowerswitch.com and decide what's right for them — a fixed or variable rate," Kocher said.

For those who choose not to shop around, PPL is recommending traditional money-saving techniques.

"Use energy-saving light bulbs and appliances and be careful with the thermostat setting," Wirth said. "We're getting into hotter weather, but if you can stand not to use the air conditioner quite as hard, you can save money."

— Reach Candy Woodall at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.