PPL plans another rate hike: Here's how much you could be paying

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

York County residents who are electricity customers of PPL will see their bills spike after next month as the utility passes along increasing energy costs.

Residential customers, who already saw a 26% increase in December, will see another 38% increase starting June 1. 

PPL, which has 8,402 customers in York County, said the increase was caused by larger factors familiar to most people.

"The increase is due to several ongoing market conditions that are impacting most sectors of the economy," said Maggie Sheely, PPL regional affairs director. "These include the rising cost of energy supply sources, including natural gas, as well as overall inflation and other global economic events."

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The new rate, which goes into effect June 1, will increase from 8.9 cents to 12.3 cents per kilowatt hour. That averages out to just over $34 per 1,000 kWh used. The average American household uses 893 kWh per month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

For small business customers, the rate went up just over 2 cents per kilowatt hour, going from 9.675 cents per kilowatt hour to 11.695 cents. That averages out to just over $20 per 1,000 kilowatts used.

PPL Electric Utilities deliver electricity to customers, but don’t own the power plants where that electricity is generated, Sheely said. In Pennsylvania, customers can shop around and choose their electricity supplier.

"If customers do not choose a supplier, they receive default supply through PPL Electric per state law. That default rate is called the price to compare. It is updated twice a year based upon competitive energy auctions," Sheely said. "The auctions are designed to secure the lowest rate offered, which PPL Electric then passes on to customers based on their electric use at no profit to the company. We are required by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to update the price to compare regularly."

PPL residential electricity customers can expect a rate increase of just under 3 1/2 cents after June 1.

PPL just recently completed that auction and updated the new price to compare.

In current dollars — not adjusted for inflation — this is the highest residential price to compare since the default rate was first offered in 2006, Sheely said, and the price to compare for small businesses is at its highest point since 2011.

This is the second rate increase PPL customers have seen since December. On Dec. 1, 2021, the residential price to compare increased by about 26% and the business price to compare increased by about 36% from the previous period (June 1, 2021 – Dec. 1, 2021).

Sheely said there are several things customers can do help minimize the impact on their electric bills. One is to shop for electricity.

"We encourage customers to use the price to compare as a reference point when shopping for the electricity supplier that offers the service and price that is right for them. If customers do choose to shop for a supplier, we encourage them to pay attention to the specific terms of the agreements they sign," she said. "Sometimes suppliers offer introductory offers or special incentives. Customers should beware of variable rates that often start low and then increase significantly with the price of energy."

For more tips, customers can visit pplelectric.com/shopsmart.

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Another way to save is to adjust the amount of electricity used in a day.

"Reducing the amount of energy used at a home or business can save customers money on their monthly bills," Sheely said. "PPL Electric offers tips, programs, and rebates that can help. Residential customers can also sign up for a free virtual home energy audit."

For more information, visit savewithppl.com.

PPL also offers bill assistance and budgeting programs that spread the cost over a longer period of time. To learn more about those programs, visit pplelectric.com/billhelp or call 1-800-342-5775.

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter.