Energy Rate Caps Expiring: How Prepared Are You?

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to electricity consumption in Pennsylvania. The good news is the rates that electricity suppliers could charge you have been capped since 1996 as part of Pennsylvania’s “Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act.”

The bad news is those caps have already expired – or will do so by year’s end – across the state. Those markets that have already become “uncapped” include those served by UGI Utilities Inc., Pike County Light & Power Company, Citizens Electric of Lewisburg, Wellsboro Electric Company, Duquesne Light Company, Pennsylvania Power Company and PPL Electric Utilities Inc. The remainder – areas served by West Penn Power Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Metropolitan Edison Company and PECO – will expire on 12/31/10.

In some cases, consumers have found that their rates have gone down after the caps came off, but in the majority of cases, the costs have skyrocketed – in fact, some rates are predicted to rise by as much as 70%!

So what’s an energy consumer to do? As a result of loosened restrictions, there are many companies that will now be able to supply your electricity through the infrastructure supplied by your current utility company. Start shopping now for a competitive electricity supplier to try to minimize the hit you’ll take. To find a list of suppliers in your area, visit The Public Utility Commission’s website You can also take steps to minimize your electricity usage – including installing proper insulation and energy-efficient windows, doors, appliances and lightbulbs, keeping your thermostat at a moderate setting, and unplugging small appliances and turning off lights when not in use.