Philadelphia - PECO recently completed its final electricity purchases to serve customers beginning January 1, 2011. As a result of this and other changes, overall residential customer bills are expected to increase about 5% beginning in January. PECO's average residential price to compare is 9.92 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Customers may be able to save money by purchasing their electricity from a competitive electric generation supplier if supplier prices are lower than PECO's price to compare.
"This has been a year of change for our customers," said PECO President and CEO Denis O'Brien. "We are moving from capped rates to market prices for electricity and we are changing our delivery rates for the first time in decades. And with this purchase of power, we continued to secure electricity at lower wholesale market prices, reducing the overall impact to our customers."
In January the prices PECO and our customers pay for electricity will be based on electric market pricing, after having been capped for more than 10 years. At the same time costs to operate our electric delivery systems have been increasing. The 5% overall increase for residential customers is based on the results of all electricity purchases and the company's recent electric delivery rate case settlement, pending final approval of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
For the typical residential customer, the increase is about $5 per month. Prices for PECO's small commercial customers are expected to decrease about 5% and prices for PECO's large commercial customers are expected to increase about 7%.
Customer bills are made up of basically two parts - the electricity used by customers and the cost to deliver that electricity to the customer. In total, the electricity used by customers - or the commodity charges - make up about 2/3 of a total bill. These electricity costs are passed along directly to customers at exactly the price that PECO pays to purchase power for our customers. These costs change quarterly, as market prices change. PECO will continue to update its price to compare quarterly to help customers evaluate offers from competitive suppliers.
The delivery charge, or the portion of the bill that covers PECO's costs to deliver electricity, is about 1/3 of the bill. These charges are set by PECO and approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC).
Customers can offset the impact of these changes by using less energy. Through PECO Smart Ideas, the company's full suite of energy saving and demand response programs:
- More than 700 stores currently sell PECO discounted CFL bulbs. These light bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional light bulbs.
- PECO is paying rebates to customers who purchase qualified energy-efficient appliances.
- PECO is paying incentives to customers who allow us to pick up older, energy-wasting refrigerators and freezers.
- PECO pays residential customers $120 a year ($30/month June - September) to remotely manage central air-conditioning systems during times of high demand for electricity.
- PECO offers an online home energy audit to help customers understand how they currently use energy and how they can use less.
Just by replacing five bulbs with CFLs and raising your thermostat two degrees during the summer, you can save more than $8/month - more than offsetting the expected increase. To learn more about saving energy and money with PECO Smart Ideas visit www.peco.com/SmartIdeas.
PECO also offers payment options, like Budget Billing, to help customers manage their bills. Budget Billing divides energy costs evenly throughout the year. Programs also are available to help customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills. Through our Universal Services programs, we assist more than 130,000 low-income customers each year with reduced rates, free energy-efficiency improvements and Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding.
Additional activity by competitive electric generation suppliers is expected as the market continues to develop. Customers interested in learning more about shopping with a competitive electric generation supplier can visit the Pennsylvania PA PUC's website. Whether customers are purchasing electricity from a competitive electric generation supplier or from PECO, PECO will continue to safely deliver electricity, provide billing and customer support, and respond to outages and other emergencies for ALL customers.
- Learn more about all of these changes at PECO Answers.visit .
- Visit PECO Procurement for specific information about PECO's purchases of electricity for customers beginning January 1, 2011.