PPL Electric Utilities (PPL) announced on September 3 that the Pennsylvania-based power company had reached a settlement with the advocates and interest groups who intervened in the company’s latest rate proceeding.
Under the terms of the agreement, PPL would receive an overall increase in annual revenues of $124 million. The delivery charge increase – its first in three years – is intended to fund reliability improvements in its service region.
If approved by the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) administrative law judge and the PUC, itself, the settlement would mean that a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (KWh) per month who does not shop for electricity supply would see an increase of about $7.55 a month on his or her electricity bill – raising the bottom line from an average $147.31 per month to $154.86.
The majority of the company’s residential customers – about 65 percent of them – use less than 1,000 KWh/month, and would see a smaller hike in their monthly bills. There would be no increase in the fixed-charge portion of residential customer bills.
“We are in the midst of game-changing improvements in the quality of service for our customers,” said PPL President Greg Dudkin, explaining that the company plans to spend more than $5 billion during the next five years to renew, strengthen, and modernize its electricity delivery network.
Dudkin claimed that, to date, that the utility’s investments in hardening the grid and increasing reliability have benefited its 1.4 million customers in the Keystone State in the following ways:
- Customers now have 20 percent fewer outages than they did in 2007;
- Reliability is expected to improve by at least another 20 percent in the next five years through additional investments;
- Tree-related power outages are down 18 percent, compared to the average of the previous 10 years; and
- In the first half of 2015, nearly 200,000 power outages were prevented because of work PPL already has completed to improve its system.
“Our 2,300 employees are finding new ways every day to improve service to customers,” Dudkin said. “And at the same time, we are focused on operating more efficiently to make sure electric service from PPL remains a good value for our customers.”
If approved, the increase would take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.