The PPL Electric Utilities rate increase approved November 19 by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Docket No. R-2015-2469275 ) will be about 26 percent under the figure that the company originally requested last March – at $124 million rather than $167.5 million.
By a 5-0 vote, the PUC endorsed a settlement that reduced the increase from 6.9 percent to 6.1 percent, to help the utility cover rising distribution costs. The smaller step-up will raise the typical residential customer’s bill by 5.1 percent – or $7.53 per month, rather than the originally requested $10.19 – effective January 1.
PPL – which serves about 1.4 million customers in 29 counties across the Keystone State – said it plans to spend about $5 billion during the next five years to renew, strengthen, and modernize its electricity delivery network. The company will continue to invest in smart grid technology, new power lines and substations, more effective tree trimming, and stronger poles and wires – all aimed at preventing outages from storms and other causes.
Indeed, the company now can claim that customers are getting more for less: When the delivery charge increase approved by the PUC takes effect, a residential PPL customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month who does not shop for electricity supply would have an electric bill of about $138 – more than $9 lower than the current average bill of about $147.
Customers who shop for their energy supply can save even more.