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Smart Talk: PA electric customers still have questions

By: Scott LaMar |

It’s been more than three years since limits or caps were removed from Pennsylvania electric rates.  The price of electricity increased once the rates were unfrozen.

At the same time — as part of deregulation, electric customers were encouraged to shop for an electric supplier that could offer lower costs per kilowatt hour than their default electric utility.

There was much confusion at first but many customers did switch suppliers.  There may not have been as many as expected but still hundreds of thousands did shop.

Years later, many Pennsylvanians still get their electricity from the default utility and aren’t familiar with how or why to shop for a supplier.

Thousands who did choose a variable rate plan with another supplier switched back to their default utility last winter after cold temperatures, increased demand, and higher wholesale prices resulted in electric bills that doubled, tripled or in some cases went up by 600%.

On Monday’s Smart Talk, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Pamela Witmer and Pennsylvania’s Acting Consumer Advocate Tanya McCloskey join us to answer questions about electric choice, variable rates, and rate adjustments by utilities overall.