November 4, 2008

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Some PPL Electric customers opting for phase-in

ALLENTOWN - The initial response to a rate phase-in option offered by PPL Electric Utilities is another indication that many people across eastern and central Pennsylvania are taking steps to control their electricity use and electric bills, the company’s president said Monday.

More than 10 percent of eligible customers — 138,000 in all — signed up for the phase-in option during September and October to spread out expected increases in electricity costs that will take effect in 2010 after more than a decade under capped rates.

“While we knew people were interested in a phase-in option, the response by our residential and small-business customers exceeded our expectations,” said David G. DeCampli, president of PPL Electric Utilities.  “We’ve always believed that our customers are savvy and understand value. So it is not a total surprise that so many have chosen a plan in which they earn 6 percent interest on money they set aside to smooth out a future increase,” he said.

Another example of customers’ resourcefulness, he noted, is that nearly 240,000 of them have used PPL Electric Utilities’ Energy Analyzer Web site where they can view their daily — and now hourly — electricity use.

“Customers by the thousands are learning more about how they use electricity in their homes and businesses. The Energy Analyzer gives them opportunities to save energy now, and information that helps them determine if they could benefit from different rate plans in the future,” DeCampli said.

In Pennsylvania, he said, only customers of PPL Electric Utilities have access to such detailed information, and it’s all because the company was one of the first to install advanced metering technology.

Advanced metering enables PPL Electric Utilities to offer time-of-use rates, which give customers an opportunity to save money by shifting the time they use most of their electricity. The company has a summer pilot program for time-of-use rates and recently asked the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to approve an expanded pilot that would be open to 1,200 residential customers. In 2010, all residential customers will have a time-of-use pricing option.

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