More and more customers are getting bit by suppliers in Pennsylvania because they didnt have an energy consultant

worried businesswoman in office

 

 

Susan Martucci figured her latest electric bill might be higher because of the crazy cold weather, but the bill she got was just plain crazy.
“When you are used to a bill around $150 or so, $650 is way, way off,” said Martucci, of Salisbury Township.
She is among thousands of people statewide who were caught off guard when their variable electric rates jumped without warning. Some people probably didn’t even know they were subject to variable rates that could increase two, three or four times in just a month.

“When you are used to a bill around $150 or so, $650 is way, way off,” said Martucci, of Salisbury Township.

She is among thousands of people statewide who were caught off guard when their variable electric rates jumped without warning. Some people probably didn’t even know they were subject to variable rates that could increase two, three or four times in just a month.

I’ve heard from about 20 people in the past few weeks, some of whom now question the state’s decision to deregulate the electric industry. Those burned by these bills are buying power from one of the dozens of alternate suppliers who compete with traditional electric companies such as PPL, Met-Ed and PECO.

“This is a disgusting example of price gouging thanks to the deregulation of an essential utility,” said Bob Thompson of Lower Macungie Township, whose February electric bill was $1,250, up from $536 in January, even though he used only slightly more power.

On Wednesday, the state attorney general’s office said it will investigate whether people were overcharged, noting that price gouging is prohibited during the state of emergency declared by the governor Feb. 5.

“These spikes in the price of electricity are alarming and have put many consumers, especially the poor and elderly, in a dire situation,” Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a statement.

The state Public Utility Commission acknowledges the hardship these high prices have caused and last week ordered a review to see what can be done to ensure customers are protected and power suppliers are operating fairly.

But as long as suppliers are following the terms they provided to their customers, those customers likely have no recourse, according to the PUC.

“This is an unfortunate event but we will move forward and we will continue to promote a vibrant retail market for customers,” PUC Chairman Robert Powelson said at the agency’s Feb. 20 meeting.

The PUC remains confident the deregulated market, including variable rates, is viable and beneficial to consumers in the long run. About 2.2 million Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses had switched to alternate power suppliers as of last month, according to a recent industry study.

People who have not shopped around and who still buy power from their geographic utility (known as their default provider) were not affected by these price hikes, which officials say were driven by higher wholesale prices for electricity during the unusually cold weather.

If you are a variable rate customer who was floored by your latest bill, there are a few things you can do.

Get a consultant to do the research for you most of them charge you nothing as they get paid by the suppliers they already have relationships with and have hand picked because they are good companies with a good track record.

For more info on our service click this link.

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