PPL Electric Utilities Aims to Increase Rates by 22 Percent

PPL Electric Utilities wants to increase distribution rates and the flat customer charge while petitioning regulators to allow it to grow its guaranteed profits from operations. The increase could cost electricity users as much as $10 per month, according to the utility, which was requested to the Public Utility Commission. However, a close look at the rates show sizable percentage increases in components of the bills. If approved, the increases will be paid by all PPL customers, even those who purchase power from another supplier, because the rate covers the cost and profits for PPL to deliver the power over… Read more.

Utility Penelec Seeks Rate Increase

It’s not set in stone yet, but Penelec customers should expect an increase in their monthly electric bills. The Office of the Administrative Law Judge for the state Public Utility Commission has filed a recommended decision that would resolve Penelec’s first successful rate hike request in 29 years. That recommendation calls for increasing the monthly residential customer charge by $2.01 to $9.99. The proposed settlement would also raise other distribution charges based on the amount of electricity a customer uses. The bill for a typical customer, one who uses 1,000 kWh per month, would increase by 13.1 percent, boosting his… Read more.

Central Hudson Seeks to Increase Electric and Gas Rates

Two public hearings will be held by the state Public Service Commission on proposed increases to Central Hudson electric and natural gas rates. The utility is looking for $67.2 million in revenue over three years for improvements to electric and natural gas infrastructure, with $36 million furnished by rate-payers and the remainder offset by bill credits provided by Fortis as part the deal it made when it acquired Central Hudson in 2013 and other balances. According to a bill comparison provided by Central Hudson, an average customer can expect to see their monthly electric bill increase by around 10 percent… Read more.

Flat Rate Electricity for Ameren Illinois Customers

An alliance between consumer advocates and environmentalists says it’s time to give consumers a break on their power bills with a “time-of-use” pricing plan. Many Ameren Illinois users pay a flat rate for their power that doesn’t vary. But time-of-use would give consumers the option of cheaper rates at certain times, such as late night. Families with the flexibility to shuffle power use, washing clothes at midnight, for example, could save big. The Citizens Utility Board consumer watchdog group and the Environmental Defense Fund have joined together to ask the state’s power system regulators, the Illinois Commerce Commission, to look… Read more.

Connecticut Lawmakers Plan to Eliminate Variable Electric Rates

As reported in The Connecticut Mirror, Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney and other key legislators are pushing a first-in-the-nation law banning variable electric rates in the residential market, a concept rejected last year by legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The about-face is a tacit admission that a 2014 consumer protection law was insufficient to protect customers against bait-and-switch marketing by some of the electric retailers who compete with United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power, now part of a new entity named Eversource Energy. “What we’re hearing is a lot of the best electric suppliers have just… Read more.

Constellation to Develop a Biomass Cogeneration Plant

Constellation Energy, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon  Corp., has inked a contract with Proctor & Gamble Co. (P&G) to develop a $200 million, 50 MW biomass cogeneration plant to replace an older, smaller cogen facility at the company’s Albany, GA, paper manufacturing facility. The energy facility would provide all of the steam and 60-70% of the paper plant’s energy needs. It plans to sell 42 MW of excess electricity to the local power utility Georgia Power Co. Constellation would build, own and operate the cogeneraion plant. For more than 30 years the P&G plant in Albany has used a smaller… Read more.

Maryland Lawmakers Propose Bill to End Smart Meter Opt-out Fees

Extra fees for electricity customers who refuse to accept “smart meters” because they are wary of the new technology would be eliminated by a bill heard by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, and any extra costs would be spread across all customers. Utility companies argue these fees are necessary because of the extra cost of continuing to read the old meters. Customers of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), the Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) and Delmarva Power and Light (DPL) have been facing “opt-out” fees that came with their option to choose analog meters over smart meters, a… Read more.

PPL Continues to Improve Power Restoration Technologies

As wind topples a tree, snapping a wire and severing electricity to homes, a machine that PPL workers call Viper can start working to restore power automatically. Vipers, or vacuum reclosers, are part of the smart grid that PPL is installing in its territory of 29 counties to reduce power outages and shorten outages that do occur. Starting in 2011, PPL began installing 50 Vipers and automated control boxes on lines serving 60,000 people in the Harrisburg area. The equipment has improved reliability by 30 percent, Melinda Stumpf, a community relations coordinator for PPL, said. In each of the next… Read more.

Residents Invited to Voice Concerns About Ameren Rate Hikes

Residents who are concerned about a hike in their electric rates by Ameren Missouri can let the Public Service Commission (PSC) know about their concerns at noon, January 5, at the Holiday Inn, 10709 Watson in Sunset Hills. Earlier in 2014, Ameren Missouri filed an electric rate request with the PSC seeking to increase annual electric revenues by approximately $264 million (an almost 10 percent increase). Ameren Missouri’s rate filing also included a request to continue its fuel adjustment clause reflecting changes in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity on customers’ bills, through a separately-identified surcharge or credit… Read more.

AEP Ohio Announces Electric Meters Updates

Approximately 105,000 AEP Ohio customers throughout the company’s service territory will receive updated electric meters over the next five months as the company expands the use of automated meter reading (AMR) technology. AMR technology provides a means of reading electric meters remotely. The company will install radio frequency (RF) meters that send information over radio waves making it possible for meter readers to gather meter information remotely using either a handheld device or a vehicle mounted mobile unit. AMR meters only transmit meter readings that are collected by the meter reader remotely unlike smart meters that use two-way communications to… Read more.