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    Even though a significant drop in natural gas prices has lowered the cost of producing electricity among utilities, Americans are still paying higher electricity rates, The Associated Press reports.

    According to the news source, electricity rates are expected to go up only slightly this summer, however, any rise is worth noting, considering the price of natural gas has dropped 43 percent in the last year. In fact, the longstanding fall in electricity rates may even reverse soon, experts believe.

    “It's caused us to scratch our heads,” said Tyler Hodge, an analyst at the Energy Department who studies electricity prices.

    Although the recent heat waves have contributed some to the higher prices, there are a number of factors to the widespread upward trend in prices. In several states, retail electricity rates are readjusted by state regulators every few years, helping protect customers from dramatic spikes in fuel costs.

    Still, many electric customers in states with energy deregulation laws are able to shop around for electricity rates to find a package that best suits them. In these states, which include Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, many energy providers offer incentives to switch to their services.