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    PPL Electric Utilities‘ proposed rate hike is under the microscope of both residential ratepayers and other groups, who are deciding on how the proposal could impact both jobs in Pennsylvania and the state’s renewable energy plans.

    Pennsylvania Live reports that PPL is attempting to raise electricity rates by $104.6 million, which would raise the fee for electricity distribution from $8.75 to $16. The fees would pay for infrastructure upgrades some groups say are essential for the grid to continue operating reliably and efficiently.

    District 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says the hike is a good thing for the industry.

    “Not just PPL but the entire electric transmission system has been kind of ignored over the last decade,” district Vice President Don Siegel. “There is certainly need for improvement. We think it offers job security, and over the long run, I think it offers security to the ratepayers as well.”

    However, thanks to energy deregulation laws, residents in Pennsylvania have the opportunity to switch energy providers to lock into a rate that better suits their needs. The laws went into effect in 2011, and have since created a thriving retail electricity market.