PHILADELPHIA--()--PECO today requested Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval to increase electric and natural gas delivery rates beginning January 1, 2011. The first electric delivery rate request since 1989 and only the second natural gas delivery rate request in 23 years, the increases will enable PECO to continue to meet customer demand and ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas. The delivery charge, or the portion of the bill that covers PECO’s costs to deliver electricity and natural gas, represents about one-third of a customer’s overall bill.
“This is a necessary step to make sure we are there when our customers need us”
Separately, the expiration of generation rate caps on January 1, 2011 is also expected to result in increased costs for our customers. The prices PECO pays to buy electricity for customers will be based on market pricing, after having been capped for 14 years. These electric generation costs are passed along directly to customers at no markup.
These changes will increase prices for PECO residential electric customers by about 10 percent, or about $8 per month for a typical customer.
Costs for our residential natural gas customers are expected to increase about 7 percent, or about $8 more per month for a typical customer.
“This is a necessary step to make sure we are there when our customers need us,” said Denis O’Brien, PECO president and CEO.
Through financial discipline the company has been able to make significant investments in its electric and natural gas delivery systems without raising rates. Specifically, since the last electric delivery rate increase and natural gas delivery rate increase we have invested $2.5 billion in our electric delivery system and $120 million in our natural gas delivery system to ensure safe and reliable service, significantly expanded assistance to our low-income customers, and ensure a stable regional workforce by providing quality healthcare and competitive benefits.
The PUC set reliability benchmarks and standards in 1999. Since that time, PECO has substantially improved its reliability – for example, PECO has reduced the average number of service interruptions by 27 percent and reduced the average time customers are without power by 48 percent.
Specifically, with these changes PECO will:
Customers can offset this increase by taking simple steps to use less energy. PECO Smart Ideas, our full suite of energy-efficiency programs, has products and programs to help customers save energy and money:
Just by replacing five bulbs with CFLs and raising your thermostat two degrees during the summer, you can save more than $8 a month – totally offsetting the expected increase.
PECO also offers payment options, like Budget Billing, to help customers manage their bills. Budget Billing divides energy costs evenly throughout the year. Customers also can potentially save money by choosing a competitive electric generation supplier.
Programs also are available to help customers who may be struggling to pay their energy bills. Through our Universal Services programs, we assist more than 130,000 low-income customers each year with reduced rates, free energy-efficiency improvements and Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 486,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 84.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2009. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.
If you are a member of the media and would like to receive PECO news releases via e-mail please send your e-mail address to PECO.Communication@exeloncorp.com