(Harrisburg) -- Consumers are getting an opportunity to speak out about a plan to adjust electricity prices depending on the time of day. The state Public Utility Commission plans to hold a hearing Thursday on a proposal from PPL that would let customers pay higher rates for "peak" hours and lower rates for "off-peak" hours. PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says so-called time-of-use plans can allow customers to have more control over their bills. "This will give consumers an idea of the true cost of electricity, how they can shift usage, and then in the end possibly impact the wholesale energy market and bring prices down overall," she says. State Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky says some consumers can save money under such plans. "Other customers for whatever reason -- perhaps health reasons or just their work schedule -- may not be able to take advantage of these rates," he says. "That's why it's important that these rates be voluntary and optional." The proposal from PPL would create the first widely available time-of-use plan in Pennsylvania. The company already has a pilot program. Thursday's hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Keystone Commonwealth Building at 400 North Street in Harrisburg. It is open to the public.
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