(Harrisburg) -- Electric consumers in central and northeastern Pennsylvania are now dealing with the reality of a 30 percent increase in utility bills. But, PPL customers do have the option of slightly reducing those rates. For a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the average PPL bill will be around $104, according to data compiled by Pennsylvania Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky’s office. But, Popowsky says customers who switch to one of five competing electricity suppliers, including Con Edison, Direct Energy and Liberty Power Holdings, can cut into that 30 percent increase. "PPL is charging about 10.5 cents for every kilowatt hour of generation and the marketers are charging about a penny less - in some cases a little more or a little bit less - but about a penny less per kilowatt-hour," he says. "So if you’re a customer and you’re using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, you would save a penny per kilowatt-hour, or about $10 a month, if you switch." Popowsky says about 10 percent of PPL customers have already switched suppliers. When the Duquesne Light Company’s rates expired, Popowsky says one in four of its Pittsburgh-area customers switched. About 10 percent of Penn Power customers found new suppliers, as well.
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