After dropping steadily for the past five years, natural gas prices have finally reached the point where it is no longer profitable for companies to produce the abundant clean-burning fuel.
Natural gas prices for about 90,000 Berks County users started tumbling Dec. 1, 2008, when UGI requested a 16 percent decrease.
But now the low prices, an unusually cold winter and an improving economy have prompted UGI Utilities Gas Division to request a 13.5 percent rate hike. The requested hike comes in two parts: increases of about 7.2 percent June 1 and about 5.9 percent Dec. 1.
PPL Corp.’s annual profit surged in 2011 on revenue from recent out-of-state acquisitions.
The Allentown energy company earned $1.44 billion, or $2.61 per share, up from $938 million, or $2.17 per share, in 2010.
The whopping 53 percent increase was largely driven by additional revenue from PPL’s recently-acquired Kentucky and United Kingdom utilities.
“This increase reflects the strength of our business portfolio and our prospects for future growth,” James H. Miller, PPL’s out-going chairman said in a press release. “Our strong 2011 results are due to solid performance across our business segments.”
Metropolitan Edison‘s (Met-Ed) electricity rate cap is set to expire on 12/31/10 (for Pennsylvania customers.) Rates are expected to rise 10%. Consumers will be offered the choice to stay with Met-Ed or switch to another electricity supplier which could save them money.
Allentown based PPL raised their rates by one-third after their rate cap expired 12/30/09.
PECO Energy aka Exelon’s rate cap is also set to expire 12/31/10. You can expect to see a 7% increase in your electric bill if you stay with PECO after the rate cap ends.
This link should give you information on the rates for all state-licensed electric suppliers: www.papowerswitch.com
When the rate cap comes off on 1/1/10, PPL will raise their rates 30%. The good news is that 5 other companies are competing for customers in PPL’s service area offering lower prices. It is expected that up to 10 companies could enter the market and offer consumers an alternative to PPL’s new rates.
Customers should start enrolling now if they wish to change electricity providers as it can take a number of weeks for the switch to occur once you request a new service provider.