Well, Obama did say under his administration electric rates will "skyrocket".
This reminds me of the 70's when oil prices went through the roof and PECO asked everyone to "conserve" energy. Well, everyone conserved so much energy that PECO said they HAD TO RAISE RATES to make their ends meet.
Since PECO has everybody by the short hairs, I guess we can call this "legal robbery".
People always say that about a regulated monopoly. Didn't all kinds of energy prices rise through the roof in the 1970's, oil gas AND electricity? Construction costs rose immensely too, making plant construction a nightmare. I think that nuclear plane PECO was constructing was more of a direct cause of rake hikes. The only utilities that escaped that kind of grief were ones which relied almost completely on coal... the kind of coal plants built w/o emission controls which were cheap to build, cheap to run, and produced enough pollution to actually kill a statistically measurable number of people.
Originally Posted by Jack2007
Regards -- Pstu
You have a point. I was around during the time our 2 nuclear plants were constructed in the 1980’s. Up until then our rates were steady each year but as soon as Plant 1 began construction we faced rate increases every June. PECO wanted a large increase all at once, which the utility commission denied so then our rates increased every year in June. After the first reactor was constructed PECO decided to construct a second one. We were told it would keep prices down. Another 5 or 6 years of rate increases every June until that plant was constructed.
Originally Posted by pstu
Because PECO could not get the full rate increase at once, the public utility allowed them to recoup the cash they otherwise would have gotten. This recoup was done by applying an unrecoverable rate factor to each bill. This factor was multiplied against the total Kilowatt hours and then the resulting figure was added to the bill. So this is how PECO came to have the highest rates in Pennsylvania. We do the same thing everyone else does – turn lights on, run AC, run heaters, dryers, we just pay more to do it.
Several years ago PECO customers were allowed to choose another provider for electric generation. This is when our bill was segmented into separate charges for generation, transmission, and distribution. PECO provided the distribution to each house so you paid them for that, while paying the energy provider for electricity, and transmission. I chose among many providers and was able to get electric cheaper than PECO’s prices. In a few years the providers pulled out of the state saying that they could not make a profit because electric regulation. So far we don't have as many residental providers as before. Now the state has passed this new law to deregulate electricity and will also force everyone in the state to have smart meters. I have a semi smart one in that no person has to read it because it transmits a reading to the company every morning - I guess that’s all it can do.
Back to heat pumps. Next heating season the electric heating rate will disappear and the info I see now says that the generation and transmission rate is expected to be 10.16 cents per KWH. Is this too high to run a heat pump?
In Texas where I am electric "deregulation" has proceeded in a similar way. The special rates tend to disappear, just like you are seeing. Do you have natural gas utility service in your area? If so I would tend to believe NG prices will not rise enough to keep it from being better than electric heat pumps. Some people will install both a heat pump and NG furnace, they can run whichever system will do the job and be cheaper to run.
It sure look to me though with all the new NG finds in America, that fuel will be plentiful for a long time, and cheaper than most alternatives. I can see this changing only in the event we make a massive change in NG usage, for example running long distance trucks on it like Boone Pickens wants. However NG prices could double and I think it still would be the heating fuel of choice for most of us.
Best of luck -- Pstu
I have NG service and use it to heat the house, hot water, dry clothes and have a gas cooktop/electric oven. I was thinking of replacing the Ac with a heat pump and using the gas furance as backup, however am not sure the price can be justified with the new electric rates coming up.
My NG gas is billed by energy and distribution for each CCF(hundred cubic foot) and the current combined price is $1.59847 per CCF, plus a fixed monthly cost of $12. I have seen comparison calculators mentioned on this site and have been trying to search threads for them, of course when you want it, you can’t find it.
Were you thinking of something like this.
Originally Posted by heatpumpguru
Small world! So do I. I can almost see their water tower from my house.
Thanks Yes this is what I was thinking about. I guess I put my current system in heating standard along with the cost, although it says cents/therm. Not sure it does dollars and cents. Then I select heat pump in the box below...although I don't see any place to enter the cost per Kwh.
Originally Posted by beenthere
Fixitfast - I grew up around Oxford!
Here is one factor causing electric rates to jump.....wind power is more expensive;
The latest wind push is part of Gov. Rendell’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which mandates 18 percent of electricity generated and sold in Pennsylvania in 2020 must be from a clean, renewable source
Those options include wind power, solar power, and biofuels, Young said.
“This project to bring alternative energy to the grassroots level will propel the emerging markets even further,” Rendell said.
Alternative energy mandates kill jobs by raising electricity prices.
States with binding renewable portfolio standards, like Pennsylvania, have electricity rates that are nearly 40 percent higher than states with no mandates
While state electricity costs are affected by other factors, alternative energy mandates necessitate higher energy prices
Legislation in Pennsylvania, such as House Bill 80 and House Bill 2405, would exacerbate the costs of electricity by mandating that utility companies purchase even more electricity from alternative sources
than they are already required.
Pennsylvania's utility companies predict that HB 80 will add between $9 billion and $12 billion to electricity costs
to meet proposed mandates by 2024
Just learned that my utility is lowering the gas rate by 10 cents per ccf due to the economy and demand. The rate is still higher comparied to others, but 10 cents is 10 cents.
I also found a calculator that lets you put in your electric and gas rates. It can be found at
Using this calculator(and I could be off a bit) I see that the cost to use a heat pump with PECO's estimated future rates will cost about 84 dollars more a season than gas, so I guess I have the answer to the question for now.
Just to confirm. I received my PECO bill generated on November 29, covering the period from October 26, to November 26. The electric generation rate did indeed increase. It went from .06980 to .09390. The distribution and transmission rate per kwh stayed the same but the transition rate decreased by .0241 cents. All this really did was to make up for the decreased transition charge because we are still being charged a total winter rate of .15270 per kwh.
I think you are seeing what the transition charge is all about, transition from fully regulated to the current form of deregulation. Such charges were the hot topic when the utility I worked for, was negotiating what form of deregulation it would vote for. Pennsylvania had largely similar rules. If it is like Texas, you can look for the generation rate to vary depending on the wholesale rate -- in our case we shop for electric suppliers and the rate often is flat for the term of the contract.
Best of luck -- Pstu
The transision rate is from the last time we had energy deregulation in the early 2000's. PECO was allowed to charge this to "make up from their lost" due to electric choice. Last time our electric choice was a flop and we ended up with no choice but have continued to pay transisition costs. This cost has now been lowered but instead they raised the price of generation for 2 months before deregulation re-starts. I am not sure we will have a transition rate in January 2011, when deregulation will begin AGAIN. From what I see the PECO rate will change every quarter of each year.
I think the parent company of PECO - EXCELON is based in Ill, and I think their rates vary by the hour of the day. Our energy choice legislation says that everyone in PA must move to smart meters(PECO's idea?) so I think PECO customers will eventually be paying variable rates by the hour as well--Just My thought about it. I did pick another energy supplier whose rate is fixed through Dec 2011, and will be better than the estimated PECO summer rate of .1140 per KWH. Still none of these rates are as good as the current electric heating rate which will be eliminated after 2011. So I think using a Heat pump for anything is out of the question for now.