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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia Pa.
    Posts
    461

    Higher rates - not sure heatpump will be cheaper

    I just received my electric bill for the month of April. It contained information about deregulation to take effect in Pennsylvania January 2011. Right now my utility says they expect rates to increase at least 20% but the increase will depend on the market conditions. I don’t understand this because the last time we had a large phased in increase it was associated with the construction of 2 nuclear power plants which were supposed to shield consumers from changing market conditions.

    The company is offering a phase in plan which has you start paying an additional 0.0053 per KWh of energy use starting in July of this year. In 2010 the additional charge increases to an additional .0107. The company will give you 6% interest on the additional amount and then use it as a monthly credit starting in January 2011. An example is given of a customer using 1,000 Kwhs per month. In 2009 the early phase in charge is $5.30 per month. In 2010 the early charge is $10.70 per month. In 2011 the monthly credit is $9.70. In 2012 the monthly credit is $4.86.

    I looked over my bills from last year to this month and the highest bill was for 1693Kwh at a cost of $278.00. 20% more for the same Kwh – not so good, so I am thinking about joining this program since it seems to be better than the last time we had rates phased in but the devil is in the details which I don’t have yet. I was previously thinking of a dual fuel system – gas and heat pump because my gas rates are high, but now I am not sure it will save any money and using the heat pump might even cost more. Myabe get one with a high efficiency rating? Any savings from using a heat pump in this scenario?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,311
    This has been coming for about 10 years now.
    Rate hikes start Jan 2010.

    Remember when you first saw about being able to choose your elecgric provider.
    Its part of that arrangement.

    Because some electric companies couldn't make money at the rates they were restricted to by the PUC.

    So now, with deregulation. The power companies can raise the electric rate without PUC approval.

    So now those companies that couldn't make money at the lower rates. will be able to charge higher rates, and make money.

    Don't worry. The gas companies will chatge more for the gas that is used to generate the electric, and of course. Raise their rates to residential customers too.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,070
    Shop around..... and don't pay them any money up front! Pay when you owe it. They aren't doing this as a favor to anybody - like you say, the devil is in the detail. And as nobody is paying 6% interest , there's a catch in there somewhere!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304
    Quote Originally Posted by jerrod6 View Post
    I just received my electric bill for the month of April. It contained information about deregulation...
    ...I was previously thinking of a dual fuel system – gas and heat pump because my gas rates are high, but now I am not sure it will save any money and using the heat pump might even cost more. Myabe get one with a high efficiency rating? Any savings from using a heat pump in this scenario?
    I think it would be comforting to have dual fuel, and be able to use natural gas as long as gas remains cheap. It is quite low now and nobody can tell how high it will be a few years out. I am a homeowner in S.Texas where gas is all around, used to work in the rate dept of an electric utility in the years when Texas dereg was being formed. It has not turned out like the predictions at the time, I must agree. Predictions are seldom accurate, no matter who makes them.

    My take on the motivation for dereg of electric rates is a different one. The utilities under regulation are on a tight leash, little freedom to change prices unilaterally -- but the PUC once they approve a plant will grant rates high enough to pay for it over 30 years. That is really a golden handcuff type of relationship, note that the customer has little say in any of that. And the residential guy is for all practical purposes a captive customer, you might say a sheep to be sheared.

    No matter. Prices of a commodity like gas will go up and down, basically cannot predict. Electricity seems to have little potential to go down, lots to go up. Dual fuel lets you hedge your bets.

    Best wishes -- Pstu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,311
    Quote Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
    And as nobody is paying 6% interest , there's a catch in there somewhere!
    They get more then that in discount pricing.
    When they pay for their gas/coal for generation in advance.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,904
    The company is only offering that because it's profiteable - they aren't trying to do you any favours.

    Reducing energy use is much better than gambling with silly contracts.

    Deregulation doesn't work and just allows private companies to cut supply and raise prices; ultimately no new plants get built, the price goes up, supply declines (think rotating blackouts) and energy users get shafted. It was tried in california with disasterous results.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535

    Confused

    So if we get the RH rate 6 cents from Oct 15 to May 15 are they just going to take that away and raise us from 6 cents to 30% higher then what people are paying without a heat pump (alittle less then 15 cents a KW now 12 months a year) so the would be an increase over a 100% and all the GEO's us electric also.So oil or propane will be the fuel of choice?
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,311
    Lots of people are going to be hurting no matter what fuel they use/choose.

    You might want to find out what they are going to do in your area.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535

    Confused

    We have been trying,I meet a guy a guy on the PUC board who did not even know they had a RH rate.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,311
    That doesn't surprise me.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Posts
    310
    I think all these rate hikes is a government ploy to push residential customers to solar and windmill use for power and heat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,311
    Lot of people going to be calling for new heat pumps when they get their electric bill for Jan 09.

    And people with electric baseboard wil be calling asking about heatpumps, or gas, or oil furnaces. So they can heat cheaper.

    Only a few companies are capped until 2011.

    And those poor customers will get hit harder when the cap is gone.
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  13. #13
    .
    Last edited by Whiskey_Sour; 05-11-2009 at 08:50 AM.

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