Blizzard or Not, Here it Comes: Harsher Winter Predicted for PECO RH Customers
Alphabuyer Blog “Voice of the Customer” Series
By Alina Marone
Alphabuyer, and contributing blogger
As the variety of retail choices seem to exponentially grow, in PECO’s retail energy realm choices will be contracting and others completely disappearing.
If you frequent the Alphabuyer Blog, you all ready know that standard light bulb production is scheduled to cease, forcing lamp-using consumers to familiarize themselves with the two main choices of the future, CFL and LED. Today, it is my goal to warn PECO RH customers that starting in January 2012, your winter PECO bill may evoke a wince. Blizzard or not, your bill may leave you feeling “snowed.” PECO is discontinuing the RH discount as we know it. Are you an RH customer? It pays to know.
Quick translation of RH – your household heat is run on ELECTRIC. That’s a heavy dependency on electric, but PECO has buffered that burden by providing this niche of consumers with a significant discount. But, as PECO has frequently reminded all of its consumers, PECO is getting out of the energy generating business and as part of that desired transition (and in part to get you to NOTICE a change and MOTIVATE a supplier switch) rates are increasing and discounts discontinuing.
In my opinion, PECO is doing a very good job at communicating the changes sparked by our Commonwealth’s energy deregulation. PECO consumers, though apparently aware of deregulation and the advent of consumer choice, are not budging from this lifetime supplier despite both quarterly increase after quarterly increase AND a dismal economic climate forcing other consumer sacrifices and changes. PECO customers are relatively complacent.
Older appliances and heating systems run inefficiently compared to what’s available in the market today. Even if they have worked reliably for more years than you imagined when you installed them, the cost of running them is what may force you to pull the plug sooner than the demise of its motor. My recommendation is while the windows in our houses are open receiving fresh temperate air, if you are a RH rate PECO customer, now is a good time to start thinking about how you will cope with the end of this affordable rate. One way to cope may be a complete replacement of your obsolete heating system. This may seem like an extreme change, but an upgrade that will return more value for your dollar than just over paying to run your current system.
PECO’s rate varieties will collapse into a Single Rate system, in January 2012 it will be at or above 12 cents/kWh. The cost of the Single Rate will continue to rise on quarterly basis. My understanding from reading PECO’s website is that the RH discount will decrease by half in January and will be completely phased out by December 2012. To help you start thinking about what alternative home heating system fuels cost play with PECO’s Smart Ideas calculator found here: https://www.pecosmartideas.com/toolsandcalculators/heatingcomparison.html This may be the first time you see just what other fuel costs are, and steer your research and shopping toward a particular system.
PECO RH rate consumers, what can I say, I just don’t want to see you “get snowed.” Changes are coming to the way you heat your home, but there’s time to prepare. Pennsylvania’s deregulated energy market may have you pulling the plug out on your current heating system, but it doesn’t have to have you pulling out your hair too. There are good, better choices out there. Good luck!