A newly proposed energy rate increase will be debated in a town hall held by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Tuesday, June 12th at 6 p.m. at Bucks County Community college.
Announced by State Representative Perry Warren earlier this week, the town hall would focus on PECO’s request to charge customers more for its services.
The increases would raise the bill of customers 3.2 percent and would total up to 82 million dollars in new tax revenue. The bill for small businesses would increase over $10, and larger companies would see an increase of close to $170 per month.
The company PECO provides electricity for about 1.6 million people, and issues gas to around 500,000 households. Households would see an increase of about $3 per month.
While the rate increase is set to be 3.2% over the current rates before tax, the effective increase to consumers would be 2.2% because of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
PECO stated they intend to use the additional revenue to address problems powering homes during extreme weather, including upgrades to infrastructure and technology.
Representative Warren called for the meeting amid concerns from the community.
“Our communities experienced substantial power outages in March from winter storms Riley and Quinn,” Warren said. “In light of that, I requested that one of the public hearings on the proposed rate increase be in my legislative district, so that residents have a chance to weigh in and ask questions.”
Warren has requested the Pennsylvania Office of the Consumer Advocate look for ways to improve PECO services to reduce the impact power outages have on the community in the future.
If the request for an increased rate is approved, it would go into effect on Jan 1, 2019.
WBCB’s Keith Noonan contributed to this report.