AUSenergy News Update 05/20/2014
May 20, 2014

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Pennsylvania state officials warn of electricity price increases, electric customers experience ‘bait and switch’, and EPA cooling-water regulations could mean 7,000 MW lost in PJM

Pennsylvania state officials warn of electricity rate increases

Summary: Pennsylvania state officials are warning customers of Duquesne Light and West Penn Power who have not switched electricity providers to expect a rate increase in June.
AUS Comment: Customers are advised to compare all available options. Don’t be immediately tempted by a low quoted rate. Be aware and on the lookout for any early cancellation fees. Try to choose a fixed rate agreement instead of a variable rate agreement and be sure to fully understand the supplier’s terms of agreement.

Electric customers experience ‘bait and switch’

Summary: Electricity customers in Texas have filed complaints against Hino Electric Power, a supplier that customers claim offers deceptively low rates. The company admitted the wording on one of its plans was ambiguous and offered to refund customers who filed complaints.
AUS Comment: It is important for customers to carefully read and fully understand the fine print of a supplier’s terms of service. The quoted rate is usually only one of several components that make up the sum total of your electric utility bill. There may be the potential for hidden charges and fees buried deep within ambiguously-worded ‘terms of agreements’ from competitive suppliers.

EPA cooling-water regulations could mean 7,000 MW lost in PJM

Summary: Under new EPA regulations, steam generators in PJM will be required to take steps to reduce the volume of fish and other aquatic life sucked into their cooling water intakes. The EPA estimates that 2.1 billion fish, shrimp and crabs are killed annually by being pinned against cooling water intake structures or by being drawn into cooling water systems.
AUS Comment: The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) predicted that PJM would need more generation or additional demand response by 2018 under the moderate case and by 2015 under the “strict” case.

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