PPL Electric Utilities is accepting enrollment in its residential and small business time-of-use pricing options for this year, PPL announced this week.
The options, first offered last year, give customers an opportunity to spend less for power generation than they otherwise would with the company's default service, depending on the time of day they consume electricity.
Electric generation is just one piece of customer billing, but it accounts for more than two-thirds of the typical customer's bill and covers PPL's cost to purchase power for customers who don't switch to another supplier.
With time-of-use pricing, customers pay more for generation during peak hours, when market prices for electricity are higher.
They pay less during all other hours.
By comparison, customers on traditional rates pay the same generation price around the clock.
According to a plan recently approved the state's Public Utility Commission, peak hours for most residential customers will remain 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during the non-summer months of October through May.
Summer peak hours for those customers will run from 1 to 6 p.m. June through September.
All other hours are considered off-peak.
While hours and seasons remain the same for the new year, prices have changed.
Prices have been set for the first five months of 2011.
Residential participants will pay 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for generation and transmission combined during peak hours and 6.1 cents per kilowatt-hour for these services during all other hours.
Those are the prices to compare for the residential time-of-use option, according to PPL.
The price for those not on the plan is 9.27 cents per kilowatt-hour at all times.
The prices will change June 1.
Summer prices, which typically are much higher, will not be known until around May 1.
The time-of-use pricing options are possible because of investments the company has made in advanced metering in recent years.
PPL reportedly is able to track monthly, daily and hourly electric usage information for all its customers.
The tracking of hour-by-hour power use makes time-of-use pricing possible.
Customers can enroll in the time-of-use option by visiting the company's website or calling 1-800-342-5775.