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For small business, PPL prices to riseResidential rates set to fall

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Power prices are set to rise Dec. 1 for small businesses that buy electricity from PPL Electric Utilities.

Homeowners, however, will see prices fall, according to the Allentown-based utility.

The price in question is called the price to compare, which is paid by PPL customers who do not buy power from alternative suppliers. The price to compare changes every six months.

Starting Dec. 1 small-business customers will be paying 7.701 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from 7.49 cents.

For a small business using about 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, the new rate translates into a monthly bill of $122.14, up $2.10, according to Kurt Blumenau, a PPL spokesman.

Homeowners will save about a penny per kilowatt-hour, with the price dropping to 7.463 cents per kilowatt-hour from the current 8.493 cents. Monthly bills will shrink by more than $10, down to $135.82.

The divergence between small-business and residential prices reflects the way PPL shops for power. The company enters separate contracts when buying power for small-business and residential customers, Blumenau wrote in an email. Contract prices and terms can vary.

"It’s common for the residential and business prices to compare to move in different ways," he wrote.

Price changes also can reflect any difference between what PPL expected to collect from customers and what it actually collected during each six-month period, he added.

About 56 percent of PPL's small-business customers rely on alternative suppliers, Blumenau said. Among homeowners, the share is 43 percent.

PPL Electric Utilities provides electricity to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in Pennsylvania, including most of Lancaster County and areas around Harrisburg and Carlisle. It is a subsidiary of PPL Corp.

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