PPL Electric says many of its customers – including people here in Schuylkill County – received really high electric bills recently. And that was due to a “technical issue” according to an apology message from the company president on Tuesday.
Pennsylvanians were already expecting a higher-than-normal electric bill after the utility raised its residential rates 18% at the end of 2022. Businesses were hit with a 26% hike. And all customers are paying at least 52% more for electricity now than they were a year ago.
But the bills people received recently were shocking to many. It wasn’t because they kept that meter spinning, either.
PPL Electric Apologizes for Billing Errors
According to a message sent from PPL Electric president Steph Raymond to customers on Tuesday morning, those unusual bills were the result of basing usage on estimates, not what a customer actually used.
“You have a right to expect excellent service from your electric utility. We know that delivering reliable electricity – keeping the lights on for you – must be matched by exceptional customer service,” Raymond says. “In recent weeks, we’ve fallen short of this standard in both our billing and responsiveness to customers.”
Bills sent from Dec. 20 of last year through Jan. 9 were calculated using estimated usage, Raymond says.
“We’ve resolved the technical issue that resulted in a significant number of bills that were based on estimated electricity usage,” she writes in her message. “Estimates based on historical usage may have been higher or lower than actual usage.”
Raymond says customers who got these erroneous bills have already been sent a corrected version. The new bills will reflect actual electricity usage and the amount due will be adjusted.
PPL Electric says it won’t shut off anyone’s service – including residential and small business customers – due to non-payment through March 31. Late fees from January and February have also been waived.
Pennsylvania PUC Announces PPL Electric Investigation
On the same day that Raymond issued PPL Electric’s apology, the company was coming under fire over this controversy.
In fact, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced Tuesday afternoon that it’s launching an investigation into PPL’s billing problems.