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Power to the consumers: Utility rates rising and falling depending on supplier on Dec. 1

Utility rates in Pittsburgh to change beginning December 1
Utility rates in Pittsburgh to change beginning December 1 03:01

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When it comes to heating and powering your home in the winter, Mother Nature is in control of how much energy you need to use, but you can control how much you are paying for that energy supply.

However, those rates are changing tomorrow, but you still do have options. 

First, the good news: overall rates are substantially down from this time last year. That said, the rate changes coming tomorrow in some cases are so dramatic that today is the day to go shopping. 

Whether it's the gas burning in your furnace or the fan forcing the warm air through your home, it's all energy that you're paying for. 

So...put a star next to tomorrow on your mental calendar. 

"This Friday is a day where every electric customer in Pennsylvania is going to see the price portion of their bills, the energy price portion of the bills, reset for the coming winter heating," sad Nils Hagen-Frederiksen from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. 

You can't change the price for the delivery to your home through the pipes or power lines, but you can shop for the energy you are buying based on the new prices. 

"Some are moving up a little, some are moving down a little right now," Hagen-Frederiksen explained. 

The Pa. Public Utility Commission put out a list of utilities and how much their rates are changing. Among the electrical suppliers, Duquesne Light' rates are going down 8.6 percent while Penn Power's are going up 6.4 percent. 

On the gas supply side, Columbia Gas is dropping its supply rate to 38.5 percent while People's Gas is increasing its price by 149 percent. 

Despite those dramatic shifts, when you boil down the gas cost difference, it's only about a penny per hundred cubic feet...but a penny can be a lot. 

"If you have a larger home and a large family and you're using a lot of electricity on a monthly basis, it can add up to a substantial amount," Hagen-Frederiksen said. 

The key is you are in control, by going to, you can see the prices and choose your electric supplier, and by using, you can choose your gas supplier.

"The more you use and the further into the heating season, we get more of a potential impact," Hagen-Frederiksen said. "Any price change is going to happen." 

Hagen-Frederiksen said the websites are very user-friendly and they will walk you through how to find your options and how to get the best deal. 

If you haven't shopped for your own supplier, you are accepting your utility company's selection for you and the cost they are passing through to you. You're also accepting whatever increase or decrease they are putting in place on December 1. 

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