Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 19, 2007 – The Pennsylvania legislature has passed a bill which will allow utilities in the state to offer large electricity users long term fixed rate power contracts. The new bill reverses a decision taken in 2004, which forbid Duquesne Light Co., one of the larger utilities in the area, from entering into purchasing contracts for a period longer than three years.
Legislators have lobbied for the change for some time, fearing that large industrial companies would relocate to other states in an effort to achieve stable electric rates, and that jobs would be lost as a result.
The state of Pennsylvania deregulated its electric industry in 1996, and since then utilities have had to buy power in the deregulated market, leading to rates that fluctuated depending on demand. The utilities believe that the long-term contracts will help to protect them from fluctuations in rates, and even encourage the construction of new power plants.