Allegheny Power Looks to Keep Prices Down

Pittsburgh Tribune Review has a story on Allegheny Power buying additional electric power cheaply on the wholesale market, while prices are low. 

This is one aspect of the issue of expiring rate caps that many lawmakers miss – the fears of dramatically higher electricity prices occurred at a time when energy prices (which are the cost drivers) were especially high. The latest estimates of rate increases are significantly less dramatic.   Of course, in the case of PPL, they have already purchased much of the power for 2010 (their rate caps expire in 2009) and is suggesting a 30% rate increase.

Some other things for lawmakers at the state and federal level to consider is that  mandates for utlities to use more “alternative energy” is also a call for higher electricity prices, while expanding production – such as getting more natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation – would likely reduce energy costs.  And if Obama’s “cap and trade” proposal were to be enacted, in his own words, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”