PENNSYLVANIA, USA — PPL Electric Utilities customers can expect their monthly bill to go up starting next month, according to its website.
The utility says the average homeowner will see an increase of about $34 a month.
PPL blames the rate hike partly on inflation and global economic events.
PPL says customers affected are those who get their electricity directly from PPL and not an alternate supplier.
Hairdryers and other electronics are on all day at Style Tee Salon on Empire Street in Wilkes-Barre.
"Everything from blow dryers, flat irons, clippers, even now we do a lot of pictures so ring lights, you name it. We do a ton of electric. I mean everything. Our heating system is partially electric anymore. We do a heat pump," said co-owner Jeffrey Brunn.
So it was harsh for Brunn to learn that PPL, his electricity provider, is increasing rates from around 9 cents per kilowatt-hour to just over 12 cents, adding to the costs that continue to increase at the salon.
"One other thing on top. And I get it. It's this post-pandemic craziness, and it just doesn't stop."
In Wilkes-Barre Township, the manager at Skateaway says the struggles are the same.
"Between all of our chest freezers for the snack bar and lights, you know, we use a lot of electricity, and the thought of going up is going to be another hardship that, you know, it's just tough to run a business now because everything has gone up. Everything," said manager Emil Feist.
Like the salon industry, Feist says recreational businesses like Skateaway were hit hard by the pandemic. Not only were they forced to shut down, but they also face hardships related to price hikes, supply-chain delays, staff shortages, and more.
"Whether it's buying our skates, we can't get rental skates; we can't. They don't have them. So we have to fix all the ones we have."
Feist says he'll have to pass some of the cost onto the customer, understanding why more small businesses are closing doors.
"It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. And it's like people aren't making more money. So we have to charge them more. So what happens then? Less people come because they can't afford to come to the place because they don't have the money," Feist said. "Something's got to give."
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