EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) released a statement Tuesday telling consumers to explore options in preparation for rising energy costs.

The PUC urges consumers to look for ways to improve energy efficiency and conservation around their homes in preparation for rate increases across the commonwealth.

According to the PUC, the following electric companies will be increasing their rates starting December 1:

CompanyRate now (¢/kWh)Rate starting Dec. 1 (¢/kWh)% Change
Citizens Electric9.366712.225931
Duquesne Light9.3611.2520.2
Penn Power10.34810.5112
Pike Co. Light & Power12.8994Not finalizedN/A
Wellsboro Electric9.59212.81634
West Penn Power8.3068.5173

According to the PUC, the following natural gas companies will be increasing their rates:

CompanyRate now Rate Increase Planned% Change
Columbia Gas of PA$.32613 per therm$.7457 per therm128
National Fuel Gas$.9038 per Ccf$.8778 per Ccf-2.9
PECO$.8346 per Ccf$.8179 per Ccf-2
Peoples Natural Gas Co.$8.713 per McF$8.1342 per McF-6.6
Peoples Natural Gas Co. LLC$8.713 per McF$8.1342 per McF-6.6
Philadelphia Gas Works$.9381 per Ccf$.8999 per Ccf-4.2
UGI Utilities $.85979 per Ccf$.86063 per Ccf1
Valley Energy$.41748 per Ccf$.82047 per Ccf96.5

Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the upcoming winter season opened on November 1. For LIHEAP applications and other assistance programs, head to the PA online services website.

The PUC also reminded customers who have contracts with competitive suppliers to check all the terms and conditions in their contracts, including their expiration date and terms for terminating a contract.

The PUC specifically stated consumers who want to return to a default service should review their contract to see if there are any penalties for doing so.

If you are unsure, the PUC asks you to call your current supplier.