Don Trauger – Kennett
No, I’m not turning this into a financial advice column. But reducing costs may be prudent advice particularly when it comes
to dealing with utility companies. Peco will remove their price caps in January of 2011. Look for a 10-20% increase in electricity
costs. Homeowners that qualify can ask for assistance by calling Peco at 1-800-774-7040. There are several plans available. Also
“smart meters” and radio controlled thermostats can be installed to help lower costs. In 1997 Peco offered us a chance to select
a different supplier for our electricity needs. Look for that program to be revitalized again. Alternative suppliers will offer
rates that may be 10% less expensive. Over a third of PP&L customers have switched as their caps have already expired.
Peco and PP&L are not exactly the target within this article. However, I am going to focus on Comcast and what you can do to lower
your entertainment costs. If you subscribe to any of their services that are above and beyond what the Hershey’s Mill contract
provides, you can save substantially. Verizon is a different story but I’m willing to bet if you called them they would also offer
their lowest competitive rate.
I recently found out that Hershey’s Mill, being a “bulk” customer of Comcast, can avail itself of any current ongoing promotional
program that Comcast offers. What this means that you can call Comcast Customer Service at 215-992-2712 and ask them to review your
account to take advantage of any promotional offering that will lower your current bill. If you don’t receive a monthly bill from
Comcast that means you don’t have any additional Comcast services and you will not be able to benefit from any cost reduction.
Furthermore if your account is adjusted to reflect any current promotions you can call them again after the promotions expire and
renew them again! This way you can jump from promotion to promotion as long as there is one available.
Giving an example, my home savings based on Internet, telephone, HD TV, plus DVR, amounted to over 35%. The same promotional plan
utilized at Channel 20 reduced telephone costs by 65% helped by switching from Verizon to Comcast.
I know some of you haven’t been too thrilled in the way Comcast implemented the switch to digital. The fact that a converter box is
needed to see the channels that we used to have with the old analog system, and also the fact that the digital channels that were
available without a box have disappeared. Welcome to digital. It’s not that Comcast operates differently from other cable companies
in this regard but this is what they are allowed to do under the current FCC rules. Maybe by offering a discount from their normal
rates may make acceptance of Comcast a tad easier.
Discussion of this topic and of course your computer concerns can be addressed when you attend the PC Computer Club meeting. It’s
held the second Tuesday of every month upstairs in the Community Center in the Ardmore Room at 7:00 PM.