Pennsylvania is an energy deregulated state, which means consumers can choose their own electricity suppliers. This lets customers cut down on the “supply” portion of their utility bill, which could result in significant savings over the default rate meted charges for electricity.
There are two types Pennsylvania suppliers: utilities which deliver and maintain power lines as well as retail electricity companies which generate and sell electricity to commercial and residential customers. In addition to offering competitive rates, many PA electric companies offer service plans to reduce the cost of electricity for customers with low incomes and offer a no-cost home energy audit to determine areas to conserve energy.
Choosing your power supplier is easy, and you can do it online through PA Power Switch. This shopping website online allows customers to compare hundreds of electricity providers to determine the most suitable plan for them.
There are four major utilities in Pennsylvania: Citizens Electric of Lewisburg and Duquesne Light. PPL Electric and PECO Energy are the two others. There are also smaller local utilities, such as UGI, Wellsboro Electric and West Penn Power.
The four state-owned FirstEnergy companies comprised of Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power – reset their prices on every quarter to reflect the market conditions. They are not allowed to charge more than their price-to-compare (PTC) which is typically between 40 and 60% of a customer’s total utility bill.
A majority of EDCs also offer a Standard Offer program, which gives customers who haven’t shopped their generation an opportunity to sign up for the lowest cost for a year. This is a great opportunity for you to save money on your electric bill while still being able to get the services you need.
Another option is to partner with a firm that can source the lowest rates in your area, and then move you to the best deal after the contract expires. Arbor is a leading provider of this kind of service and is currently offering a no-cost home energy audit to Met-Ed customers.
The PTC rate is the most important thing you need to consider when shopping for Pennsylvania electricity plans. This is the amount the utility pays for electricity. It covers both transmission and generation costs. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission oversees its changes.
You can also save money by reducing your need for power during peak hours, which are generally 2 to 6 p.m. In those hours the wholesale cost of electricity increases, and a retailer may be able to provide you with an offer that is better than Met-Ed.
Many homeowners choose to use time-of-use rates. This shifts their usage to off-peak periods like evenings and weekends. These rates are often lower than rates that are on peak but they can be more challenging to manage.
Air conditioning can boost electricity demand in summer. To prevent this from happening installing smart thermostats, make sure they turn on and off at the appropriate time. A programmable thermostat can be used to regulate your energy usage at the push of a button.