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Starting Electricity Service in Pennsylvania

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Ever since 1997, when the Electricity Generation Choice and Competition Act was passed, electricity consumers in Pennsylvania have had a choice of who supplies their electricity. Are you looking for a cheaper rate for your power? Here we explain everything you need to know about your electricity servicec in Pennsylvania!

Looking for Your Utility? List of utilities in Pennsylvania
List of agencies in Pennsylvania
List of cities in Pennsylvania

What Deregulation Means for You

Deregulation of Pennsylvania electricity markets means that you have a choice of energy supplier. This means:

  • Greater choice of energy supplier
  • Wider price options - choose a floating price, lock in a fixed price, or choose green energy
  • Competition among suppliers, leading to lower prices and better customer service

Learn more about energy market deregulation across the country

What has not changed with deregulation is the operation of energy infrastructure. Your local utility still owns, operates, and maintains distribution network for electricity. The power you receive will be the same, regardless of who supplies it. The same thing goes for interruptions or the quality of the electrical current you receive - in short, nothing changes but the price when you switch suppliers!

Choosing a Competitive Retail Electricity Supplier in Pennsylvania

Comparing Electricity Suppliers The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has a website, www.papowerswitch.com, in order to help Pennsylvanians compare and choose electricity offers.
You can also call us at 1 (347) 410-8789 to get up-to-the-minute information on the best deals available in your zipcode

Greater choice and wider energy options can make shopping for energy overwhelming at first. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Prices

Deregulation has brought you choice not only in who supplies your electricity, but also what kind of price you pay for it. If you purchase electricity from your utility, you are paying a variable rate that changes every month, and is based on the utility's costs of procuring supply.

However, if you choose to purchase your electricity from a competitive supplier, you have the option of locking in a fixed price. In general, we recommend choosing a fixed price for your electricity if you have the option - find out why.

Competitive Retail Electricity Suppliers in Pennsylvania

If you're shopping for electricity, it's a good idea to check out the offers of at least four or five retail suppliers before narrowing down. We also recommend checking out what current customers are saying about electricity suppliers in your area.

Contract Terms and Conditions

There are a few things you should look out for when you're reading the terms of your electricity supply contract:

Early Cancellation Fees?

Also known as "early exit fees" or "termination fees", this is a charge for leaving your (usually fixed price) contract before the end of its term.

Automatic Service Renewal

You should always check what your chosen retail energy supplier's policy is for when your contract comes to an end. Some suppliers will automatically switch you back to the utility, while others will automatically renew you.

One-Time Charges

It's a good idea to check out how much of a late payment fee your chosen supplier charges, though you should always contact them to see if you can make a special payment arrangement if you cannot pay your bill on time.

Dispute Resolution/Communication

It's a good idea to be aware of the various ways that you can get in touch with your energy supplier, as a general rule.

Find Out More Check out some of our guides to purchasing energy in the US:
Common energy contract terms and conditions
10 questions to ask your supplier

Additional rewards

While rewards such as free thermostats or air miles should never be your first reason for choosing an energy supplier, they don't hurt either! Competitive energy suppliers often partner with other companies to offer you additional benefits and rewards, which is something that your utility can't do.

Understand Your Electricity Bills in Pennsylvania

Your electricity bill can be broken down into three main types of charges:

  • Charges related to your energy supply: covers the cost of the electricity you have consumed over the previous month.
  • Charges to cover the costs of transportation: this covers the costs of transmission and distribution along high- and low-voltage wires
  • Taxes and state surcharges: these may be flat sums, or variable (based on how much power you have consumed in a month)

How Your Electricity Service Works in Pennsylvania

The process of delivering electricity to your home can be broken down into four main steps:

1. Generation

step-one

The first step of the process of bringing power to your home is to generate it. In Pennsylvania, the electricity generation mix is fairly evenly split amongst nuclear (which provided about 35% of the state's electricity in 2014) and coal (36%), though natural gas is increasingly important as an electricity source in the state.

2. Transmission

As most electricity generation facilities are located in remote areas, power is transported over high-voltage transmission lines to local distribution networks.

3. Distribution

The third step in the process of bringing electricity to your home is when it reaches the local distribution network. At this stage power is transformed into a lower voltage, and travels along local wires to your home.

4. Consumption

The final stage of this process is when energy reaches your home. You are billed for your energy supply by either your utility or your chosen electricity supplier.

Got a question about your power supply in Pennsylvania? Give us a call at 1 (347) 410-8789 to find out your best options