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Maryland Electric Shock: BGE Rate Surge Sparks Urgent Search for Savings

People analyzing BGE electricity prices and suppliers

Ah, the electrifying drama of rising electricity prices in Maryland! Brace yourselves, fellow Marylanders, because the electric shock is coming, and it’s no party trick. Maryland’s two largest electricity utilities – BGE and PEPCO – have announce large rate increases for their customers that will take place on October 1, 2023 and carry through the middle of next year. These increases will be felt by all residential customers on the utility default rates, and the majority of small and medium sized businesses throughout the state of Maryland.

BGE, those purveyors of power in and around Baltimore, are about to unleash a shocking 17.81% surge in electric bills for those who dare not venture into the world of electricity options. If you’re the type who lets things slide and haven’t hopped onto a competitive rate plan, October 1, 2023, is when the sparks will fly on your bills.

Shop Maryland Electric Rates

Now, don’t go blaming BGE entirely for this jolt to your wallet. This surge, this tempest of tariffs, is exclusively for the folks who’ve stuck to the BGE default supply price. Those who’ve spread their wings and opted for a competitive rate plan by comparing BGE prices and suppliers can sit back and sip their tea, because they won’t be singing the “shock-a-lock-a” blues.

But, before you start thinking of candlelit dinners and camping out, there’s hope on the horizon. You, yes, you can escape this electrical storm and avoid the BGE rate increase with a simple flick of your switch – the metaphorical one, of course. Just take a leisurely stroll through the marketplace of licensed Maryland electricity suppliers. Shop and choose wisely, and you’ll have a new, lower electric rate that’ll dance gracefully onto your bill, replacing BGE’s attempt at highway robbery. Your supply charge rate will remain as steady as a lighthouse in a storm.

BGE Price to Compare Rate Increase

But why is this electric revolution even happening? Well, it’s all about the BGE supply default rate, the price tag for those who’ve decided not to play the Maryland electricity choice game. On October 1, 2023, this rate is set to soar from 9.983¢ per kWh to a dazzling 11.761¢. That’s a 1.778¢ hike that adds up to an electrifying 17.81% surge in the cost of keeping the lights on in Baltimore.

Now, if you’re thinking that saving yourself from this electric ordeal should be as easy as pie, well, it pretty much is. The Maryland Public Service Commission, in its infinite wisdom, released switching data on June 30, 2023. Surprise, surprise – the savings are out there, ripe for the picking.

But here’s the kicker: Out of the 1,206,623 residential customers in BGE’s service area, only 205,751 have embraced the competitive Maryland electricity rate plan magic. That means over a million BGE customers are sitting on the default rate like it’s a ticking time bomb, waiting for their bills to balloon by nearly 18%. A simple solution? Spare a few minutes to compare BGE’s prices and suppliers. It’s like finding the golden ticket, but instead of a chocolate factory, you get to keep your hard-earned cash.

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PECO Price to Compare Drop in September 2023 Pales in Comparison to Competitive Electricity Offers

woman shopping for lower electricity prices

PECO has announced that their default price to compare option for residential customers will drop on September 1, 2023. However, despite this news of a lower PECO electric rate this fall, substantially lower competitive rates are being offered by Pennsylvania electricity suppliers that can result in customers saving a bundle on their monthly electric bills.


In June PECO customers on the default rate experience a sharp increase in the price the pay for electricity as it went up to 10.3¢ per kWh. That rate will drop on September 1, 2023 to 9.672¢ per kWh. While some PECO customers are celebrating the 6.2% rate reduction in a time of rising costs due to high inflation, the reality is that these customers can save a whole lot more if they take the time to learn about electricity choice in the PECO service area and rest of Pennsylvania.

While the new PECO price to compare rate will drop to below 10¢ in September 2023, multiple competitive rate options can be found below 9¢ and even below 8¢ in some cases. Customers on the default rate should search for the lowest PECO electric rates in order to maximize their potential electricity savings.

The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate released a report on July 1, 2023 indicating that only 21.5% of PECO Energy customers were purchasing their electricity from a competitive supplier. ElectricRate.com, an energy comparison platform, is showing competitive Pennsylvania electricity rates yielding savings from 14% to as high as 30% against the default rate. It’s hard to believe but the reality is that 78.5% of PECO Energy customers are missing out on the ability to a tremendous amount of money on their electric bills.

While the PECO default rate did remain quite low in 2021 and into 2022, current competitive prices have remained well below the price to compare in 2023. After the September rate adjustment the next one will not occur until December 1, 2023 and there is not a lot of data to indicate that the price will drop significantly or at all.

Locking in a competitive PECO electric rate will save consumers money right away as well as protect them from further PECO rate hikes. Even though the PECO default rate is going down by 6% in September, the trend over the last year has been for the rate to increase, making it all the more important to secure a low fixed rate now to avoid fluctuating PECO electric bills over the next one or two years.

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Despite AEP Ohio Price Drop in July Competitive Savings Remain High


AEP Ohio Electric Rate Savings Potential by Todd Yasbin
Its been a tough summer for AEP Ohio electricity customers as energy price hikes have caused a sticker shock for many customers as their electric bills have arrived. AEP Ohio customers on the default rate saw the price they pay for electricity supply increase by 58% on June 1, 2023. Many customers haven’t fully appreciated what that increase will do to their electric bill, and likely won’t until they receive their AEP Ohio electric bills in July or August for the June service period.

AEP Ohio recently released their new price to compare default rate, also referred to as standard service offer, that will go into effect on July 1, 2023 and likely stay in effect for several months. The new July rate will drop slightly from the June rate, but only by 5%. The 58% increase in June saw the price to compare rate jump to 11.82¢ per kWh, and that price will drop to 11.20¢ in July.

Meanwhile, competitive Ohio electricity suppliers continue to offer rate plans well below even the new lower July default rate. The lowest AEP Ohio electric rates are offerings savings as high as 40% versus the standard service offer default price. This presents a clear path for customers on the default rate to easily lower their Ohio electric bills simply by switching from AEP Ohio to a lower electric rate plan.

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission’s last electricity choice activity report released in May stated that 56% of AEP Ohio customers were still on the default rate. This represents more than 850,000 customers who will experience the shock of higher than expected electric bills as they arrive in July and August.

These customers should waste no more time in shopping for a low AEP Ohio electric rate so that they can bring their electricity expenses back down to levels experienced before the summer rate hike. In 2022, the AEP Ohio price to compare that went into effect on July 1 stayed the same through October 2022. The same is expected for this year, meaning that default rate payers who do not shop for a competitive Ohio electric rate can expect to pay 11.20¢ per kWh through October instead of competitive rates that are available below 7¢.

Locking in a low fixed Ohio electric rate will not only save AEP Ohio customers in the near term, but could also protect them from potential future increases in the price to compare in the future and add further protection resulting in lower AEP Ohio electric bills. AEP Ohio expects to change their price to compare rate again in October of 2023, followed by rate changes in January and April of 2024. As of now there is no way of knowing what those rates will be set at.

AEP Ohio customers can save money now and protect themselves from volatility and electric bill surge surprises by locking in a low fixed electricity rate plan. The lowest rates available are listed below and are updated in real time.


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Pennsylvanians Must Learn About Electricity Choice to Save Money in 2023

 

PPL Electricity Rates June 2023 by Todd Yasbin

If you live in Pennsylvania and have not educated yourself about the energy choice laws in the state then you are missing out on a bunch of savings. Put another way, if you haven’t taken the time to shop for lower electricity rates, then you are vastly overpaying on your monthly electric bill.

While technically speaking electricity choice has been around in Pennsylvania since the early 2000s, it wasn’t until the beginning of 2010 when people throughout the state really started to take notice. It was then that a decade long low price lock in the state’s second largest electric utility expired and opened up the floodgates of new electricity suppliers entering the state market.

Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL), the utility company that delivers power to around 1.2 million customers throughout the central part of the state, had to increase their default rate for electricity generation supply. The previous default rate had been locked in a decade prior when wholesale energy rates were very low. When the rates finally expired, wholesale rates were now much higher and caused the price their customers were paying to increase around 20% overnight.

  1. The previously low rates had two major effects on Pennsylvania electricity choice:
    For the first decade of the 21st century, competitive electricity suppliers could not offer rates to customers below the default rate and thus didn’t bother entering the market.
  2. Because rates were low customers didn’t feel the need to educate themselves about electricity choice. They may have read an article that a new law created a new energy choice market in Pennsylvania, but from their perspective nothing had changed. They still received their bill from their utility and there were no other companies marketing their service.

But that changed in 2010 when the default rates spiked. Now competitive electricity companies had a reason to enter the Pennsylvania market as they could offer customers with lower electric rates and savings on their PPL electric bills.

Electricity companies rushed into the PPL service area market with billboards, TV commercials, online advertising, and even door to door salesmen. More people started to familiarize themselves with electricity choice and the savings available by shopping for the cheapest PPL electric rates.

The following year in 2011 the same thing occurred in the state’s largest electric utility service area PECO Energy. PECO Energy, the utility that delivers power to the city of Philadelphia, had their decade long default rates expire and were forced to charge their customers a much higher rate for electricity supply.

Meanwhile, as was the case in PPL, competitive electricity companies could offer PECO Energy customers rate plans that were much lower than the default rates. Customer started comparing Philadelphia electricity prices and switching. The industry of electricity choice was starting to take shape.

Dissecting Myths about Pennsylvania Electricity Choice by Todd Yasbin

 

Over the next eight years customers in the other utility service area markets in the state started to see savings opportunities offered by competitive electricity suppliers. Many of the suppliers were slow to enter into the smaller First Energy areas at first, but once they could offer savings to those customers and choice awareness picked up, it make sense for them to go in and acquire a pool of new customers.

From 2010 until 2019 electricity suppliers were able to offer savings to at least some pool of Pennsylvania customers at any given time. The market was maturing as more people began to realize that they can not only shop for savings, but for price security and even renewable options.

Electricity Shopping Activity Stops

But everything seemed to change around the time of the pandemic. From early 2020 until the summer of 2023 the default rates became very low and competitive suppliers became unable to offer savings. For the last three and a half years, the growth in electricity shopping in Pennsylvania completely stopped.

Worst yet was that many customers went back onto the default rate with their utility. The number of active customers on a competitive plan began shrinking quite rapidly.

A lot can happen in 42 months. Over the last three plus years hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania have moved into new homes, and without competitive electric rates offering savings to incentivize people to shop, most consumers have forgotten that Pennsylvania electricity choice exists and have reverted back to the days of regulated energy.

2023 Pennsylvania Electricity Rates are Competitive Again

In recent months the electricity suppliers have been able to start offering competitive rates that are lower than the utility default rates. At first the savings were slight, but in the summer of 2023 savings have really started to expand.

Customers of the two largest utilities - PPL and PECO Energy - are able to lower their electric bills by more than 20%. As of April of 2023 only 21.4% of PECO Energy residential customers were purchasing their power from a low Pennsylvania electricity supplier even though savings were as high as 30% off of the PECO price to compare rate.

There is absolutely no reason why a PECO Energy customer who can save 30% should remain on the price to compare rate, and yet there are more than 1.2 million residential customers who are paying that high default electric rate.

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Ohio Edison Customers Race to Lower Their Rates

Ohio Edison Savings Potential by Todd Yasbin

 

Ohio Edison customers are in a race to find lower electric rates in order to avoid the effects of a 110% rate increase that went into effect on June 1, 2023.  Ohio Edison is raising their default Standard Service Offer rate due to high prices in the wholesale energy market that occurred several months ago.

In order to avoid the Ohio Edison rate increase customers need to learn about the benefits of electricity shopping in Ohio.

Ohio Edison Standard Service Offer Rate

The Standard Service Offer (SSO) is the default rate that Ohio Edison customers – who have not selected a competitive electric rate plan – pay for electricity supply.  The SSO rate went from 5.876¢ per kWh to 12.394¢ on June 1, which represents the 110% increase.

SSO rates are only charged to those who do not shop and participate in the Ohio electricity choice market.  For those customers who have not selected a competitive energy plan, taking the time to do so could help them prevent the 110% increase on their electric bill.  The increase should be expected for those SSO rate payers who do not take the time to shop for lower Ohio Edison electric rates.

How to Shop for Lower Ohio Edison Rates?

Participating in Ohio Edison electric choice is a simple process that can save customers a lot of money in as little as five minutes.  Here are the steps:
1. Go to an electric price comparison site
2. Enter in your zip code
3. Compare offers in your area which include price, term, termination fee, and generation source
4. Select the offer that best fits your desires
5. Enter in your information and Ohio Edison Customer Number
6. You’re finished.  The switch will occur at your next available meter read date

What is the Ohio Edison Customer Number

When switching electric suppliers you will need your Ohio Edison Customer Number and not the account number.  This serves as a high level of confusion for many customers.

The Ohio Customer number is a 20 digit number that starts with 08.  It is not your 12 digit account number.  In order to process the switch, the utility company needs the 20 digit customer number which can be found on your electric bill right above the line item charges.

The Customer Number can be found at the letter “H” below:

Reveals where a customer can find their customer number on the Ohio Edison electric bill

Ohio Edison Bill and Where to Find the Customer Number

Ohio Edison Customer Shopping Activity

n May of 2023 the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio reported that 45% of Ohio Edison customers, accounting for around 476,000 customers, were on the Standard Service Offer rate and thus going to be effected by the more than doubling of the price they pay for electricity supply.  That number had decreased from 542,000 customers in April of 2023, indicating that word was starting to get around about the drastic Ohio Edison rate increase.

Current low competitive rates in Ohio Edison are well below the SSO default rate.  In reality, there is no reason for any customer to be on the default rate this summer.  Below are current Ohio Edison competitive electric rates that are updated daily.


 

 

 

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Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter Review

Learn why the Swagtron is the ideal fold-up scooter for urban commuters.

Electric scooters are all the rage these days. Not only do they offer a cool alternative to your day-to-day commute and drastically cut down on your transport expenses; they also provide tons of health benefits to their users. On top of these advantages, an electric scooter lets you help save the environment by reducing your contribution to the harmful carbon emissions.

Although every person has a different set of requirements, the majority of electric scooter users utilize the vehicle for their urban commute. Among the options out in the market today, the Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter perfectly fits the bill for the needs of an average daily commuter.

To help you decide whether this electric scooter is a good fit for you, here are the pros and cons of the Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter.

Pros

  • One of the major advantages of the Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter is its portability. Since it’s a fold-up scooter, you can easily stash it in the trunk of your car or even under subway seats. It also won’t take up much space in your home as it’s collapsible and can easily fit in compact spaces like tight closets.
  • This e-scooter has a 250W electric hub motor that can propel its users to up to 18 miles (29 kilometers) per hour. It can also handle inclines as steep as 20 degrees.
  • The Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter comes at a reasonable price point, especially considering its sturdy aluminum alloy frame build, which helps it withstand rough rides. The fact that it can last years with daily use makes it a great investment for any urban commuter.
  • This electric scooter boasts an advanced airless honeycomb rear tire technology, which allows the rider to conquer bumpy or uneven terrain. The Swagtron’s ABS e-brakes or rear disc brakes also guarantee that this electric scooter’s stopping is smooth and reliable.
  • The Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter is easy to use as it requires no additional setup aside from the need to charge the Li-ion battery for three hours. It’s a ride-and-go vehicle that anyone can use without prior training.

Cons

  • Because the electric scooter’s tires are specifically designed for Swagtron brand units, only the company can provide replacements in case of damage.
  • While the Swagtron High Speed Electric Scooter can handle uphill climbs, it’s not the best option for this kind of terrain. If you do use it for this, you should expect a reduction in speed compared to using it on a flat surface.

Final Thoughts

Electric scooters are great alternatives to cars, especially for urban commuters. Given the horrendous state of traffic in most cities, these three-wheeled vehicles can provide users with a hassle- and stress-free commute to and from work or school. Also, the fact that’s it’s a fold-up scooter makes it extremely easy to maintain and store. 

While all these benefits of owning an electric scooter sound exciting and promising, keep in mind that not all electric scooters are created equal. Before you decide which one to purchase, take the time to evaluate your options. Once you have done that, make sure that your needs match the benefits offered by the electric scooter you intend to buy.

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Summer Electric Bills Set to Rise Again in 2019 for PPL Residential Customers

rate-increase-signHigher summer electricity bills have become all too familiar for PPL residential customers over the last several years. 2019 will be more of the same as the central Pennsylvania utility has again announced a rate increase that will go into effect on the first of June. PPL, the second largest utility in the state, released the auction results that determine the default rate for their residential customer pool.

PPL’s current residential Price to Compare, which has been in effect since December 1, 2018, will jump from $0.07039 to the higher price of $0.07585 on June 1, 2019. The higher price represents a 7.8% increase on the supply price and will be seen on PPL electric bills that start arriving in customer’s mailboxes and email inboxes in early July. The new rate will stay in effect through the end of November.

Higher summer electricity bills can be avoided for default paying customers by simply searching for and comparing competitive PPL electricity rates. Price to Compare rates do not effect customers who are receiving their power supply from a third party competitive supplier. Pennsylvania electricity choice allows customers to choose competitive rate plans and replace the PPL default rate with the alternative supplier’s electricity price.

Data obtained from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s energy choice website reveals that currently only 39.7% of PPL residential customers are receiving their power from a competitive Pennsylvania electricity supplier. This data concludes that there are roughly 700,000 residential customers on the PPL Price to Compare who can avoid the price increase that will take place on June first by finding a lower fixed rate.

Competitive PPL electricity rates are available below. In addition to plans offering lower prices than the default rate, many plans are offering renewable energy or “green energy” options that allow customers to purchase electricity generated from cleaner sources such as the wind, sun, or hydro. All suppliers below are licensed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.


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Competitive JCPL Electricity Rates Fall in Time for Summer

After a year of sub-par prices, competitive New Jersey electricity suppliers have lowered their rate offers in the JCPL service area. Several electricity companies have focused their attention to JCPL residential customers who are on the default utility rate service and customers who are on competitive rate plans that are about to expire. The JCPL basic generation service rate has been fixed since October 1, 2018 and will not change until June 1, 2019. The current price is $0.102258 per KWh, which is substantially higher than the lowest JCPL competitive rates. Even though the default rate will change on June 1, now is as good as time as ever to shop and compare for New Jersey electricity rates in the JCPL area.

Choosing a competitive electricity supplier can benefit consumers at anytime of the year. The key is to find a competitive rate that is lower than the utility default rate which will provide guaranteed savings on the electric bill; a scenario that currently exists for JCPL customers. While historically wholesale energy prices are lower in the fall and spring, the summer and winter months often provide great opportunities for electricity shoppers looking to save money. Competitive electric suppliers already have future weather projections built into their rates so anytime can be a good time to shop and choose the best electric rate.

In addition to prices that are below the basic generation service rate, many New Jersey electricity suppliers are offering green energy rates to JCPL customers. Selecting a green energy plan causes JCPL to purchase the amount of power that you consume during the term of the contract from electricity generation sources that are deemed green or environmentally friendly such as wind, solar, and hydro power. In the past these green energy plans usually cost a premium to the customer. Currently some JCPL supplier are offering the green energy option to their lowest priced rates.

While the JCPL basic generation service rate for the summer of 2019 is currently unknown, it is likely going to be higher than many of the low competitive rate options being offered. The summer JCPL default rate will go into effect on June 1, 2019 and remain in effect through the end of September. The actual price will be announced sometime in early May.


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Compare United Illuminating Prices Online

United Illuminating residential customers who have grown tired of rising standard electricity supply rates are turning to competitive prices to lower their monthly power bills.  With the United Illuminating standard default rate changing twice a year and being unpredictable, long term fixed competitive rates have gained in popularity.  The problem that many first time shoppers in the second largest Connecticut utility face is not knowing where they can accurately compare electricity prices.

Comparing electricity suppliers in Connecticut is an easy task that can be completely handled on the computer.  One tool that is becoming increasingly popular to help United Illuminating electric choice shoppers choose and compare rates are one stop shop online comparison sites.  The most informative comparison sites, such as ElectricRate.com, give consumers easy access to compare the lowest United Illuminating electricity rates to the United Illuminating standard offer service.  This allows shoppers to see just how much money they can save by choosing a specific plan.

The benefit of viewing multiple offers at once brings up the competitive level amongst the suppliers to another level.  Upon completion of comparing the options and choosing a rate plan, the switch process begins online without having to worry about scheduling a time for a person to come to your home and change wires.  When the contract comes to an end online comparison sites will provide their customers with the ability to compare and switch to yet another supplier that might be offering an even lower price than the existing competitive supplier is providing.

Often customers choose a plan and when it comes time to renew or find a new plan they get lazy and just stick with whatever their current competitive supplier is offering.  By not taking the time to compare current Untied Illuminating electric rates, the customer is in peril of severely overpaying for their power.  Often competitive Connecticut electricity suppliers offer their lowest rates to brand new customers and present higher prices to existing customers who are coming off of contracts because they know that a large percentage of their existing customers will not take the time to compare.  Good online comparison sites will represent their customers and provide them with updates informing them that their contracts are set to expire and current offers to compare.

Below are daily updated United Illuminating competitive rates that can be compared against the utility standard offer service.


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Solar Pathway Lights: An Easy, Elegant Outdoor Lighting Solution

Setting up these little lights is a snap, and they deliver day after day.

We set out to find a lighting solution that is energy-efficient, elegant, and easy to set up, and we found the Maggift solar lights fit the bill perfectly. These lights are super environmentally friendly “they naturally don’t produce emissions as they don’t consume any power, making their carbon footprint minimal. For homeowners who are committed to green living and trying to be as environmentally conscious as possible in all of their household purchases, this lighting pack is an excellent choice.

These solar power lights are also a breeze to set up, and they deliver soft, elegant lighting day after day (or rather, night after night). They cast a gentle glow along a driveway, garden path, walkway, or the border of a yard“ or just about anywhere else you want lighting effects, like around trees.

For instance, you can use them to line garden patches around large trees or a water feature for a very stylish look that highlights landscape accents even at night. It’s super easy to create subtle accents wherever you want to highlight a landscape feature such as shrubs, rocks, you name it to keep them from disappearing into the background at night. Show off your beautifully lit yard by hosting get-togethers with friends and family!

The Maggift 12-pack of solar-powered pathway lights provides a lighting option that is convenient as well as environmentally friendly. Because it uses no electricity, it produces no emissions even if it stays on all night long. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results. They easily charge up during the day (as the product specs say, it takes about 6 to 8 hours). They’re very easy to assemble as well, and to rearrange, if you choose to move them around.

Sticking them in the ground is simple with the included spike (and there are clear instructions included, though it’s pretty straightforward even without them). After you stick them in the ground, you really don’t need to do anything, they charge themselves and then light up on their own, night after night. They’re about as low-maintenance as it gets, keeping you environmentally friendly all year round. And we’ve found they work well rain or shine, in all kinds of weather.

These little lights add elegant illumination to a walkway or garden, casting a lovely glow on the ground. It’s soft yet bright enough to clearly light your way, which definitely lends a sense of safety when returning home at night.

We really love how they provide the option to change the look of a yard in creative ways, too. Because they don’t need to be plugged into a power source, they can be easily rearranged.

Seeing the beauty these lights add to your yard might inspire your neighbors to choose solar power lights themselves (and reduce their own carbon footprint). The understated elegance of the Maggift solar lights is bound to bring you a lot of compliments – and perhaps get your neighbors more interested in going green, too!

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