Archive for Pennsylvania

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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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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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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Find Meted Electricity Savings and Avoid 2018 Price Hike

On December 1, 2017 Met-Ed enacted a price hike on their residential electricity customers who are on the utilities default supply service price. The former default price of $0.05995 went up to $0.06816 representing a 13.7% increase that will effect an estimated 335,769 customers who receive their power supply from Met-Ed. Fortunately for these customers there is a silver lining; current competitive Met-Ed prices are well below the new default price presenting a chance for consumers to lower and manage their electric bills.

Even though good savings are available for Met-Ed residential customers only 33% of customers in the region have selected a competitive electricity supplier in order to better manage their energy expenses. The remaining 67% remain on the utility default price. Some energy experts have hypothesized that the reason for the slow switch rate is the confusion among customers concerning what information to provide on the competitive electricity supplier enrollment form. In order to switch electricity suppliers Met-Ed requires that the customer provide their “Customer Number”, a 20 digit number found in the middle of a lot of small print on the Met-Ed bill. Numerous electricity suppliers have reported a high percentage of enrollments being rejected due to customers inputing their “Account Number” which is more easily found at the top of the electric bill.

Customers who input their “Account Number” will unfortunately have their enrollment rejected, a lesson that hundreds of customers learn each month. Requiring the Met-Ed “Customer Number” instead of the “Account Number” has added an extra layer of confusion to an already new and somewhat confusing market. However, more customers are starting to become familiar with the electricity shopping experience in Pennsylvania

Below is a sample Met-Ed electric bill with the “Customer Number” highlighted in yellow. When shopping for low Met-Ed electricity prices be sure to use the correct utility number.

Met Ed Electric Bill

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Penelec Rate Increase in 2018 set to Spur Electricity Shopping

First Energy Corps’ electric utility Penelec announced a large price increase in late 2018 for their customers who are the price to compare residential rate structure. The price increase went into effect on December 1, 2017 and will first become apparent to thousands of customers in January 2018 as the Penelec electric bill with the new higher price arrives in the mail. According to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission data, the Penelec rate increase will effect close to 358,122 residential customers who are currently on the Penelec price to compare rate structure; a default price given to consumers who have not selected one of the competitive electricity suppliers available through Pennsylvania electricity choice laws.

Default rate payers will see their Penelec electric bills increase by a whopping 25.2% in January from the rate increase that occurred at the end of 2017. The price to compare, which was previously set at $0.05383 per KWh, jumped up to $0.06742 on December 1, 2017 to the surprise of most customers. Most customers experiencing the 25.2% price increase are still uninformed that they are able to shop for lower Penelec electricity prices. Current competitive electricity rates in the region are well below the Penelec price to compare rate, allowing customers the opportunity to pay less for electricity.

Penelec is responsible for delivering power to 500,870 residential customers in Pennsylvania. Only 28.5% of their residential customer pool has elected to shop the market and choose a competitive Pennsylvania electricity supplier, leaving over 358,000 customers who are not participating in electricity choice. Choosing a competitive electric supplier in this market environment is simply about switching out a high default rate for a lower competitive price resulting in electric bill savings. Many first time shoppers are surprised to learn that the quality of power is not effected by switching suppliers since all of the power comes through the same Penelec lines and wires.

The internet and electricity comparison sites have made switching electricity suppliers one of the easiest and quickest ways to save money. In under five minutes a Penelec customer can find a lower electricity price, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and start paying less for their electricity. Below are a variety of options to compare against the Penelec price to compare rate. All electricity suppliers have been vetted and our licensed by the state of Pennsylvania.


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PP&L Comparison Shopping Allows Customers to Avoid Summer 2017 Rate Jump

Consumer energy price comparison site Electricrate.com is urging more than 700,000 residential customers living in central Pennsylvania to take five minutes to shop and compare competitive electricity rates. These customers are facing an electricity generation rate increase of 14.17% by PP&L, the Pennsylvania electric utility who delivers power to the central part of the state in including the major cities of Harrisburg and Lancaster. The higher prices will effect customers who are on the PP&L default rate for generation electricity, meaning that they have not entered into agreements with competitive PP&L electricity suppliers.

While 43% of PP&L residential customers are purchasing power from a competitive supplier, the remaining have not taken the time to do so resulting them to pay a high default rate through the utility. Many of these customers are surprised to learn that they can easily lower their monthly PP&L electric bill by simply choosing a competitive supplier who is offering a low fixed electricity rate. Selecting a rate plan by a competitive supplier causes the contractual rate to replace the PP&L default rate. When a customer chooses a competitive rate plan that is lower than the default plan, the PP&L electric bill is lowered as a result. ElectricRate.com currently has nine rate plans that are offering double digit percentage savings against the default price.

The price jump went into effect on June 1, 2017 and will start to show up for the first time on the PP&L electric bill in late July and early August. Customers can avoid the price increase, and even bring the price they pay for power below to what PP&L was charging in May by comparing PP&L competitive electricity prices.


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PPL Announces 14.17% Residential Summer 2017 Price Increase

Residential customers in the PPL service area who are not receiving their power supply from a competitive supplier will be hit with a large price hike on June 1, 2017. The increase will manifest on the price to compare rate which encompasses the generation and transmission components of the bill. Customers who have entered into electricity contracts with competitive Pennsylvania electricity suppliers will not be effected by the change.

PPL Energy is required by law, through the Pennsylvania Energy Choice and Competition Act, to provide default service for the generation and transmission charges on the PPL electric bill for those customers who do not shop for competitive rates. The default price, often referred to as the ‘Price to Compare’ is calculated through an auction process whereby competitive suppliers bid to service a portion of the default paying customers. For the past two years, and foreseeable future, PPL enacts a change to the price to compare rate twice a year. Prior to that the change was made every three months.

Over the last six months default paying customers have paid a rate of $0.07439 for the price to compare rate. On June 1 that price will rise to $0.08493, representing a 14.17% increase on the bill for PPL customers who continue on the default rate structure. This will be the first price increase since March 1, 2015. The last four price changes have been rate decreases. Despite the downward price trend over the last two years, customers were still able to find significant savings off of the price to compare rate in the competitive market; licensed competitive suppliers were able to offer fixed rates that were lower than the PPL default rate. Customers who have become used to seeing a decreasing electric bill might be surprised when they get their PPL electric bills in July showing a large increase.

Though the competitive market has presented savings to customers over the last several years, the upcoming price hike will present an even greater opportunity for customers to save money through Pennsylvania electricity choice. As of April 2017 PPL reported that 57% of their over 1.2 million residential customers were still on the default price to compare rate. These customers have the opportunity to avoid the upcoming rate increase and even lower their existing rate by taking the time to shop the market for competitive offers. In addition, by locking in a long term fixed rate customers may be further protecting themselves from a future PPL rate increase that could occur in the next rate change happens later this year in December.


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PPL Small Business Savings Available on Electric Bills

Small businesses in central Pennsylvania serviced by PP&L who are still on the utility default “price to compare” rate have an opportunity to reduce their electric bill through the Pennsylvania electricity choice program. Electricity choice allows consumers to shop the market and purchase their power supply from an alternative supplier who may be able to offer a price lower than the utility supply rate. As a result of a recent utility default rate increase combined with a steady low wholesale energy market, savings are available for PPL small businesses.

PPL customers have experienced a true competitive market since the beginning of 2010 when decade long low capped rates with the utilities expired. The rate expirations caused alternative suppliers to flood the market as they were able to offer competitive prices that yielded quick savings for customers on their PPL electric bills. As is the case with most new electricity markets, commercial and industrial clients were quicker to act on the benefits of the new Pennsylvania electricity market structures as opposed to the residential customer pool, who were less familiar with the new laws. However, after seven years of electricity choice in Pennsylvania, both customer and energy supplier participation has grown.

Among the seven largest electricity utilities in Pennsylvania, PPL leads in customer participation rate for both residential and business customers. As of December 2016 the utility has 56.6% of their commercial customers purchasing power from a competitive electricity supplier. The commercial customers who have shopped and entered into a contract with a supplier account for 89.3% of the commercial usage amount. The largest users have been the quickest to adopt and learn about the benefits of electricity choice. However, small businesses can experience the same savings percentage if they take advantage and shop for a lower commercial electricity price to replace the PPL price to compare rate for the commercial customer class.

Competitive suppliers are able to offer lower prices to PPL businesses when the wholesale electricity market yields prices that are lower than the default rate. While the default rate is determined through an auction process months before the time they actually go into effect, competitive suppliers can offer customers fixed rate contracts based on wholesale prices at the current level. Over the last seven years there have been times when suppliers could not offer rates lower than the utility default rate, however for the majority of the time savings have been available. When savings are available it presents an easy and stress free way for business owners to lower one of their largest operating costs.

Competitive suppliers offer different fixed electric prices to customers based on their power consumption. Below customers can choose the amount of their monthly electric bill to see different fixed electric prices available.

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Alternative Offers to PPL Price to Compare August 2016

Alternative electricity suppliers in Pennsylvania are offering attractive offers to residential customers of Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL) that are lower than the utility’s price to compare charges. Despite a recent price reduction in the default rate by PPL, the energy choice market is producing rate offers that can provide savings by as much as 15% to the generation supply section of the bill.

On June 1, 2016 PPL was able to drop the default price to compare rate to $0.07491 from $0.07918, which was a modest 5.4% decrease. However competitive rates offered by alternative PPL suppliers have dropped as well providing even larger savings opportunities. The PPL price to compare rates are the result of auctions that are held months prior to the rate actually taking effect. In contrast, competitive rates offered by alternative suppliers are based on current energy market conditions. If wholesale energy rate offers drop after the auction for the Price to Compare rate is complete, alternative suppliers have an easy time undercutting the default price, which gives PPL residential customers a huge incentive to shop for lower electricity prices.

When the price adjustment went into effect on June first, just under 46% of the residential customer pool were purchasing their power from an alternative PPL supplier. The shopping activity in the PPL service area has been above average compared to other competitive electricity markets in the United States and one of the highest in the state of Pennsylvania. However, even with almost half of the customers already active participants in energy choice and a recent drop in the default price, shopping activity could pickup in August as new alternative offers continue to be presented that offer strong electric bill savings.

Here is a list of current alternative PPL electricity rate offers and their comparison to the recent PPL Price to Compare rate.


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Competitive Suppliers Offer Alternative to Duquesne Light

Western Pennsylvania residential customers who receive their power from Duquesne Light experienced a slight rate hike in early June. The Duquesne Light residential price to compare went up from $0.0777 to $0.0807, representing a 3.9% increase. Meanwhile, competitive electricity suppliers have kept their price offers stable, resulting in large savings for customers who have decided to start shopping for lower rates. The new price to compare is expected to last through the end of the year making the summer of 2016 an idea time for new customers to shop for attractive electricity prices in Pittsburgh.

Prior to the rate change Duquesne Light reported that 31.9% of their residential customers were purchasing their power supply from a competitive supplier. Due to the Pennsylvania Electricity Competition and Choice Act, Duquesne Light customers have the ability to shop for competitive prices for the generation and transmission component of their electric bill. Duquesne Light charges regulated distribution fees for delivering power to the customer’s home or business. The power generation aspect is open to competition, however those customers who do not find a competitive rate pay the price to compare rate offered by Duquesne Light. Competitive offers are yielding savings as high as 20% versus the price to compare rate.


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