Archive for Electricity Prices

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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What Does an Electricity Choice Market Mean for Florida?

Florida has been considering deregulating its electricity market—a controversial topic in recent months. If you live in the Sunshine State, you’ve probably heard the buzz about implementing an energy choice market.

Texas, Oregon, California, and several other states (particularly in the eastern part of the country) have already been experimenting with various levels of electricity deregulation. In Texas, about 85% of consumers can choose where they get their electricity from.

What does this mean for Florida residents? Some stakeholders assert that it will bring consumers freedom and benefit your pocketbook. Others fear the risks associated with revamping the existing electricity system. Read on to learn about Florida’s electricity choice proposal and how it could affect people throughout the state.

The State of the Debate

Currently, groups like Citizens for Energy Choices and Florida for Energy Freedom are advocating for an amendment to the state’s constitution that would allow for consumer choice of electricity utility.

If the amendment passes, electricity utilities will continue to own and manage transmission and distribution channels, but they will no longer own the power plants. Other companies will purchase those power generation plants, or create new ones, and sell power to consumers.

The choice is ultimately in the hands of consumers. In 2020, Florida voters could decide whether their state becomes an electricity choice state—if the initiative makes it onto the ballet. For that to happen, it needs 766,200 signatures, and as of early July, it had almost half that number. 

The ballot initiative is called “Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities.”


In a deregulated market, providers compete to offer the lowest price, which can benefit consumers financially (at least in theory). Each company then strives to produce electricity in the most cost-effective way in order to offer the best bargain.

In Texas, the average price of residential electricity has plummeted by over 23% between 2008 and 2017.

In such markets, consumers can also choose which type of energy to rely on, opting for renewables over fossil fuels. Thus, they can support the transition to cleaner energy, directly benefiting their environment, health, and the climate. For this reason, an electricity choice market can be attractive to environmental groups. 

Further, a broader array of organizations and individuals could sell power to the grid. The SunSentinel notes that a Florida farmer could decide to install a solar array to sell the energy it produces, which encourages smaller-scale renewable development, benefits local economies, and promotes energy independence.


Opponents of deregulation assert that it hasn’t worked out as planned in other states due to the complexity of revamping the system. According to Tom Feeney, head of Associated Industries of Florida, the changes would put energy production in the hands of new companies that don’t have experience navigating challenges that Florida’s utilities must contend with, such as hurricanes. This would bring great risk and financial burden to consumers. Utilities assert that the changes will drive prices up by putting power production in the hands of inexperienced corporations.

Will Floridians decide to deregulate their electricity market in favor of energy choice? Stay tuned to the debate on this issue to learn how it resolves in the coming months.


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Lowest Chicago Competitive Electricity Suppliers

Energy choice participation is picking up in Chicago as consumers are becoming more aware of legislation that allows them to choose a competitive electricity supplier as opposed to their incumbent utility ComEd. The creation of a competitive electricity market in Illinois has created an abundance of electric rate options that customers can now choose between. As suppliers fight to gain market share and brand recognition consumers will find it easier to shop around for the lowest rates with names they trust. Residents who become more educated with electricity choice continue to shop to stay informed about which suppliers are offering the lowest rates.

Chicago residents searching for the lowest electric rate should consider switching to a competitive supplier immediately . Locking in a fixed electric rate may protect the consumer from volatility during harsh winter months. Competitive electric suppliers already have future weather projections built into their rates, marginalizing the effects short term spikes in the energy wholesale futures markets will have on competitive offers. In general, fixed rates offered by Chicago competitive suppliers provide price security for residential customers.

Trying to choose the lowest electricity rate in Chicago is becoming easier as the competition fights to gain more market share. One tool that is becoming increasingly popular to help electric choice shoppers choose and compare rates are online comparison sites. Online comparison sites allow consumers to compare the cheapest electric rates from multiple suppliers based upon the desired term that best suits the customer. The process of switching to a competitive supplier through an online comparison site is minimal in time for the customer. All it takes is a copy of the ComEd bill and a few minutes to compare current competitive offers to the ComEd price to compare.


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Chicago Electricity Shopping Spurred by ComEd Price Increase

Electricity shopping activity in Chicago has picked up in recent months due to a price increase approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission for ComEd. As the largest electricity utility in the state of Illinois, ComEd provides a default electricity rate to their customers who do not select a competitive supplier. Historically, the price of the ComEd default rate has correlated strongly with electricity shopping activity in the territory. When the default increases, more customers look to shop the competitive market for low Illinois electricity rates that can save them money. Alternatively, when ComEd lowers their default price, some customers leave their competitive supplier plan and jump back on to the default plan. At its peak in March of 2014, electricity choice participating in the ComEd market reached 2.4 million of the 3.8 million customers. As a result of a consistently falling ComEd default rate, until recently, the participation number has steadily fallen to a low of only 1.25 million customers in April of 2017.

Over the last year, residents in Chicago and the rest of northern Illinois, has seen the ComEd price to compare rise steadily from $0.062 in June of 2016 to $0.06892 in July of 2017. The 11.16% year over year increase has caused some to start shopping the competitive Illinois electricity market once again. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that there are now more competitive electricity suppliers offering service to Chicago area than ever before at rates that are deeply discounted from the default price. The combination of a high default rate and low competitive electricity rates is expected result in more active electricity shoppers in northern Illinois.


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Comparing Competitive Delaware Electricity Prices to the Delmarva Default Price

In the state of Delaware electricity customers are discovering that they are no longer forced to buy their power from Delmarva Power. Delaware competitive electricity has created an abundance of electric rate options that customers can now choose between. However, with recent increases in the Delmarva default Price to Compare rate and tumbling energy prices, the primary reason new shoppers are materializing is to save money.

Current competitive electricity prices in Delaware are yielding as much as 21% savings versus the Delmarva default rate. The Price to Compare default rate includes electricity generation supply and transmission service while the distribution charges that Delmarva Power charges for the delivery of power remains regulated by the Delaware Public Service Commission. Competitive electricity rate plans replace the Delmarva default price, resulting in a lower Delmarva electric bill if the competitive price is below the published Delmarva Power Price to Compare.

Despite an abundance of plans yielding significant savings, the majority of Delaware electricity consumers continue to be on the Delmarva Power default plan. November shopping activity released by the Delaware Public Service Commission show that only 10.33% or Delaware residential customers were purchasing their electricity using a competitive electricity price. Only 28,755 residential customers had elected to leave the default plan while 249,486 customer remain. On the commercial side, more than 33% of business customers have entered into agreements with competitive Delaware electricity suppliers allowing them to purchase their power from an alternative supplier.

Current competitive Delaware electricity prices are below $0.08 per KWh while the Price to Compare remains at $0.0958, where it has been since August of 2016. Since June of 2014 the Price to Compare has averaged above $0.10 per KWh. Alternative offers to the Delmarva Power default price are listed below by electricity suppliers who are licensed by the state of Delaware.


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Electricity Bill Savings Available in Delaware

Customers of Delmarva Power in Delaware have the ability to save a substantial amount of money on their monthly electric bills by searching for a competitive supplier. Delaware electricity choice provides consumers with the option to either pay the default standard offer service price for power supply through Delmarva or replace that price with a competitive offer. Currently, competitive suppliers are offering electricity rates that are well below the standard offer service price, resulting in an opportunity for Delaware residential customers to reduce their electricity bill in the coming months.

While Delaware has been open to electricity choice for several years, until recently it had been difficult for residents in the state to purchase their power from a competitive supplier. Few electricity suppliers were willing to go through the lengthy process of offering electricity rates in a relatively small and unproven market. Meanwhile, the neighboring state of Maryland has seen a consistent increase in both electricity supplier offers and number of customers shopping for competitive rates over the last several years. The success in Maryland has enticed some major electricity suppliers to take the leap and enter the Delaware market in recent months.

In order to entice customers to shop for the first time some suppliers are offering rates that are as much as 19% lower than the Delmarva DE standard offer service. The majority of Delmarva customers are unaware of their ability to shop for competitive power, which leaves the job of educating the market up to the suppliers. The electricity bill savings available to Delaware residential customers should help speed up the process. According to the Delaware Public Service Commission, as of the end of April 2016 only 28,198 of the 277,109 residential customers in the service area were purchasing power from a competitive supplier. While the residential switching percentage is just above 10%, the number of business customers who has switched is above 30%. Both markets are expected to see more shopping activity in the coming months and years as more competitive suppliers enter the market and provide more options for customers.

Below are current competitive prices offered in the Delmarva Delaware service area.


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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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National Grid MA Variable Electric Customers See Increased Pricing Volatility

National Grid Massachusetts customers on the variable basic service rate have seen huge volatility in the price that they pay for electricity over the last year. After recent news of National Grid releasing their variable rate over the next six months, it is apparent that the volatility will continue. Consumers on the variable basic service rate can avoid the price uncertainty, as well as reduce their electricity bills, by shopping for lower competitive electricity rates offered by alternative Massachusetts electricity suppliers.

Through State energy choice laws, Massachusetts has opened up their electricity market to allow competitive energy companies to offer service to residential and business customers. The law allows customers who receive their electric bill from one of the three major utilities in the state – NSTAR, National Grid, and Western Mass Electric – to shop for a lower electricity price that would replace their utility default rate for electricity generation supply. The default rate is charged to all customers who decided not to purchase power from a competitive supplier.

Customers on the default rate pay a charge known as the basic service rate for electricity supply which includes the generation and transmission components of the electric bill. Default rate payers have a choice between paying a fixed basic service rate and a variable basic service rate. The fixed rate remains the same for six month periods, while the variable rate changes every month. However, even though the variable rate changes on a monthly basis, customers know what that variable rate will be for the next several months. Both rates are determined through an auction process that National Grid holds for alternative suppliers for the right to service basic service rate customers. The outcome of the auction process is largely dependent on the condition of the wholesale energy markets during the time of the auction.

Both rate structures have been extremely volatile over the last several years, with recent rates being the higher end of the spectrum. The high default rates have allowed for competitive electricity suppliers to offer rates that are well below the basic service offers, presenting an opportunity to for customers to lower their National Grid electric bills. Since 2012, the variable basic service rate has ranged from a low of 6.544 cents per KWh in September of 2012 to a high of over 20 cents per KWh in January of 2015. In November, the variable rate will increase by 26.4% from the October rate. Customer who remain on the variable basic service rate are going to see their total electric bills increase by about 20% as their supply rate goes up from 8.8 to 11.27 cents. The variable rate will continue to rise over the next several months going to 13.38 cents in December and then over 15 cents in both January and February of next year.

The volatility in the rates and increasing electric bill amounts can be stopped by simply shopping for a lower competitive electricity rate. In order to avoid further price uncertainty consumers should find a competitive offer that is fixed and not a floating month to month price. Finding a fixed electric rate will eliminate the uncertainty of volatility in the energy markets that leads to negative surprises on the electric bill amount. Furthermore, if the fixed rate is lower than the variable basic service rate on a monthly basis, consumers will also save money through a lower electric bill.


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Ohio Power Customers Get a Summer Rate Relief from Competitive Suppliers

Residential electricity customers who receive their power from AEP Ohio Power are receiving attractive price options from competitive suppliers as the summer approaches. Due to a recent widening gap between the Ohio Power generation default rate and competitive electric rates in the area, customers can save more than 20% off of their monthly electric bills by choosing a rate plan offered by a competitive supplier. The savings potential has increased shopping activity in the AEP Ohio Power service area market.

Through Ohio electricity choice customers have the ability to shop for competitive generation and transmission rates from alternative suppliers while still receiving the power and monthly electric bill through their local utility such as AEP Ohio Power. AEP Ohio Power continues to deliver power to their customers and charges a regulated delivery charge for this service. The deliver charge is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and does not change based on whether a customer chooses a competitive supplier or not. Customers who do not choose a competitive electricity plan pay a default rate for generation and transmission service offered by AEP Ohio Power.

The AEP Ohio Power default rate has recently risen to $0.0907 cents at the same time competitive rates are being offered in the $0.065 to $0.08 range. This gives consumers who are still on the default rate an opportunity to save as much as 28.5% on their electric bills as we approach the high electricity usage summer months. This is the first time that Ohio Power residential customers have been able to save over 20% through Ohio electricity choice. The high savings amounts will likely encourage customers who had previously not paid attention to competitive rates to finally shop the market.

Below is a list of current AEP Ohio Power residential rates, all of which have been approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. If you are a AEP Columbus Southern customer please visit our AEP Columbus rate page.


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Massachusetts Variable Electricity Prices Set for Roller Coaster Ride

Over the last month participation in the Massachusetts electricity choice market has spiked sharply due to a large increase in National Grid’s fixed default electricity supply rate that went into effect on November 1, causing some customer’s bills to double. National Grid customers who are on the variable default rate are about to see similar electricity price increases, and as a result are being encouraged to shop for low National Grid electric rates in Massachusetts. Competitive electricity companies and the state of Massachusetts have been educating consumers about the higher electricity prices to come, however a large number of customers remain on the default rate service which will cause electric bills to drastically increase over the next few months.

Residential customers of National Grid Massachusetts who do not choose a competitive electricity company pay a default rate for their power supply. The default paying customers have a choice between paying a fixed rate that changes every six months, or a variable rate that changes on a month to month basis. However, even though the variable rate changes every month, it is known what that rate will be during the six month interval that the fixed default rates are announced. For example, customers can see what the variable rate will be from now through the end of April 2015, which is when the current fixed rate will end.

The default variable rate increase has already started. National Grid Massachusetts variable paying customers saw their electricity price rise by 33% on November 1, 2014 from what it had been on October 31, 2014. These customers were paying a rate of 7.882 cents per KWh in October, and now in November are paying 10.492. This increase will be seen on the December National Grid electric bill which will represent charges for the power consumed in the month of November.

Unfortunately this is not the end of the higher electricity prices that will cause electric bills for National Grid customers to drastically increase if action is not taken in the form of shopping for a lower electricity rate. The National Grid variable rate will increase on December 1, 2014 to 16.706 cents per KWh. The new December rate will be 61% higher than the November rate, and 115% higher than the rate was in October. The rate will get as high as 22.67 cents in January 2015, which will be more than three times the rate was in October 2014. Customers on the National Grid variable price structure who do not take part in shopping for residential Massachusetts electricity rates will see their electric bills triple during this period. The risks are real as the price increase has already begun, but for many consumers they will not believe it is happening until those higher electric bills arrive in the mail.

We have collected some of the better competitive rate offers for National Grid Massachusetts residential customers. The offers below are good for both default fixed and variable rate customers. The switch process in Massachusetts can take up to a month as National Grid can only make the switch on the customer meter read date. In addition, a period up to 15 days in advance of the meter read date is needed for the switch to occur. If you are still on default rate service, the sooner you switch onto a lower competitive rate the better.


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