Aug. 3, 2020
Pennsylvania is a Northeastern state that generates most of its electricity from natural gas, nuclear energy, hydro-electric stations, and alternative energy sources. The state currently features an electricity price difference of 15% below the national average, for commercial supply. However, electricity rates can vary from region to region, across the state. Here’s how the Pennsylvania electricity market works, as well as how you can save on your energy bill, and get the best electricity rates.
Almost all of Pennsylvania’s electricity production is from natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. Additionally, the state has doubled its natural gas-fired electricity production from 2010 to 2019, with additional efforts to increase renewable energy usage as a replacement to fossil fuels.
All Pennsylvania residents (residential customers and businesses) receive an electricity bill that’s divided into two categories – supply and delivery charges.
The supply charges include the cost of electricity generation and are charged by kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month. The charge is different for the multiple electricity supply companies in the state. The primary cost difference is between the Standard Offer Service (SOS) and various retail electric suppliers (RES). You can avoid any additional costs (if applicable) by choosing one of the met-ed independent Pennsylvania Energy suppliers.
Delivery services, on the other hand, are provided by the utility company you sign up with. In Pennsylvania, you can choose between Pennsylvania Power Company, Duquesne Light Company (DQE), Pike County Light and Power, PECO Energy Company, UGI Utilities, West Penn Power, PPL Electric Utilities, and Pennsylvania Electric Company - Penelec, as your local utility company. Delivery costs consist of the distribution charge, transmission charge, the Combined Public Benefits (CPB) charge, customer service charge, and the Competitive Transmission Assessment (CTA) charge.
You can learn more about Pennsylvania’s energy rates here.
The state of Pennsylvania deregulated electricity supply and other energy utilities in 1996. Since then, direct energy providers have offered a variety of competitive supply rates, electricity plans, and utility repair/maintenance services. Currently, suppliers are governed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Pennsylvanians can choose an independent retail energy company for their household energy needs. However, if a resident does not sign up with a retail supplier, the default utility company for the region automatically commences electric supply as Standard Service. The default supply is not applicable via renewables and/or green energy sources.
The Pennsylvania Public Service Commission regulates all energy suppliers. It also regulates and approves the Standard Offer Service provided by your utility company if you don’t choose a supplier.
The PUC also regulates the eight utility companies in Pennsylvania. If you fail to register with either of those companies, you will automatically start receiving electricity at the Standard Offer. The Standard Offer is your ‘Price to Compare.’ Customers can use the Price to Compare to see which supplier offers the best utility rates in their area.
All Pennsylvania residents can choose from the multiple electricity rates and plans offered by independent suppliers based on factors such as their rates and customer service.
The Pittsburgh region is primarily supplied by Duquesne Light, whereas Penelec, PECO, UGI, etc. cover the rest of the state. You can search and shop for the best prices, but remember to read the fine print, check for any hidden fees, and/or escalating rates.
Alternatively, you can use Arbor’s free TrueRate Protection service to automatically find and switch to the best Pennsylvania electricity rate in your area.
Arbor scans the market and gives you the best rates you can get in your service area. When your term is expiring, Arbor finds the best rate and switches you again. You always pay the best rate and never have to worry about overpaying for electricity ever again.
You can also use the free savings calculator to find out how much you could save in each case.
Each utility supply company offers a number of plans, plan lengths, and electric rates. You can change your electric supplier at any time, after canceling the previous registration.
Transferring to another supplier is easy. All you have to do is get a copy of your recent electric bill, find out which company supplies your electricity, and check the cost per energy usage to find out your current rate.
You can use Arbor to find out what the best rate in your area is by using our free savings calculator.
Once you have your supplier and their current rates, you can then compare your current energy supply rate with those offered by other suppliers, and sign up online or over the phone.
Furthermore, different energy suppliers may offer different types of plans.
These are the two plan options you’ll find:
Fixed-Rate Plans: A fixed plan requires you to pay a constant amount for as long as your plan lasts. Fixed-rate plans are highly stable and you can choose from multiple rate structures. We recommend fixed-rate plans because they minimize risk and provide price certainty. But be careful; when your term expires, your rate becomes variable and can go up without notice. Arbor automatically keeps you on the best fixed-rate plan, so you don’t have to worry about rate hikes at the end of your term.
Variable-Rate Plans: These plans depend on the price fluctuations in the power supply market. Your supply costs can change every month, depending on market variation. Variable-rate plans are not stable but can yield low seasonal rates.
You can choose a plan that suits your financial capacity and electricity usage. Many plans may ask for an initial deposit. Any and all plans available through Arbor never require a deposit.
As a Pennsylvania resident, you have a ton of competitive energy choice options. You should choose the best supplier by checking which energy plan suits your needs, and then compare the rates on that plan with the default Price to Compare (or your current supplier’s rate).
You can then find out which electric choice offers the most savings on your bill, and decide accordingly.
You can also find out how to understand and pay your electricity bill yourself. However, utility billing can get complicated, which is why people trust Arbor to manage their electric utility services for them. This lets them avoid unnecessary service interruptions and pay the best electricity rate available in Pennsylvania.
Take 30 seconds and save up to $250 per year. Calculate your savings now with our free calculator.