Wednesday, May 27, 2020

PUC Reminds Consumers Of June 1 Utility Electric Energy Price Changes; Highlights Online Power Shopping

On May 27, the Public Utility Commission reminded consumers that most electric distribution companies (EDCs) across the state will be adjusting electric generation prices on June 1 for non-shopping customers.
Depending on your service territory, energy prices could be increasing or decreasing for the summer months, and the PUC encourages consumers to be aware of the pending changes and to evaluate their options.
“During these difficult times, consumers may be looking for ways to lower monthly bills by reducing energy usage and supply costs,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille.  “We encourage consumers to carefully review their electric bills, understand the rates they will be paying and explore the PUC’s official electric shopping website,, for details on competitive offers, along with tips for energy conservation and savings.”
Additionally, the PUC announced a series of enhancements to (PAPowerSwitch) – the agency’s consumer-education and energy shopping website – to make it easier and quicker for consumers to access information about shopping for electric suppliers, along with other ways to conserve energy and save money.
“Price to Compare” Changes on June 1
In most areas of Pennsylvania, consumers can choose who supplies their electricity, based on price or other factors, such as renewable energy. 
Customers not choosing a supplier continue to receive “default service” from the utility, with the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) set quarterly or semiannually based on PUC approved electric generation procurement plans. The PUC, however, does not control the price of the generation portion of the electric bill. 
Beginning on June 1, EDCs that have projected changes in their Prices to Compare (PTCs) for residential default service customers include: 
-- Citizens’ Electric, with an estimated decrease from 7.5845 to 7.4795 cents per kWh;
-- Duquesne Light, with a slight increase from 7.1 to 7.11 cents per kWh;
-- Met-Ed, with a decrease from 5.39 to 5.361 cents per kWh;
-- PECO, with a decrease from 6.595 cents to 6.405 cents per kWh;
-- Penelec, with an increase from 5.404 to 5.532 cents per kWh;
-- Penn Power, with an increase from 6.257 to 6.684 cents per kWh;
-- PPL, with a decrease from 7.632 to 7.284 cents per kWh;
-- UGI Electric, with an estimated increase from 6.041 to 6.811 cents per kWh;
-- Wellsboro Electric, with an estimated increase from 6.8896 to 6.9 cents per kWh; and,
-- West Penn Power, with a decrease from 5.637 to 5.125 cents per kWh.
For default service customers not participating in the competitive electricity market, Pennsylvania’s regulated utilities offer a voluntary Standard Offer Program (Standard Offer) - providing those customers with the option of receiving service from a competitive supplier at a fixed-price that is 7 percent below the utility’s PTC at the time of enrollment. 
The Standard Offer price is fixed for one year and can be canceled by the customer at any time with no early cancellation or termination fees.
PAPowerSwitch Updates
PAPowerSwitch provides consumers with valuable information on how to shop for electric supply services.  The website enables consumers to quickly compare offers from competitive suppliers against the default service rate from their local utility.
The PUC continually upgrades PAPowerSwitch to educate consumers and help them successfully navigate Pennsylvania’s competitive market for electricity. Recent updates to the website include: 
-- A new comparison feature where consumers can view and evaluate up to eight different offers at the same time;
-- Faster page-loading;
-- Enhanced security measures;
-- More filtering options relating to offers from competitive electric generation suppliers (EGSs); and
-- Additional view options, with horizontal or vertical views of EGS offers.
All the recent upgrades are reflected in the mobile version of PAPowerSwitch, allowing easy access from even more devices.
PUC Continues Encouraging Energy Efficiency & Conservation
The PUC also reminds families to explore energy conservation to help manage bills and reduce energy usage – especially as more people are home, with many working remotely, and the summer cooling season approaches. 
PAPowerSwitch, as well as the PUC’s website for natural gas shopping,, have interactive information and tips for saving energy.
Other PUC Actions During Current Pandemic
Under the unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission’s moratorium on EGS door-to-door sales and marketing for all customer classes remains in effect – helping minimize non-essential personal social contact.
In this time of heightened stress, the PUC also reminds consumers to remain vigilant when discussing energy supply service with telemarketers, particularly if the contact was unsolicited.  
Additionally, consumers are encouraged to be on the lookout for unscrupulous activity and potential scam artists who may pose as utility representatives.
Consumers are advised not to sign a contract without knowing the length of the contract, the price, whether it is fixed or variable and if there are any fees, such as membership fees or early termination fees. 
Customers on a variable rate are subject to fluctuations in the price for their electricity. 
Information on fixed and variable electric rates is available here
For more information on programs and initiatives, visit the Public Utility Commission website.
[Posted: May 27, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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