Deregulated States

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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Residential PSEG electricity customers who are on the basic generation service rate are getting hit with a summer rate increase. The basic generation service rate is the price for electricity power supply that customers pay who have not chosen to buy their power from a competitive supplier. As an energy choice state New Jersey residents have the ability to shop the market for competitive electricity rates the same way they can shop for phone service or television content providers. Customers who do not participate in the market by shopping and buying their power from a competitive supplier pay the basic generation service rate offered by PSEG.

PSEG updates their basic generation service rates twice a year on June 1 and October 1. The PSEG basic generation service rate, which serves as a default electricity price, is determined through three auctions that take place in the previous three years of the current basic generation service rate. Competitive suppliers are often able to offer more favorable pricing than the default price, offering customer an opportunity to pay less money on their PSEG electric bill. The new PSEG basic generation service price will have residential customers paying a maximum of $0.131959 per KWH for customers who consumer above 600 KWh in a month. Meanwhile, competitive New Jersey electricity suppliers are offering fixed rates in the 10 and 11 cent range.

As of April 2017 PSEG has reported that only 12% of their residential customers have switched off of the default basic generation service price and onto a competitive plan. The new summer rate increase for 2017 could provide an incentive for the more than 1.6 million residential customers, currently on the default plan, to shop for the first time. Statewide New Jersey energy choice has resulted in 505,111 residential shoppers and 151,805 commercial and industrial customers. Despite the low residential switch percentage competitive New Jersey suppliers remain optimistic at their chances of acquiring new customers. PSEG customers have more than a dozen electricity companies to purchase their power supply from, many of which are offering fixed rates below the default price. Below are rates offered by suppliers who are licensed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.


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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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While energy choice laws have been in effect for almost a decade in the New York City area, an alarming number of consumers are still unaware of their option to shop for competitive electricity and natural gas rates. The majority of citizens are still under the belief that they have to pay the energy rates offered by Con Edison, the local utility company. In truth, New York City consumers only have to pay the regulated delivery charges for energy to Con Edison, the supply component of their energy bills is open to customer choice. New York energy choice laws changed Con Edison from being the sole energy company in the New York City area, responsible for the delivery and generation supply of the energy, to only being responsible for the delivery and maintenance of the energy lines and wires.

On top of their delivery duties, Con Edison also provides a default rate for electricity supply to customers who do not choose to initiate in electricity shopping activity. Con Edison customers can find attractive rate plans offered by competitive electricity companies that will replace the default rate. The competitive electricity companies in New York are referred to as ESCOs, which stands for energy supply companies. ESCOs can offer customers rate plans that differentiate from the “one size fits all” default plan offered by Con Edison.

The Con Edison default electricity rate changes each month as it is variable and tied to market fluctuations. This volatility does not allow for ESCOs to market exact savings with their rate offerings as they are able to do in other state markets. In the neighboring states of New Jersey an Pennsylvania, utilities have default rates that last anywhere from three to eight months at a time. Electricity companies there can offer rates below the default rates and consumers can calculate exact savings. While this isn’t the exact case in New York, consumers can still lock in low Con Edison rates that are fixed and will offer price certainty during the term of the contract.

In addition to price, Con Edison customers can shop for plans that offer renewable energy as the source of power. ESCOs can purchase power generated from wind farms and sell it to retail customers so that there money is supporting renewable resources.

Consumers have a variety of options when shopping for competitive electricity in New York City. Getting this idea out has been difficult as people have become used to accepting whatever rate Con Edison imposes. The last migration data in New York was released at the end of 2015 which showed that only 23.6% of residential customers where purchasing their power from a competitive ESCO. Below are competitive offers from ESCOs who have been approved to sell power in the Con Edison service area.


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PPL Small Business Savings Available on Electric Bills

January 13, 2017

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 […]

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Basic Service Rates Going Up for National Grid Massachusetts Customers

December 1, 2016

Massachusetts residential electricity customers who receive their electric bill from National Grid and have not switched off of the default basic service rate will see an increase on their electric bills in December and the first half of 2017. The basic service rate charge represents the component of the National Grid electric bill that encompasses […]

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Rhode Island Electricity Savings Available

October 24, 2016

Substantial savings are available for Rhode Island residential electricity customers who receive their electric bill from National Grid and are still on the default price to compare rate.  Rhode Island electricity choice provides consumers the option to either pay for their power supply directly to their utility, or to purchase it from an alternative competitive […]

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Switch JCPL Electricity Suppliers for Savings

October 19, 2016

Jersey Central Power & Light, a First Energy Corporation company, implemented a rate change to their basic generation service (BGS) charge on October 1, 2016 that will stay in effect until the end of May next year. The BGS price is the price for electricity supply charged to all JCPL residential customers who have not […]

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Alternative PSEG Suppliers Provide Savings Opportunities for Customers

October 8, 2016

On October 1, 2016 the New Jersey Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSEG) enacted a scheduled change to their basic generation service rate charged to residential customers. The rate change will effect roughly 1.7 million residential electricity customers in the state of New Jersey who are not purchasing their power from an alternative supplier. […]

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Alternative Offers to PPL Price to Compare August 2016

July 26, 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 […]

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