Deregulated States

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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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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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 electricity generation supply and transmission costs. In November the rate catapulted to a 21% increase from what it had previously been since May, taking the price to $0.09787 per KWh. The increase can be avoided if customers switch off of the basic service rate and onto a competitive rate plan through Massachusetts electricity choice.

Electricity choice in the state has largely been a success with consumers currently having dozens of rate options to choose. As of October 2016, roughly 40% of National Grid’s 1,016,242 residential customers were purchasing their power from a competitive supplier. Customers who are participating in electricity choice by shopping for their power supplier will not be effected by the recent basic service rate change. The remaining 613,351 customers who remain on the default plan can simply lower their National Grid electric bills by finding a lower electricity rate plan.

Over the last three years the basic service rate has experienced wide fluctuations. Besides near term savings, competitive electricity rate plans that are fixed also provide price stability for consumers who are looking to better manage their home expenses. Many National Grid customers will not be prepared for the 21% rate increase that they will see for the first time on their December 2016 electric bills. Locking in a low rate will not only save money over the next few months, but it also can provide even greater savings in the second half of next year. The new basic service rate of $0.09787 is scheduled to stay in affect through the end of April. As of now it is unknown what the rate will be for the rest of 2017, though recent energy market trends reveal that it is unlikely they will come back down below nine cents.

Below is a list of some of the best electricity rate offers for National Grid customers in Massachusetts. All offers are updated every day, and are offered by suppliers who have been licensed by the state of Massachusetts.


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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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Competitive Suppliers Offer Alternative to Duquesne Light

June 20, 2016

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 […]

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JCPL Summer Price to Compare Hits Customers

June 2, 2016

The JCPL price to compare, or basic generation service rate, was adjusted on June 1, 2016 and will reach customers when they receive their electric bills in July. Basic generation service charges include the generation and transmission portion of the JCPL electric bill, which encompasses the portion of the bill that is open to customer […]

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