Duquesne Light Increases Price to Compare

Duquesne Light customers who have not shopped for competitive electricity rates are paying much more for power than they need to. Recently Duquesne Light increased their price to compare rate, the rate customers pay for electricity who have not selected an alternative supplier, from 9.32 cents to 9.89 cents. Meanwhile competitive rates give consumers the ability to pay as little as 6.47 cents which is 35% less than the current default rate.

The amount of money electricity consumers can save in the Duquesne Light area is among the highest in competitive energy markets in the country. Word of the potential to save on electric bills is getting around in the Pittsburgh area as 38% of residential customers have switched electric suppliers in order to get off of the high Duquesne Light default rate. Duquesne Light serves around 500,000 residential customers in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.


The Duquesne Light customers who are still paying the default price to compare often have a misunderstanding of how Pennsylvania electricity choice has been set up as well as a lack of trust in the alternative energy companies offering rates. These consumers should understand that switching electricity suppliers will not end their relationship with Duquesne Light. Duquesne Light will continue to deliver power to their customers no matter which electric supplier is selected to provide power. In addition, Duquesne Light also continues to send the monthly power bill and respond to power failure and emergencies.

The Duquesne Light price to compare is determine by an auction process where competitive energy companies bid for the right to service default paying customers. These companies have submitted bids with a premium on the pricing since at any time default customers can leave the default rate and sign a contract with an alternative energy company offering a lower electric rate. Duquesne Light collects the money for the default rates and passes it through to the energy companies who have won the previously held auctions. Duquesne Light does not care if their customers switch electric suppliers because their revenues and profit margins are derived from the delivery charges found on the Duquesne Light electric bill.

The delivery charge remain regulated by the state of Pennsylvania. Often consumers fear that if they switch to a lower electric rate than Duquesne Light will “make up the difference” by increasing their delivery charges. This could not happen since the delivery rates are approved at the state level for the entire class of residential customers. Furthermore, as noted above, Duquesne Light does not profit from the price to compare default rate that they charge, so it does not hurt them when a customer switches to a competitive electricity company.

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