electric bill

Energy choice is bringing thousands of consumers lower energy bills in cities across the country who have embraced electricity and natural gas competition. Some areas are seeing larger savings dependent on a number of issues including how the specific state’s energy choice bill was written and how the local utility purchases their power supply for default paying customers, or consumers who are slow to shop for lower competitive electric rates.

Pennsylvania electricity customers in the Duquesne Light area are seeing some of the best electric rate shopping opportunities in the history of energy choice. Duquesne Light delivers power to over 560,000 residential customers in western Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh area and suburbs. Customers in this area who remain on the Duquesne Light Price to Compare – the default rate structure that non-choice participants pay for power – can enter into an fixed electric rate contract with a competitive supplier that is over 30% lower; simply put, they can save over 30% on their Duquesne Light electric bill.

To date, over 44% of Duquesne Light residential customers have taken the time to search, find, and compare electric rates. These customers are enjoying electric bills that are 30% lower than if they hadn’t taken a few minutes to search for the best Duquesne Light electric rate. All else considered, the switch percentage in western Pennsylvania is healthy and high enough to ensure that Pennsylvania electric choice remains constant in the state. However, this also means that close to 56% of the residential electric bills that Duquesne Light sends out every month are missing out on a huge savings potential.

Here are a list of some of the best Duquesne Light electric rates, updated everyday:


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The Met-Ed electricity default rates will increase for all rate classes across the board, including those for small and large businesses, starting December 1st. The new Met-Ed default rate for a business customers will go up to $0.09133/kWh. This will be an increase of 12% for companies who are still using Met-Ed as their default electric supplier. Businesses in the Met-Ed territory who are still on default service can expect to see the increase reflected on their first Met-Ed electric bill received in 2013.

Pennsylvania competitive electricity commercial rates are substantially lower than Met-Ed’s default rate. Commercial customers in Pennsylvania looking to switch to a competitive electricity supplier can expect to save 20-35% based on current market conditions. If a business looking to lower their costs decides to lock in a rate with a competitive electricity supplier they will still only receive one electric bill from Met-Ed.

With January and February expected to be cooler than last year, the demand for energy will go up which is sure to put more upward pressure on commercial electricity rates. Pennsylvania businesses looking to get off the Met-Ed default rate should consider locking in a rate before the holiday season swings into full gear.

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Pennsylvania business customers still with Pennsylvania Power and Light’s default service have experienced large swings in their default rates since the PPL cap rates first expired in 2010. They are not alone as many customers still on Met-Ed’s default rate and PECO’s default rate have also experienced large fluctuations in the price of their electric bill. As higher default rates force many to start shopping for competitive electricity rates it is important to understand the basics of Pennsylvania electricity deregulation and what it means for electricity choice in your area.

The electric bill is split up into two basic charges: distribution charge and supply charge. The distribution charge is a regulated charge and will not be affected by switching to a competitive electricity supplier. The distribution charge deals with the cost of maintaining the lines and wires so the electricity can be transferred from your local distribution company directly to your business. The supply charge is the deregulated charge. If your company decides to stay with PECO, Met-Ed, or PPL you will be set up on a default rate determined by a series of auctions. A company on the default rate can choose to switch to a competitive supplier anytime without being penalized. Due to a number of factors involved including the high volatility of the energy market, a company will be charged a premium if they decide to stay on the default rate.

When you start shopping for competitive electricity rates it is important to make sure the suppliers are including all components of the supply charge. The three basic components of the supply charge are energy, capacity, and transmission. These components can be further dissected to line loss, ancillary, congestion and so forth. Some suppliers will leave out a component of the supply charge to make their rate more attractive. However this charge will then be bypassed onto your electric bill as a separate charge. It is important when shopping for competitive electricity rates to let the supplier know you want an apples to apples comparison to your utilities default rate. Do not let this deter you from taking advantage of the large margin of savings. A typical commercial business in Pennsylvania still on the PECO, PPL, or Met-Ed’s rate will save an average of 15-35% per year by choosing a competitive electricity supplier.

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The Commonwealth Edison Company, responsible for delivering power to 3.8 million electricity customers in northern Illinois, recently raised their electricity supply rates for residential customers by 20%. The increase went into effect on October 1, 2012. The new high rate of 8.32 cents includes generation and transmission charges. The 8.32 cents does not include the “Purchase Electricity Adjustment” which is a true-up payment ComEd charges or refunds customers based on the difference between what ComEd paid to acquire power supply for the default customer class and what ComEd actually charged this class of customers. ComEd has estimated that this true-up cost will be another $0.005 from now until May 2013. If this estimated increase is accurate, it means that the true price to compare will be closer to 8.8 cents per KWH for default paying customers in the ComEd territory.

Default paying customers include all electricity customers who receive their electric bill from the Commonwealth Edison Company who have not chosen a competitive electricity supply company to provide them with competitive eletric rates. Customers can eliminate the increase, and even pay less for electricity than the default rate of 6.935 cents that was offered during the summer by participating in the Illinois electric choice market and shopping for electricity rates that are competitive. Switching off of the high ComEd price to compare rate and onto a lower electric rate offered by a competitive electric supplier will also eliminate the “Purchase Electricity Adjustment” charge on the ComEd electric bill.

With competitive rates being as low as they are (see below) the number of power shoppers in Chicago and surrounding areas is growing rapidly. People are starting to understand that electric choice can simply provide a lower ComEd electric bill without sacrificing quality. ComEd is still in charge of delivering power and responding to power emergencies for their 3.8 million customers in northern Illinois. Furthermore, ComEd continues to deliver the monthly electric bill to their customers. Switching electric suppliers simply amounts to the rate on the supply section of the ComEd electric bill to be altered.

Competitive electric companies are able to offer substantial savings versus the Commonwealth Edison default price to compare rate. While many consumers are catching on, there are still many who have not had the time to research the benefits of energy choice. For more information on competitive electric rates in ComEd, see our daily update prices from approved suppliers licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission.


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PECO Residential Rates Soar Upward

October 1, 2012

PECO energy customers who have yet to shop for a competitive electricity rate are about to see their electric bills rise substantially. PAElectricity.org, an energy price information site for Pennsylvania consumers, has reported that a PECO residential rate increase that will go in effect on October 1. The increase will only effect those customers who […]

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Illinois Electricity Shopping Continues to Grow

August 27, 2012

The competitive residential electricity market in Illinois continues to grow as consumer awareness of energy choice increases. Electricity choice has been steady in the Illinois commercial market, however residential awareness has only seen significant growth in the past year. All four main utilities in Illinois – ComEd, Ameren I, Ameren II, Ameren III – have […]

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PSEG BGS Summer Rates Posted

June 14, 2012

Summer electricity rates for PSEG customers on supply default rates have been announced. The PSEG default rates are named Basic Generation Service (BGS) charges by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Customers who do not shop for competitive rates, offered through the New Jersey Electricity Choice and Competition Act, pay the BGS charges. Those […]

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Compare Electricity Rates in Chicago

May 7, 2012

The Illinois energy choice laws are allowing consumers to compare electricity rates in Chicago, and the results have been lower ComEd electric bills with zero downside. Choosing to buy electricity from an alternative electricity company at lower generation electric rates than the ComEd default rates simply allows the citizens of Illinois to pay less on […]

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Lower My BGE Bill

April 4, 2012

Electricity customers who are serviced by Baltimore Gas & Electric are finally starting to see the benefits of Maryland energy choice as competitive energy companies have pushed prices down. How Do I Lower My BG&E Electric Bill? There are a thousand different answers to this question. Some are true, some are myths, some are smart, […]

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Connecticut Power Companies offer Savings against Default Rates

January 14, 2012

Electricity choice in Connecticut is clearly working as competition is forcing prices on a downward trend. Just a few short years ago consumers in Connecticut were paying the highest electricity rates in the country, causing state senators to draw up a Energy Bill to end electric choice. The bill was eventually vetoed by the governor, […]

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