Are you shopping for a new energy supplier? If so, you’re not alone — more than 1.9 million customers throughout Pennsylvania switched electric generation suppliers as of October 2018. Whether you’re looking to save money on your monthly bill or to find a supplier that uses renewable energy and green initiatives, one of Pennsylvania’s more than 120 electric suppliers or 52 natural gas suppliers are sure to meet your needs.
You’ll want to consider several factors when shopping for an energy source and supplier to find the best option for you and your household. Our graphic below shows a breakdown of home energy sources and their associated costs.
While looking at energy prices and sources, keep in mind that sources like heating oil, propane, and even renewable energy usually only provide power for specific functions such as heating your home. You’ll also need electricity to run your home’s other technology. You’ll find the best supplier for your home’s electricity using your distributor’s price to compare.
What Is Price to Compare?
The price to compare (PTC) is the cost of electricity per kWh that your electric distribution company charges for generation and transmission, the utility’s charge for implementation of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS), and Pennsylvania’s Gross Receipts Tax. This price is based on how much your distributor pays for electricity on the market and could be adjusted quarterly.
You’ll use the PTC when making your Pennsylvania electric choice and switching electric suppliers. Compare the PTC with suppliers’ prices to find the best rate for your electricity.
Many distributors provide a Standard Offer Program for residents who haven’t yet switched energy suppliers. The program includes a fixed-rate price 7% below the current PTC for one year. Customers are free to leave the program without cancellation fees if they enroll with a participating Pennsylvania electric supplier.
Things to Consider When Comparing Energy Suppliers
If you think you’ve found the best energy source for your home and a supplier whose prices are below the PTC, keep in mind that every home and situation are different, and the average prices outlined in the graphic above may be far more or less than your actual bill. Below are some factors that play into the cost of any given energy source.
- Amount and cost per unit. Do you leave the lights on all day? Does your heater run when you’re not home? These factors will affect your bill, as well as your supplier’s cost per unit.
- Efficiency. Heat energy is a measurement of how much power a source uses — measured in British thermal units (BTUs) — to produce one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. The harder a generator or power plant has to work to provide the same results, the less efficient it becomes — and the more you’ll pay in your monthly bill.
- Availability. The availability of fuels and power plants, the local cost of fuel, and statewide pricing regulations all affect energy prices.
- Your home. Prices can vary significantly based on your home’s size, location, and surrounding weather conditions.
- Supplier costs. Ask the supplier if the energy prices vary, or if they’re fixed for the length of your contract. Are there any initial or monthly fees? Fluctuating prices or high fees will add up in your monthly bill.
Save Money on Your Electric Bill
Even after switching suppliers, you’ll still find plenty of ways to save on your energy bill, including those listed below.
- Unplug your electronics when fully charged.
- Turn off the lights when not in use.
- Use energy-efficient lightbulbs.
- Make sure your home is well-sealed to keep heat or cool air from escaping.
- Invest in a smart thermostat.
- Pay your utility bills with a cash rewards credit card, such as our Founder’s Card.
For more money-saving tips, check out our WalletWorks page.