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Competitive Energy Markets: The Gift that Keeps on Giving for Pennsylvanians


PowerChoice PA logo appears on an image of a smashed light bulb on top of a high energy bill

The holidays are upon us. That means families are starting to search high and low for the best deals of the season. But when it comes to shopping, why not invest in something where you can realize savings and benefits year-round?


Pennsylvania consumers have been able to choose their electric service provider for more than 25 years. But only a handful of residential customers take advantage of the offers — 24% compared to 40% of commercial and 82% of industrial customers.


Most utility companies increased electric rates on June 1, 2023. That’s the price non-shopping customers pay for the electric generation portion of their bill. Those prices are in effect through Nov. 30. The next rate adjustment is set for Dec. 1, 2023, and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission just announced utilities’ rate plans for the winter.


It’s a mixed bag across the state, depending on the utility. FirstEnergy Corp., for example, is raising rates 10% for some West Penn Power, Penn Power, Met-Ed and Penelec residential and commercial customers in Pennsylvania.


If you haven’t shopped and locked in prices with a retail supplier, you could be hit by the volatility, right at the time when energy usage increases in the winter months. Locking in long-term rates now could generate big savings down the road.


Since 2008, the average power price for all customers in states and jurisdictions with competitive markets rose by 10.6%, while the rates for this same group in states that maintain a monopoly utility structure increased significantly more, by 40.3%, according to the Retail Energy Supply Association.


The most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show customers in monopoly states that don’t offer a choice on electricity provider could have saved more than $628 billion if they had experienced the same price trajectory as the competitive states and jurisdictions since 2008.


Competition works. If you’re not shopping for the best deals among Pennsylvania’s retail energy suppliers, then you’re probably paying more to power your home or business. In fact, since December 2020, non-shopping customers are paying their utilities 42.32% to 197.02% more for electricity.


Making the switch is easy. But it’s your choice — and your money.


If you’re already out and about looking for the best deals this holiday season, then take a moment to visit PA Power Switch, administered by PUC, to learn more about competitive electric suppliers and start saving today.

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