Pennsylvanians Have the Power to Choose Their Energy Supplier

Here in Pennsylvania, residents have the power to choose the company they purchase energy from. You can even choose to continue purchasing energy from the utility company you’re familiar with if you aren’t interested in examining your other options.

Depending on which utility company serves your area, there could be a variety of retail electricity suppliers for you to choose from. When you’re ready to shop for a new supplier, consider checking out a third-party marketplace website such as for a clear comparison of rates.

How do I take advantage of energy deregulation?

Now that you understand what energy deregulation is and which electricity suppliers you have to choose from, you can fully take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

Finding the right energy plan requires that you examine the plans available to you for several key points. Make sure you do your homework before you start shopping for an energy plan and you're sure to find a package that's perfect for your needs.

  • Rate structure — Energy plans have different rates attached to them. Some plans have fixed rates that never change during an entire contract period; others have variable rates that fluctuate depending on the overall cost of energy on the free market. There are a few things to consider before choosing between rate plans.
    • While fixed rates can save you money in the long run, if energy costs drop significantly during your contract period, you'll essentially be paying more than you have to for energy.
    • Likewise, variable rates could be particularly low right now, but who's to say they won't skyrocket in the future? In many cases, variable rate plans don't require long-term agreements, so at least you might be able to shop around if your rates get too pricey.
  • Contract length — In order for energy suppliers to offer fixed rates, they require consumers to sign a contract. Periods can vary widely, and many suppliers have penalties for ending an agreement early. These fees are often listed in the terms and conditions for each product, and could cost you up to a few hundred dollars. All plans have different fees for early termination; be sure you know what the consequences are for exiting early before you choose a plan.
  • Reputation — Make sure the supplier you choose has a good reputation. Ensuring that you're dealing with a reputable company from the get-go can help you sidestep some possible headaches down the road. Do some research on an energy supplier before you purchase a plan. Is it accredited by the Better Business Bureau? What rating has it received from the BBB? Be sure to judge the reliability of a provider based on the opinions of an established group like the BBB. Anyone can write a defamatory blog post.
  • Fees — Fees and their transparency play into an energy supplier's reputation. Be sure to get the full scope of the costs you will be responsible for by inquiring about all applicable fees before entering a contract agreement. In addition to fees for early contract termination, some plans charge fees for not reaching a certain usage threshold and any number of other stipulations. Examining the terms of service for each plan you consider should help you identify all possible fees.

With sufficient care and planning, choosing an energy provider can be a rewarding process. If you still have questions, or simply want to learn more before you start shopping around, check out our FAQ page for all sorts of helpful information.