Moving to Pittsburgh

Find a new home (and a new Pittsburgh electric company)

Pittsburghers take great pride in their city – and have from the day French settlers staked claim to the land because of its excellent trading location. When the industrial revolution came around, workers and steel magnates alike touted the ease of shipping supplies to Pittsburgh. Today, Pittsburghers beam when they exit the Fort Pitt Tunnel on U.S. 19 and see their city’s
skyline shine.

 

It all has to do with the convergence of three rivers: the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela. This confluence provided plentiful food for early Americans, a trading route to other states, and an easy supply chain from West Virginia coal mines. Boats still chart this path, giving it the name the “Golden Triangle.”

 

The rivers may be a spectacle to look at and useful in many ways, but rivers and hills can make any area a tough place to navigate. Pittsburghers knew this, however, even back at the city’s founding. Starting with stone, and soon turning to steel, Pittsburgh built 446 bridges to help its citizens get around. That’s more bridges than Venice, Italy.

Affordable community, evolving economy

If you want an affordable way to reinvent yourself, moving to Pittsburgh is a good choice. Ranked No. 45 out of America’s top 100 places to live by Livability, Pittsburgh continues to evolve. The Steel City began as a blue-collar town in the heart of Allegheny County, exporting - you guessed it – steel. Today, Pittsburgh is much more than steel and manufacturing. Burgeoning technology, robotics and healthcare sectors with companies like Duolingo, ESTAT Actuation and Viatris are a testament to the city’s ongoing reinvention.

 

Even with such growth and reinvention, Pittsburgh is still one of the less expensive U.S. cities to live in, with a cost of living less than Pennsylvania’s overall rating, according to Sperling’s Best Places. Pittsburgh’s average housing cost is less expensive than the rest of Pennsylvania’s – including Philadelphia – with a median value of $125,000. The average rate of natural gas and electricity is competitive with the national average, and homeowners can find the plan that works best for them by comparing energy rates and switching natural gas and electricity suppliers.

Picking from the best electricity companies in Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania is an Energy Choice state, which means you get to choose the company that supplies electricity and natural gas to your home. The process of generation, supply, and management is done by three separate companies:

Your supplier buys energy wholesale from generators and sells that energy to the consumer through fixed and variable rate plans. Fixed rate plans provide a consistent monthly rate throughout the course of a contract, while a variable rate can fluctuate month to month, rising and falling with the market. You can also find suppliers that purchase electricity from clean or renewable energy sources.

 

Electricity rates in Pittsburgh for homeowners average about 11 cents per kWh, which is 3.7% less than the national average of 12 cents per kWh. At $107 a month, you’ll tell your friends, “The average electric bill in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a-Okay!” If you’re moving your business to the Steel City, the mean commercial electricity rate is only 4 cents per kWh, over 60% less than the national average rate of 10 cents per kWh. With a good plan, however, your rate could be even lower.

 

Once you’ve chosen a plan, your new supplier will work with your utility company to make the switch. The primary electric utility company in Pittsburgh is Duquesne Light. Natural gas utility companies include Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Peoples Natural Gas, and Peoples Natural Gas - Equitable Division.

Your ‘moving to Pittsburgh’ checklist

After picking a supplier, you’ll need to complete a few other steps before packing up the van for the Steel City. These five steps will save you five headaches down the road, especially on move-in day.

 

  1. Inform your insurance provider: Before making the final move, make sure your insurance provider knows you are moving so they can help you find new policies should you need them. This step is especially important if you’re moving into the state for the first time.
  2. Set up energy services: Make sure you set up service with your utility company before moving so you can turn on the lights when you reach your new home. If moving in the winter, you’ll want your home to be warm upon stepping through the door. Setting up is as easy as choosing a supplier and enrolling online or by phone.
  3. Change your mailing address: Many homeowners forget to change their home address on sites such as Amazon, Zappos, and even Doordash. Soon enough, these homeowners find themselves giving a treat-yourself item to the next person living in their old home. You’ll want to change your address about a week in advance in case you order
    something for quick delivery at your old home and it doesn’t arrive in time. You wouldn’t want to worry about someone else’s expensive shoes arriving on your doorstep, so don’t make a hassle for the next homeowner.
  4. Connect your Wi-Fi: After a long day of unpacking, you’ll want to turn on the TV and relax. Make sure there’s something you can watch by setting up internet and cable beforehand to access your media. Wi-Fi can be set up similarly to other utilities online or over the phone.
  5. Landmark your necessities: To feel more at home and save you time, find the places that have the necessities. You’ll need to know where the nearest grocery store, car repair shop, gas station, and hospital are located. You’ll save precious time that might otherwise go wasted if you have to search on your phone with bad Wi-Fi or driving around aimlessly.

Exploring the city

When Pittsburghers come home, they love to use the Fort Pitt Tunnel on the city’s west side. Once you emerge, the skyline looks magnificent, giving you the best view of the Steel City. To appreciate the skyline even more, check out these area attractions

North Shore:

Pittsburgh sports fans call the North Shore home. This riverside area contains both Heinz Field (home of the Steelers) and PNC Park (home of the Pirates) within half of a mile of each other. The area also features a river walkway, providing great views of the city. When you’re done watching sports, check out The Andy Warhol Museum – it holds a large collection of pop art by the famous artist.

Fun facts

Pittsburgh’s rise to fame during the industrial revolution and revival in the 2010s gives the Steel City its unique history and infrastructure. Here are some of the more interesting ways Pittsburgh developed.

Bloomfield:

Bloomfield is Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, three miles east of downtown, home to more than five generations of Italian immigrants. The neighborhood is also one of the Steel City’s most prominent restaurant hubs, providing visitors with a diverse culinary selection. Once you’ve had your fill of Tessaro’s burgers or an Italian pasta dish, plan another visit for the next delicious journey. Maybe you can time it up with one of Bloomfield’s famous parades at Halloween or in August

The Strip

On the outskirts of downtown lies a former major industrial zone now known as the Strip District. Grocery stores that showcase the city’s diverse population are a wonderful way to spend the day. Finish off by visiting one of the micro-breweries or distilleries that help make the Strip a unique shopping experience.

Mount Washington:

To get the best view of Pittsburgh’s incredible skyline, either drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel or visit the quaint neighborhood of Mount Washington just above. The parks that overlook the city provide fun walks for hikers and dog-owners alike. They line Grandview Avenue, which you can access via two incline cable cars that take you right to the action up top. 

City of bridges:

When settlers moved into the hills of Pittsburgh, they knew they had to plant themselves near the three rivers. They perfected the construction of sturdy bridges – and plenty of them – to help the population traverse the uneven terrain. This tradition continued into the industrial revolution, now with steel as the material. Today, Pittsburgh has 446 bridges in its city limits, even more than Venice, Italy.

Hills and stairs:

For the avid walker, Pittsburgh is one of the most interesting cities to explore because of its hills and stairs. The city has over 712 sets of stairs amounting to 24,108 feet in height. Climbing every one of these steps is about the same as climbing the Eiffel Tower 25 times.

Three rivers:

Settlers made this hilly area their home for one large reason: the rivers. These rivers connect Pennsylvania to the east with the Allegheny River, the south with the Monongahela River, and the west with the Ohio River. Today, Point State Park rests at the convergence in what’s called Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle. Besides being a national landmark, Point State Park also contains a fountain that shoots river water 150 feet into the air.

A culture of collecting:

The Carnegies founded the steel industry in Pittsburgh, but they were also advocates of art. The Andy Warhol Museum contains more than 500,000 objects in its archives, including 12,000 paintings. Rev. Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger of St. Anthony’s chapel had a fascination with collecting relics as well. His collection grew so large that people visited his chapel just to see the artifacts and take a step back in time. Today, St. Anthony’s houses over 5,000 relics of saints and martyrs, the largest collection in the world outside of the Vatican.