Shop Pennsylvania Electric Rates and Compare Energy Suppliers
The Keystone State deregulated its electricity market in 1996 with the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act. Deregulation in Pennsylvania created a vibrant, competitive energy market.
Today, Pennsylvania residents can compare natural gas and electricity plans from several energy companies. Competition empowers customers to avoid seasonal rate changes and gives consumers more energy choices, including clean, carbon-free energy and renewable energy options.
If you want to shop and save and are curious about where to start, we’ll walk you through it.
Here’s all you need to know.
Table of Contents
- Energy Harbor’s clean energy option
- A brief history of Energy Choice and energy suppliers in Pa.
- A quick 101 on how energy reaches your home
- Compare Pa. electric suppliers’ rates
- Pa. electric utility companies
- Pa. natural gas utility companies
- How to find and switch to the best electric rates in Pa. in 6 simple steps
- Why choose Energy Harbor: The clean energy difference
- More about Energy Harbor
Energy Harbor’s clean energy option
Clean, carbon-free energy
Simple, easy enrollment
Low affordable rates
Avoid seasonal energy spikes
A brief history of Energy Choice and energy suppliers in Pennsylvania
Only 17 states, including Pennsylvania, enjoy some form of deregulation. Most of those states were inspired by the federal government’s Energy Policy Act of 1992. The goal of the legislation, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, was to promote energy efficiency, renewable and sustainable energy, and the development of alternative fuels. Highlights include:
- Setting energy efficiency standards for household appliances and other equipment.
- Providing grants and loans through the Department of Energy for renewable and sustainable energy projects, research, and development.
- Promoting the use of alternative fuels.
- Encouraging competition in the wholesale electricity market, providing utility rate restructuring guidelines, and supporting the development of independent power production.
Energy Choice is a freedom Pennsylvanians have enjoyed since 1996, when the state passed the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act. The act created a competitive energy market, allowing consumers to switch from their single, local utility to one of several electricity suppliers. By introducing competition, the state would provide consumers with more options, lower electricity rates, and, hopefully, higher energy efficiency statewide.
A quick 101 on how energy reaches your home
Energy reaches Pennsylvania homes and businesses through the interconnected work of three types of electricity and natural gas companies – generation companies, suppliers, and utility companies. Some companies, like Energy Harbor, provide both electricity generation and electricity supply.
- Generation companies produce electricity via several methods, including sustainable and clean energy sources, like nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and others. They also invest in infrastructure and maintain power plants.
- Suppliers, sometimes called electric generation suppliers (EGS), buy energy wholesale from generation companies, primarily, and sell it to consumers. Suppliers also shop and compare, then pass savings along to customers, knowing they have the option to choose their electricity supplier.
- Utility companies operate local distribution systems that deliver energy to homes and businesses. Utilities maintain the grid, or the energy infrastructure that includes power lines, transformers, substations, and more. Anything that distributes electricity within their service territory.
Compare Pa. electric suppliers’ rates
Securing a competitive rate for electricity is one of the biggest advantages of Energy Choice. Customers can compare Pa. energy suppliers and select the right kind of plan to meet their unique needs.
To help Pennsylvania residents find the best electric rates in Pa., the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission offers resources for comparing energy suppliers. The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate also provides shopping guides and price comparison charts to help customers make smart energy decisions.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s PA PowerSwitch website helps customers through this process by making it easy to compare rates offered by Pennsylvania electricity suppliers. Consumers can do so through Price to Compare (PTC) rates. This number is the cost per kilowatt hour the utility charges for electric supply. Compare this number to the rate offered by each supplier to help determine which plan is best for you.
While the Price to Compare is helpful to determine whether an offer from an alternative supplier is competitive, it only addresses the supply portion of your energy bill. The cost associated with other components, such as transmission and distribution service and maintenance, are separate.
The Price to Compare for Pa. electric rates typically ranges between $0.04 and $0.08 per kilowatt hour in any given month, though could be higher or lower. Including other costs and fees from utilities, residential customers in Pennsylvania pay an average total of $0.0918 per kilowatt hour on their electric bill.
Pennsylvania electric utility companies
Seven utility companies in Pennsylvania are responsible for distributing and transmitting electricity to the more than 145 million people who live and work in the state.
Pennsylvania natural gas distribution companies
Five companies distribute natural gas to customers throughout the Keystone State.
How to find and switch to the best Pa. electricity rates in 6 simple steps
If you’re ready to start comparing electric prices in Pa. – and maybe make a switch – here are six simple steps you can follow to ensure switching success.
1. Know your current budget
Knowing how much you pay monthly for electricity and natural gas – as well as how that price is determined – will help you make a more informed decision when comparing plans.
2. Determine whether you want a fixed or variable rate
Most electricity plans come in one of two varieties – fixed rate and variable rate. With a fixed rate, you pay the same rate each billing cycle through the plan contract, regardless of fluctuations in the energy market. The price you pay for electricity could shift significantly from month to month with a variable rate plan, depending on market prices.
Learn more about the pros and cons of fixed-rate and variable-rate plans by reading The Truth About Variable-Rate and Fixed-Rate Plans
3. Choose a short-term or long-term plan
Short-term plans typically last 6 to 12 months. Long-term plans can extend beyond 18 – even up to 36 months. Short-term plans are best if you regularly shop for new rates. Long-term plans lock in a great rate for a big stretch of time.
Long-term fixed-rate plans also provide price stability and protection from potential price increases in the energy market. With a fixed-rate plan, you can budget your energy expenses with more certainty. Additionally, long-term fixed-rate plans can offer peace of mind and reduce the stress of constantly monitoring and shopping for new energy rates.
4. Check for incentives
Some energy companies offer incentives to entice you to make the switch. Make sure you don’t miss out on those offers before switching energy companies. Incentives range from gift cards to energy-efficient products and everything in between. These incentives can make the switch to clean energy even more attractive and financially beneficial.
5. Find an energy supplier that matches your needs
When researching energy suppliers, it's important to choose a plan that matches both your individual values and your budget. If you are environmentally conscious, for example, you may want to consider renewable and clean energy sources or evaluate the environmental impact of each supplier. Read reviews, visit social media, and take time to learn more about each energy company. The right research will reveal the best electric supplier in Pa. for your needs.
6. Make the switch
Making the switch to the new provider is simple. In fact, your new supplier will manage the entire process with your electric utility company.
No matter who your electric supplier is, local utility companies remain responsible for the service and maintenance of the electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure. All outages and downed power lines should be reported to your local utility immediately.
If you plan on moving soon, find out which service areas are covered by your supplier. If they offer plans in your new area, they may be able to help transfer service.
Still have questions about how to switch? Check out How to Choose an Electricity or Natural Gas Plan to learn more.
Why choose Energy Harbor: The clean energy difference
When it comes to climate change, carbon emissions from fossil fuels are “by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions,” according to the United Nation’s Climate Action task force.
Because generating electricity via nuclear power is a carbon-free, zero-emission product, it is defined as a clean energy resource. One that is as clean as renewable energy, according to the International Panel on Climate Change. Nuclear power avoids more than 471 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, nearly equivalent to removing 100 million passenger cars from the road.
It’s more than that, of course. Nuclear energy produces more electricity on less land than any other clean-air source. To produce the same amount of electricity as a 1,000-megawatt nuclear facility, you would need more than 3 million solar panels or more than 430 wind turbines, says the U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy.
Nuclear power also produces a fraction of the waste other energy resources do. Nuclear fuel produced in the U.S. over the last 60 years would fit on about 10 yards of a standard football field. And in the future, much of this waste will be reprocessed and recycled.
Energy Harbor is proud of its ability to offer zero-carbon energy plan options that empower consumers to contribute to a clean energy future. Pa.'s Beaver Valley plant helps generate safe, reliable nuclear energy.
More about Energy Harbor
Based in Akron, Ohio, and both an energy generator and retail supplier, Energy Harbor’s supply services are backed by actual power generation capabilities. That means Energy Harbor can provide long-term fixed price protection against fluctuating energy prices.
As the owner and operator of one of the most reliable and efficient generation fleets in North America, Energy Harbor provides dependable, affordable, carbon-free electricity to Pennsylvania homes and communities.
Good is subjective when it comes to kWh rates, especially since they regularly fluctuate with the energy market. It’s better to ask yourself what type of electricity plan is right for you. Are you looking for affordability or stability? Do you want a clean energy plan? And how much does customer service matter to you? All these factors go into choosing an energy plan that’s right for you.
Once you know, compare rates between electric suppliers in Pa. and choose the rate – and the company – that best matches your goal.
Pennsylvania residents spend around $117 per month on electricity, nearly $1,404 a year. Still, it’s less than the national average - $1,987 per year. The average kWh is about 14¢, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association.
Because Pennsylvania is an Energy Choice state, the provider with the best electric rates can change based on changes in the market and the wholesale price of electricity. By reviewing the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s PAPowerSwitch website regularly, consumers can find a provider that best suits their needs – or offers the best rate at that time.
Yes. Pennsylvania is an Energy Choice state, giving consumers the freedom to shop and compare energy rates and switch providers when they choose.
The provider with the “cheapest” rate fluctuates with the market, but sometimes “cheap” isn’t best. Instead of looking for “cheap rates,” adopt a “best rate” mindset. Consider different factors beyond price. How does this rate affect my budget? Will my rate change month to month? Is my energy choice harming or helping the planet?
Want to know more? Check out How to Get the Lowest Energy Rates Without Being ‘Cheap’
Washers, dryers, and dishwashers together consume the most energy in an average Pennsylvania home. The reason? Heating water. Conserve a little energy – and maybe a little money – by running these appliances off-peak hours, typically overnight.
Nevada is the most reliable, according to a Citizens Utility Board report, when combining rankings for affordability, reliability, and environmental responsibility. Pennsylvania ranks at No. 34 out of 51 states and the District of Columbia. West Virginia came in at No. 51.