Perhaps the most important thing to realize is that you are not leaving your current utility company when you switch to a competitive electricity supplier. It may be the terminology of a ‘competing market’ and ‘competing suppliers’ being used that makes it seem this way. The Pennsylvania Energy Choice Program is allowing ‘competing suppliers’ to take part in the generation portion of providing electricity, and not the distribution portion in which your utility provider is responsible for and will continue to be responsible for. Going forward, because Pennsylvania has an energy choice program, you have the freedom to shop around for a competing power supplier that will fit your needs and could save you a significant amount of money on your monthly power bills.
The household names of the Pennsylvania utility providers continue to service their customers as a local regulated distribution company. They will still be the people whom you’ve become accustomed to delivering the electricity to your home. They will still remain the utility name on your bill, and they will continue to be the people you call for service and power outages. Your household utility provider service will not change in any way, shape, or form.
Plain and simple it doesn’t even affect the utility’s bottom line. Not only do they not care they actually encourage their default customers to shop around and find an electric rate plan and supplier that works best for their customers, which in turn allows them to focus more on maintaining and delivering power to their Pennsylvanian power customers. This is because the utilities do not make money off of the default supply portion of the bill, but rather transfer these revenues over to competitive electricity companies who have bid to service a portion of the default paying customer base. For example, when a PECO Energy customer doesn’t shop for a competitive rate their money for generation and transmission is still going to a competitive company through the Price to Compare default rate. PECO Energy collects the money and then transfers it over to the appropriate competitive electricity supplier.
There are many tools in place to help inform the public of the jargon and step-by-step instructions on how and why to switch from your current month-to-month default rate to a competitive electricity rate plan. Sites like paelectricity.org are currently providing Pennsylvanians an onslaught of information regarding open electricity suppliers. They assist in informing the Pennsylvania public about understanding contracts and terms, as well as explaining the pros and cons of variable and fixed rates.