How to Shop for Business Electricity in Pennsylvania

  • Written By: Rebecca Bridges

  • If you’re wondering how to shop for commercial electricity supply in Pennsylvania you’re in the right place. We’ll help you learn how to make the PA power switch, how to compare PA business electricity rates and plans and the benefits of switching.

    Pennsylvania Power Switch – Deregulation Basics

    Whether you are a small, medium or large company, you could lower your electricity cost by switching your commercial electricity supply in PA.

    Electricity energy choice has been in Pennsylvania since 1996. And most commercial and industrial electricity customers have switched to alternative suppliers. Here are some of the FAQs around that:

    What percentage of businesses in PA have switched to alternative suppliers?

    Based on April 2020 statistics from the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, 65-75% of all PA commercial electricity load (total MW) is served by an alternative supplier. And, over 90% of all PA industrial electricity load is served by an alternative supplier.

    What’s the average commercial electricity rate in Pennsylvania?

    According to the EIA (Feb 2020 data) the average Pennsylvania commercial electricity rate is 8.48 ¢/kWh (18% lower than the national average). Your price could be substantially below that if you shop your PA business electricity supply.

    Who’s Who and What’s What of Energy Choice in Pennsylvania

    If you aren’t familiar with electricity choice, here is some of the basic vocabulary of power switching in Pennsylvania:

    • PUC — Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission or PAPUC. This government agency oversees rate setting for your utility, the Price to Compare and delivery rates.
    • OCA — Office of Consumer Advocate. The OCA monitors and reports on the deregulated electricity market. They represent the consumer in any disputes with your utility or supplier and provide consumer energy education.
    • EDC — Electric Distribution Company. This is your local utility company that manages the poles and wires and delivers electricity to your home, regardless of your supplier.
    • EGS — Electric Generation Supplier. While the EDC delivers your power and responds in an emergency, you can pick your electricity supply company. All licensed Electric Generation Suppliers are approved by the PA PUC.
    • AES — Alternative Electric Supplier. This is the more common term that most consumers use. But it’s the same as an EGS.
    • PTC or Price to Compare — If you don’t switch to an EGS, you are served by your local utility under the Price to Compare. Your rate will change twice a year. This is also known as the default rate.
    • Fixed Rate — a fixed rate contract is just that, a fixed electricity supply rate for the term of your contract. During the term of your agreement, your price won’t change.

    How to Choose A Business Electricity Supplier in Pennsylvania

    Now on to the main event.  How to choose a commercial electricity supplier in Pennsylvania.

    Residential and small business customers in Pennsylvania can easily compare electricity rates and plans on the state-sponsored shopping site, PA Power Switch.

    But for medium and large businesses in Pennsylvania, it’s not as easy. (And even small business owners find it confusing.)

    Here’s what it looks like when you shop for commercial electricity rates on your own. You can get a list of commercial electricity suppliers on the PA Power Switch site. (There are nearly 70 companies that are registered.) Contact them to get quotes for your business. Then read over all the contracts and find the hidden gotchas.

    Once you’ve picked a provider, you’ll need to request an updated energy price (because energy prices change constantly.) Then you’ll need to set a reminder to renew your contract at least 2 months before your expiration date.

    We simplify business electricity shopping and handle it for you.

    • We’ve teamed with a large national broker to offer you excellent service and access to suppliers that we’ve reviewed.
    • Your energy advisor will talk to you to understand your electricity usage and supplier agreement.
    • We’ll work to understand any future growth plans you have. Changes in your electricity usage could affect your contract rate.
    • Then we’ll pull a copy of your historical electricity usage from the utility. We’ll start shopping the multiple business electricity options from our suppliers.
    • We’ll present you with options for your electricity supply. You’ll get quotes from multiple providers for rates and terms. And you’ll get guidance from us on what way to go.
    • And once you’ve picked a commercial electricity supplier, we’ll stay in touch to manage your renewal.

    To get started call us toll-free at 844-814-5559. Or if you prefer, complete our business electricity quote request form.

    Will I Save Money vs. The Price to Compare in PA?

    The price to compare is different for each business. It’s impacted by your rate class (assigned by the utility) and your level of demand.

    The amount of money you can save by switching depends on your specific business.

    That’s why it’s best to work with an experiences energy advisor to shop electricity rates.

    Our retail electricity experts will evaluate your historical energy usage and your goals. Then we’ll make recommendations and guide you through the switching process.

    What Pennsylvania Electric Utilities are Deregulated?

    Most electric utilities in Pennsylvania are deregulated, and participate in the PA power switch program. Below is a list of deregulated electricity markets.

    We’ve also listed their phone numbers. If you have an electrical outage or power emergency, or just need their help setting up a new electricity meter for your business, these are the companies to contact:
    Duquesne Light – 1-888-393-7000
    Met-Ed – 1-888-544-4877
    PECO – 1-800-841-4141
    Penelec – 1-888-544-4877
    Penn Power – 1-888-544-4877
    PPL – 1-800-342-5775
    West Penn Power – 1-888-544-4877

    What are the Benefits of PA Business Electricity Choice?

    The benefits of choosing an energy supplier in Pennsylvania include:

    • Savings — You could lower your monthly bill by locking in a rate below the utility price to compare.
    • Security — You get budget certainty for your business, instead of a constantly changing utility rate that you can’t control.
    • Options —Select from green energy plans or pick a short or long term fixed rate plan.

    We typically recommend a fixed rate plan, and the benefits above assume that.

    Variable rate plans are also available in Pennsylvania. They are month to month plans that float with the wholesale market. These rates give you more flexibility, since there is no contract commitment. However, you’ll have to weight that against the uncertainty of a variable rate.

    About Rebecca Bridges

    Rebecca Bridges has worked in deregulated energy markets since 2001. As chief marketing officer for ElectricityPlans, she focuses on helping consumers save on their electricity bills and find the best electricity plans. Outside of work, Rebecca uses her marketing experience to support dog rescue and can often be found hiking or biking local trails.

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