To promote energy choice in Ohio, the Ohio PUC requires that all utility bills include a Price To Compare disclosure. This is based on the standard service offer or SSO for your local electric utility. But the SSO and price to compare are not always the same!
Read on to learn more about what the Price To Compare number is (and also what it isn’t) so that you can accurately compare apples to apples electricity rates.
What’s the Difference Between the Standard Service Offer and Price to Compare in Ohio?
The Standard Service Offer for your utility is the current rate for your electricity per kWh if you don’t shop for an alternate supplier. That rate will be in effect for 1-4 months depending on your utility company.
The Price to Compare is calculated for each individual customer and shown on your electricity bill. This is based on an annualized estimate utility rate. Your estimated price to compare may be above or below the current SSO.
We post the current Standard Service Offer on our shopping page as a comparison point. But you should look at your bill to see your individual price to compare. Start shopping by entering your zip code below, or read on to find out more about how the utility Price to Compare and Standard Service Offer are calculated.
Compare Ohio Electricity Rates in Your Area
What is Ohio’s Price to Compare?
The Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) requires that all deregulated utilities disclose a Price to Compare on every customer’s electric bill.
The Price to Compare is an estimated amount of what you will pay per kWh if you stay with the utility all year on their standard service offer.
It’s based on two things:
- The annualized Standard Service Offer rate
- Your historical usage
While the Standard Service Offer for your utility changes 4 or more times per year, the utility has a pretty good handle on where their costs are headed. They project what you will pay per kWh over the course of the year.
The Price to Compare is not your next month’s generation rate. The Price to Compare is an average rate that the utility expects you to pay for generation over the next 12 months.
The Price to Compare is subject to change every month based on the utility’s Standard Service Offer (SSO) rates for the applicable time period and changes in usage patterns.
That’s why your bill says,
“Your Price to Compare is made up of several factors and can vary from month to month. To get a better understanding of your average Price to Compare take a look at a few of your recent bills.”
How is the Price to Compare Determined?
Each Ohio deregulated utility is required to conduct a competitive wholesale auction facilitated through an independent consultant to secure all of its energy capacity requirements for its customers who have not chosen an alternative electricity supplier.
The winning bids from these auctions determine the generation rates the utility charges customers receiving the standard service offer (SSO) rate.
These wholesale auctions are designed to provide Ohio SSO customers with fair and equitable prices from the utility. The PUCO oversees the auction process and approves the results for each utility.
The SSO wholesale auctions are conducted to secure generation rates for future requirements. The utilities make their best efforts to secure all of the required electricity generation through these auctions. In the event that demand is greater than expected, the utility would have to conduct another wholesale auction to secure the additional needed supply.
The SSO rate is a blended rate based on all of the winning bids from the auctions for an applicable period of time.
The Price to Compare shown on your utility bill is based on the SSO rate. Utilities know in advance with a fair amount of certainty what the SSO rate is for its customer base.
The Price to Compare is a calculation of what your electric supply would cost with the SSO rate for your customer rate class (typically general residential service) for the next year divided by your annual kWh usage.
Finding Cheap Ohio Electricity
Now that you know what the Price to Compare and Standard Service Offer rate are, it’s time to shop for an electricity supplier.
You can shop multiple supplier rates by using an electricity comparison website like ElectricityPlans.com. We’ve reviewed the plan details to make it easy to compare offers.
Once you find the supplier and rate you want to switch to, just enroll online. Your utility and new supplier will handle the switching process. There’s no change in your billing, meter read or emergency services. Just a new lower rate on your bill.