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Press Release

PUC Encourages Shopping Consumers to Know ‘End of Contract’ Details, Next Steps as Competitive Energy Contracts End

Published on 4/26/2023

Filed under: Consumer Education Electric Gas

Reminds Customers They Must Act on Supplier Contract Renewal Notices Detailing Their Options for Electric Generation, Natural Gas Supply Services

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) continues encouraging consumers who have contracts with competitive energy suppliers to know their contract expiration dates and to carefully review contract renewal notices from suppliers detailing energy shopping options and next steps.

The Commission notes that last spring, as energy prices began to rise steeply across Pennsylvania, more than 80,000 consumers enrolled with competitive suppliers through their utility’s Standard Offer Program (Standard Offer) – which provides customers with a “standard” fixed-rate product offering for one year at 7% below the utility’s Price to Compare at the time of enrollment.  At the same time, thousands of utility customers switched to various other competitive supplier offers that were lower than their utilities’ energy prices.

A year later, those customers are now starting to receive contract renewal notices from their supplier – including an Initial Notice 45-60 days prior to the contract’s expiration date and an “Options Notice” at least 30 days before their contract ends.  Consumers should read the Options Notice carefully as it includes important information on the supplier’s proposed changes to current terms of service as well as other consumer options – including shopping for another supplier or returning to the utility’s default service.  Consumers can also choose to contact their current supplier to discuss other possible offers and products.

When they receive the Options Notice from their supplier, the PUC urges consumers to act – otherwise, they may find themselves dealing with a potentially more expensive variable-rate product with their supplier which could fluctuate up and down monthly.

It is vital for all energy shopping customers to watch their mail or email closely for important contract renewal notices with ‘end of contract’ dates and details. And it is equally important to act before your supplier contract ends to avoid potentially expensive changes in energy prices.

“Across Pennsylvania, tens of thousands of consumers are currently enrolled with competitive energy suppliers, some of whom may have enrolled with a competitive supplier for the first-time last year when natural gas and electric prices spiked,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille.  “The Commission strongly urges all shopping customers to watch closely for important contract renewal notices with ‘end of contract’ dates and details – and reminds them that they must act and choose an option as their contract is ending.”

Chairman Dutrieuille emphasized that Pennsylvania regulations stipulate that if a customer fails to respond with one of these options, they may automatically remain with the current supplier on a variable-rate product which could fluctuate up and down monthly without any early termination fees.

Understanding Your Energy Supplier’s Contract

Consumers who have contracts with competitive suppliers should make sure that they understand all terms and conditions contained in their supplier contract.  The terms and conditions are found in the contract’s disclosure statement – including but not limited to the contract’s expiration date and any terms and conditions for terminating a contract.

Consumers that already have an agreement with a supplier and want to switch to a different supplier, or return to default service with their local utility, should carefully review their contract’s disclosure statement to see if there are any penalty/switching fees or cancellation fees.  Call your current supplier if you are not sure.

Consumers who signed up with competitive energy suppliers last spring – perhaps for the first time – could be approaching the end of those contracts. It is important to understand your options at the end of a contract, as well as the importance of taking action to avoid any surprising changes in energy prices.

Customers who have questions about the end of their contract should contact their current supplier and, if there is a problem, then contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380.  More information on understanding a contract with an electric generation supplier and electric switching can be found here on

PAPowerSwitch and PAGasSwitch

Consumers can use the PUC’s electric shopping website and natural gas shopping website to explore and compare other offers from competitive energy suppliers which may provide savings compared to their utility’s default service rate. 

The websites provide consumers with valuable information on how to shop for electric and natural gas supply services – enabling consumers to quickly compare offers from competitive suppliers against the default service rate from their local utility and learn more on switching to a competitive supplier, or returning to default service, should they choose.

Both websites also have interactive sections with more easy consumer tips for saving energy.

About the PUC

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.  “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.

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