PUC to Consumers: During Arctic Blast, Be Aware of Electric Rate and Know Your Options
Published on 2/17/2015
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – With the impending arctic blast predicted to surpass the low temperatures during last year’s Polar Vortex, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminded consumers to double check their electric supply rates and contract details and to know their options regarding shopping and switching suppliers.
Consumers are urged to confirm who their electric supplier is, double check the terms and conditions of their contract and use www.PAPowerSwitch.com to assess their options and find potential savings.
Additionally, consumers should know whether they are on a fixed or variable rate and what each rate type means. For example, customers on a variable rate are subject to continual fluctuations in the price of their electric consumption. Information on fixed and variable electric rates is available here.
Consumers are advised not to sign a contract without knowing the length of the contract, the price, whether it is fixed or variable and whether there are any early termination fees. Consumers also can find conservation tips and advice for reducing electric consumption on the PUC’s website.
The Commission has implemented several measures, rulemakings and new education tools since last winter to require better and clearer information from electric generation suppliers (EGSs) and to help consumers avoid being stuck with a high electric rate for multiple billing cycles. Additionally, the Commission has enhanced www.PAPowerSwitch.com by adding new information related to electric shopping and fixed and variable rates.
As of Dec. 15, 2014, customers in the majority of Pennsylvania territories are now able to switch to a different electric supplier or back to default utility service through an off-cycle meter reading, within as little as three business days once the utility has been notified. Customers should call their utility to inquire about accelerated switching options.
EGSs also are now required to list terms and conditions more prominently on disclosures and contracts.
Since October, the PUC has been reminding consumers to “Prepare Now” for high energy costs this winter. The PUC’s message is simple: Prepare Now for winter energy costs. Learn more about conservation. Check your electric and natural gas bills and supplier contracts. Use PAPowerSwitch.com to shop for service. Look into programs that help low-income customers maintain service. Visit www.puc.pa.gov and click on "Prepare Now" or call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380. #PrepareNow
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 www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.
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