The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) confirmed last week that now is the time for customers at PECO and other utilities to shop for a lower electric rate ahead of the expiration of electric rate caps which end on December 31.

Shopping for a low cost energy supplier only changes one thing about your electric service -- it gives you a lower monthly bill.  Nothing else changes.  PECO, Met-Ed, Penelec, or whoever your utility is, will still deliver your electricity over the same wires, using the same meter, and will still respond to outages and emergencies in a non-discriminatory manner no matter who you buy your power from.

“If a thunderstorm rolls through, (and) you picked an alternative generation supplier, PECO will still service you as a customer so nothing changes,” Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson explained.

Customers shouldn't worry about offending PECO or their respective utility by shopping for another electric supplier, Powelson added, and utilities like PECO actually encourage customers to shop around for a lower rate.

That's because PECO and the other utilities don't own power plants anymore and don't generate their own electricity.  Instead, they buy power on a regional wholesale market, and merely pass the costs onto customers. 

Public Utility Commissioners have noted that some customers are hesitant to shop for a new electric provider, even though they can save hundreds of dollars on their electric bills by doing so, because they are worried that shopping will negatively affect their local utility, which has roots in the community through various charitable and economic development programs and endeavors.  However, these concerns are unfounded, because the utilities are not hurt in any way by customers saving money on their electric bill, the PUC explained.  Since the utilities no longer own generation or make money by arranging for customers' electric supplies, the utilities are in no way hurt by customers choosing a lower cost energy supplier.

"PECO does not care if you choose a competitive supplier and is encouraging its customers to shop around.  PECO will continue to deliver your electricity, provide reliable service and respond to outage problems.  The quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric service should not change as it is still monitored by the [Public Utility] Commission," the PUC says in a customer pamphlet.

Therefore, when competing electric suppliers are offering residential customers 10-15% savings, and 20-30% savings for commercial and industrial customers, there's no reason not to switch.  Shopping for a new energy supplier is easy too, and takes just a few minutes using a trusted source like is the only source for Pennsylvania customers to log on and instantly compare the lowest electric rates from a wealth of competing energy suppliers, all of whom have been vetted against a strict criteria for reliability, reputability, and customer service.  With, it takes just a few clicks of the mouse to find the right energy provider for you, and start saving significant money on your power bill.

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