In the emerging Pennsylvania electricity market, energy plans can be custom designed to fit your unique needs. With so many choices finding the right plan can be overwhelming. So we’ve created this quick guide to the different types of electricity plans and providers now serving Pennsylvanians.
Types of Pennsylvania Electricity Plans
Fixed Rate Plan
Choosing a fixed rate will ensure that your electricity rate will remain the same throughout the contract. Not shopping will automatically place you on your current utilities fixed rate (an exception is large industry where the default rate is volatile hourly pricing).
Variable Rate Plan
A variable rate changes with the electricity market month to month. This plan takes advantage of price dips but can also result in short term price hikes.
Time-Of-Use Rate Plan
Time-of-Use rates are based on normal daily price fluctuations. When there is a high demand for power, called peak hours, electricity costs more. With this type of plan, you can save money by concentrating your electricity use during low demand periods or outside of regular business hours. This form of pricing is ideal for consumers who can shift their electricity use with few consequences. A basic example is a resident who decides to do laundry in the evening instead of the middle of the day.
Renewable Energy Plan
Renewable energy plans are where an additional charge will be added to your monthly bill to support the use of more expensive renewable energy like wind and solar. This option is attractive for businesses and individuals who highly value being green. Renewable options did not exist under regulation and utilities one-size-fits-all electricity plans.
In addition to different types of plans Pennsylvanians can also choose different types of alternative providers. Businesses and residents have three options: they may switch directly to a new generator, use a professional consultant or broker, or join an electricity pool (aggregation) provided by a membership organization.
Comparing rates in your region is free with Electric Choice.
Electricity Providers in Pennsylvania
New and or alternative generators produce the electricity you will use. This means you will receive your power directly from the source.
Energy Consultants or Brokers
Energy consultants or brokers seek out the best deal for you. Consultants often provide more individualized service, including energy audits that can reduce current consumption through increasing efficiency and/or altering usage patterns, but it is important to understand the terms of the contract and fees before entering into a contract.
Electricity Pools or Aggregates
Member organizations provide a variety of options. Pools are non-profit entities that bring businesses together to create more purchasing power in order to secure cheaper rates for their members. If you are a member of the local chamber or another organization contact them for details. The opportunities associated with pooling continue to grow in innovative ways. In central Pennsylvania (PPL territory), people who work at stores or businesses supplied by through the ChamberChoice pool can sign up for lower-priced power at home because of the aggregated deal made by ChamberChoice.
There are also a few options for Pennsylvanians in different financial situations. Most providers will provide a few options for your energy contract; term contract, no contract with deposit and no contract with no deposit.
Choosing a term contract means that you are locked in to the rate you selected for a certain contract term. Term contracts are often offered for various lengths that can range from 3 months up to 24 months.
No Contract, With or Without a Deposit
Choosing to have no contract for your electricity plan is a smart idea for anyone connecting electricity that doesn’t know how long they will be residing in that area. Other benefits of a no contract plan are that you can choose to switch to a provider with a lower rate at any time and not be penalized. Although, no contract rates are usually higher and may require a deposit.
Certain energy providers have different rules about deposits, but most will depend on your credit.