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As the official Pennsylvania state authority on area electricity suppliers, PA Power Switch provides a comprehensive online tool for residents seeking more information on the state?s deregulation system. The history of PA Power Switch began in 1997 when the state of Pennsylvania established the Electricity Generation Choice and Competitive Act and put a statewide cap on energy rates. The cap was meant to regulate electric rates in an effort to prepare Pennsylvania for their upcoming foray into deregulation.

When electrical deregulation finally took effect acrossPennsylvania, in January 2011, the Keystone state was introduced to an entirely new approach to energy consumption. Unlike other states, deregulation in Pennsylvania covered all residents. On a basic level, these residents were given the power to choose what provider they use for their electric services, instead of paying their appointed utility provider.

Since the energy cap kept electric rates stable for so many years, the switch to deregulation caught some by surprise, as this new movement meant the dissolution of the energy cap. As residents from around the state struggled to understand what deregulation meant and what potential savings they could enjoy from the new incentives, PA Power Switch emerged to provide area customers with insight into a life in post-deregulation Pennsylvania.

PA Power Switch

Established to coincide with electric deregulation, by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), PA Power Switch is an online public portal, meant to help state residents learn more about their electricity buying options. The site offers resources and additional information on different electricity considerations, tips on saving on electric costs, as well as a search tool that helps customers find electric suppliers in their area. The site provides information for consumers to learn about different available rates from companies around the state, as well as the prices, services and perks that come with many of these packages.

When deregulation was first announced, many residents were surprised to find that it meant their electric rates suddenly changed. Others didn?t understand the buying options that came with deregulation and how different individual private providers would actually be from one another.

In Pennsylvania, deregulation covers the entire state and all residents are provided with the power to choose the company that generates their electricity. Different regions of the state have different options available based on their location. However, even when residents switch suppliers, they will continue to contact their electric utility for outages, as the PUC still monitors all electric service and covers questions related to outages and emergency needs.

On the PA Power Switch platform, energy consumers can shop around for different utilities packages that best fit their needs, by typing their zip code into the sites search portal. This is where the dozens of independent companies from across the state reveal their individual rates on their different energy plans. These plans vary by price, length of term and the type of energy used. Residents can than click to read more about varying offers and sign up instantly to initiate the switch.

Those who want to take their time when browsing for new rates can sign up for the system?s Rate Change Alert program. This sends interested residents with email alerts when residential changes happen in their area. This proactive approach to rate shopping can help casual shoppers determine the best time to switch.

Educating the State on Power Options

When PA Power Switch was developed, it was created with the intention to help educate the public on the changes in the Pennsylvania electricity market. The site offers a library of documents and information on electricity rates in the state. This includes information on the three main components to look for in an electric supplier: generation, transmission and distribution.

When residents were first given the option to choose their own electricity supplier, many were bombarded with new options and choices with their electricity plan, as most residents never had any say in their electricity provider. One of the more complex decisions for residents to make when they were first given the power to choose, was between a fixed and variable rate plan.

Fixed prices are all-inclusive plans that keep electric rates the same for at least three billing cycles, while variable plans feature rates that vary when the market changes. One of the goals of PA Power Switch is to educate the public on these two main options and what they mean through the platform?s comprehensive guide on both options.

This online portal also provides detailed information on reading electricity bills, choosing a supplier and the rights and protections available for electric consumers throughout the state.

When Pennsylvania launched this new initiative in 1997, the act detailed a number of rights and consumer protections for residents of the state. In an effort to educate the public on these rights and protections, PA Power Switch details all of the important legal qualifications that govern this act and regulation in Pennsylvania in general.

Helping Pennsylvania Residents Save on Their Electricity Bills

One of the main reasons that PA Power Switch was formed was to help Pennsylvania area customers learn how to save on their current electric bills, beyond just switching providers. One of the interface?s primary offerings is their guide on saving energy. The state-sponsored platform aims to not only help customers find the right electricity plan, but to keep their rates low oncenthey have that plan. These insights include tips on sealing the home, appliance and water usage and information on smart meters.

Above all things PUC?s PA Power Switch is a trusted, state-monitored place for residents of Pennsylvania to go when they want to shop for new electricity plans and easily compare rates to find their ideal energy provider. This resource makes it possible for those who have never switched electricity providers before, as well as those ready for a new plan, to learn about the available rates within the state and sign up for new services.