In less than a year, we might have to dig a little further in our pockets to pay the electric bills. That's because rate caps are set to expire the beginning of 2011. Can you shop around for the best deals when it comes to your electric?
It’s possible through a new website called PAPowerSwitch.com. The idea is useful for folks who haven't had to deal with expired rate caps just yet, but do customers in our area really have any options?
The goal for PA Power Switch is really simple.
“The idea is to make it easier for people to get the information they need so that they can buy electricity cheaper,” Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Chairman James Cawley said.
The PUC created the site. Since rate caps are set to come off in our area, people can use this tool to find the best deal.
“We're very excited about the prospects of customers shopping as the remaining rate caps will come off in 2011 here across the Commonwealth,” PUC Commissioner Robert Powelson said.
The site is user-friendly. Enter your zip code. Click on your energy distributor. You'll find out if you have options to switch to an electricity supplier with lower rates.
“Most customers are anywhere between 500 kW and 1000 kW customers so all they need to do is plug in that number and that corresponds on your monthly usage. You get that monthly bill, go back in to the website where the rate caps are off and you basically have your offer pulled up in that service territory,” Powelson said.
Here's the problem. Most places in our viewing area don't have options. If you have Penelec or Allegheny Power you have no options. That's the case for a lot of folks in Blair, Bedford, Cambria, and Clearfield counties.
The only folks with supplier options right now are in Centre and Huntingdon counties. If you live in Bellefonte and your electric bill comes from PPL, you've got 12 options. Folks in Huntingdon borough who get their electricity from PECO have two choices.
We didn’t enter every zip code that lies in our viewing area. Head to the website and check it out for yourself. There is other information on the site to help those of us who won't have supplier options.