How Do I Shop for Electricity in Pennsylvania?


No matter our schedules, we all consume electricity every day, sometimes without even realizing it, and for many people living in Pennsylvania electricity from utility companies comes with relatively high rates. Luckily, since PA is a deregulated state, residents are able to choose who they get their energy from, how much they spend on it, and how much of their power comes from renewable energy sources. Here we will show you how to shop for electricity in PA in order to get the best electricity solution for your home or business.

How do I shop for electricity rates in PA?

The average annual electricity consumption of Pennsylvania is 10,403 kWh, which is less than the national average.

Shopping around for electricity rates in PA is an important way to ensure that you are getting the best possible rate for your electricity. Thankfully, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) makes this easy with its energy program, PA PowerSwitch.

All you have to do is enter your ZIP code on their website and select your electric distributor. They will then provide you with a list of electric suppliers along with their monthly rates, pricing structure, term length, and other information to help you compare providers. You can then sign up for the offer that is best for you right through their site.

How much does a kWh cost in PA?

Even with deregulated energy, the residents of Pennsylvania still end up paying around 16% more for their electric supply than the average household in the US. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average US resident pays about $0.13/kWh for their electricity, whereas in PA a resident pays approximately $0.15/kWh.

The majority of electricity used in Pennsylvania homes is consumed by space heaters; 32% is used to power appliances, lighting, and other electronics; 15% is used by water heaters; and only 3% is used by air conditioners, despite the fact that they are used in PA more than in any other northeastern state.

What are the best electric rates in PA?

The best electric rates in PA are the ones that are tailored well to suit the needs of the customer. This includes the type of plan, the terms, and any extra fees.

Based on prices in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, the best electricity rates for Pennsylvania range from $0.05/kWh to $0.09/kWh depending on the supplier, the plan length, and the type of electricity, i.e., the percentage of renewable energy.

What are the types of electricity plans offered in Pennsylvania?

There are 4 types of electricity plans offered in Pennsylvania:

Fixed Rate
A fixed-rate electricity plan means that the electric rate is locked in for the entirety of your contracts. This means that you won’t be subject to an unexpectedly higher bill, even if the wholesale price of energy were to rise.

The downside of a fixed-rate contract is that if you wish to cancel the contract before the end date, you are likely to incur a cancellation fee, so it is best to read a contract carefully before signing up.
You may also find that at the end of a fixed-rate term your contract will automatically be renewed as a variable-rate contract, so if you want to continue with a fixed-rate plan, you will have to contact the supplier to negotiate rates.

Variable Rate
With a variable-rate electricity plan, the rate will change periodically based on seasonality and fluctuations in the power market to whatever rate your supplier decides. Although you tend to have more flexibility with this type of plan, a variable-rate plan tends to be more expensive.

This is the best plan if you are only looking for short-term electric supply as there is typically no early cancellation fee.

Unlimited Usage
An unlimited usage electricity plan allows you to pay one flat monthly price, rather than one based on kWh. This price will not include the electric distribution charges from your electric utility, so you will have to factor in this cost to calculate your total electric bill.

Green Energy
You will also find “Green Energy” plans offered by Pennsylvania alternative energy providers. These are great for consumers who want to support renewable energy projects to reduce impacts on the environment. Inspire is a Green Energy supplier who can provide you with 100% clean energy at a flat monthly price. Click here to find out more.

How do I decide among Pennsylvania electricity suppliers?

PA PowerSwitch is the easiest way for residents of Pennsylvania to decide among electricity suppliers. This site educates home and business owners, helping them choose the best electricity supplier for their needs, including why they should switch and what questions they should ask each potential supplier.

It also provides a search and shopping tool so that residents of PA can compare offers from all the registered electricity suppliers.

Here is a Pennsylvania electric suppliers list with a selection of just some of those registered on PA PowerSwitch:

  • AEP Energy
  • All American Power and Gas PA
  • Alpha Gas and Electric
  • Ambit Energy
  • Better Buy Energy
  • Brighten Energy
  • Champion Energy Services
  • Choice Energy Services
  • Duquesne Light Energy
  • Dynegy
  • IGS Energy
  • Inspire Energy
  • Just Energy
  • LifeEnergy
  • North American Power
  • Pennsylvania Gas & Electric
  • SmartEnergy
  • Stream Energy
  • Think Energy

Click here for the full list of electricity providers offering plans on PA PowerSwitch. And to learn how to switch to renewable energy in only a few minutes, visit Inspire today.

What is deregulation in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is one of only 15 states to have deregulated energy in the US and became one of the first to launch this type of energy market in 1996.

Deregulation allows consumers in PA to choose who supplies their energy so that they no longer have to pay the higher prices set by utility companies. Although the utilities continue to manage and control the electricity itself, it is electric suppliers who buy the energy from these companies and sell it to consumers at a reduced price.

With so many electric suppliers now operating in Pennsylvania, it is a very competitive market and, in fact, according to the PA Public Utility Commission, more than 2.5 million residents use a retail electric provider instead of paying their local utility’s rates.

How do I shop for business electricity in Pennsylvania?

There are many different industries in Pennsylvania that contribute to the economy of the state, all of which require a reliable electricity supply to operate efficiently.

PA PowerSwitch can also be used to shop for business electricity in Pennsylvania, no matter the size.

Their small business electricity shopping page enables you to compare products and rates of potential suppliers, just like you would if you were shopping for your home. The difference is that you may find there are eligibility requirements from certain suppliers depending on their offers.

For larger businesses, you will simply have to type in your business ZIP code and PA PowerSwitch will provide you with a list of electric suppliers as well as electric brokers who will be able to help you with your large business’ electricity needs. Going through and contacting each supplier yourself could take up a lot of your time, so using a broker may be the best option for switching to a new supplier.

How do I lower my Pennsylvania electricity bills?

The PA Public Utility Commission works closely with the energy utility companies of Pennsylvania to help them to be able to give their consumers the best plans and rates that they can.

This includes giving consumers energy-saving initiatives, such as rebate programs, appliance recycling, weatherization programs, home energy audits, and many others.

Switching to an electric supplier with the best rates is the first step in lowering your Pennsylvania electricity bills, but there are other ways in which you can save energy to work toward lowering them even further:

  • seal your home with good quality insulation and weather stripping
  • lower your thermostat while you’re asleep or not at home
  • install a ‘Smart’ thermostat so that you can control the temperature of your home no matter where you are
  • replace appliances with energy-efficient models whenever you can
  • use energy-saving lightbulbs
  • switch off or unplug electronics when they aren’t in use

How do I change my electricity supplier in PA?

It is easy to change electric providers in Pennsylvania once you have selected your new provider using the shopping tool on PA PowerSwitch.

Simply contact your new electric supplier, either by phone or by signing up through their website and your new supplier will notify your electric utility at no cost to you. Your electric utility will send out a verification of your electric supplier switch by post. It’s as simple as that!

The time it takes for your electric supplier to be switched will depend on your electric distribution company (EDC) and you will either receive a single bill with supplier and utility costs, or you will receive two separate bills, one from the supplier and one from the utility (for distribution costs).

It’s always beneficial to take the time to compare electric supplier rates in Pennsylvania to find the most affordable energy solution for you. If you are looking to make the switch to a renewable energy company, make the switch to Inspire. We provide you with 100% renewable energy so that you can help in the fight against climate change. And better still, with a flat monthly supply price you will never be surprised by unexpected high electric bills. Learn more about the benefits of renewable energy and choose unlimited clean energy from Inspire.