Receiving an apples to apples electric rate comparison isn’t always an easy thing in Pennsylvania for commercial and industrial electricity users. While the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission does a good job at making sure all competitive electric rate offers for residential consumers are apple to apples with the utilities price to compare, businesses are left to do their own due diligence.
Many electric suppliers offer Pennsylvania commercial electric rates that do not include the official price to compare, the default rate stated by your local Pennsylvania utility (PPL, PECO, Duquesne Light, Penelec, Met-Ed). The price to compare is the official default rate offered by your local utility and overseen by the state utility commission.
Business customers should understand that their price to compare includes all electric energy charges, transmission charges, and the GRT tax. Electric energy charges can further be broken down into line loss charges, capacity charges, congestion fees, and more.
Suppliers have become creative in how they market their rate offers to commercial customers. They will casually say that their offered rate is comparable to the utility price to compare, but the contract they offer will state that the rate includes only the energy commodity. When you get your bill you will see a much higher rate than the one you were expecting.
Transmission and capacity charges alone can account for as much as two pennies per KWh. This means that if you sign an “energy only contract” for 7 cents, you will end up paying 9 cents when the bill comes. This energy only contract was designed to make the offered rate look lower than competitors. Perhaps another, more honest, supplier offered you a rate of 8.3 cents that included the entire price to compare. You signed the 7 cents thinking it was lower, but in reality you signed a contract that turned out to be 9 cents.
How do I make sure that all offers I receive are apples to apples, and comparable to my utility’s price to compare?
Simply ask for all offers to include the entire price to compare. You will probably want to do this through email so that you get it in writing. Keep in mind that all commercial electric rate offers on this site include the entire price to compare. This allows you to see an apples to apples rate comparison of multiple offers simultaneously.
Current Competitive PPL Business Rates: