Why Pennsylvanians Should Care About Energy Choice.
For nearly 20 years, Pennsylvania residents and business owners have enjoyed the ability to choose their energy supplier based on the best offers available to them. This includes both electricity and natural gas. During that time, more than 2 million homes and businesses have made the switch away from a public utility company—and you can too.
This is important because many states still have regulated energy markets, leaving residents without energy choice options. This lack of competition can result in residents paying more than necessary for their energy needs. Fortunately, as a Pennsylvania resident, you have energy choice—so it’s important to take full advantage of it.
While it might seem overwhelming at first to switch your energy supplier, we’ve created this simple guide to help walk you through the process one step at a time and answer some common questions along the way.
Understanding Your Bill
Let’s start by making sure you have a good understanding of your energy bill and the services you’re paying for. Grab your latest bill and look for these three items:
It’s important that you understand these key items so you’ll know exactly what will change if you do decide to make a switch, and how.
Now let’s look at the important criteria you should consider when making a switch to a new energy supplier.
Criteria for Your New Supplier
The energy suppliers in your area will have different costs that will affect your monthly bills. But, as you’ll see, that’s not the only thing you should take into consideration. In the following steps, we’ll walk you through the process of finding the best fit for your energy needs.
1) Establish the bare minimums. The first thing to know is if the supplier is licensed in Pennsylvania with a current, valid license number.
2) Look closely at the offer. Some prices look great at first, but they are effective for only a month or two. These are often introductory prices or variable prices, similar to an introductory rate on a credit card. Many suppliers offer fixed prices that remain the same for several months to even a couple years, so you know your price will be stable over time even when your energy usage changes.
3) Check if there are any monthly fees, surcharges, or hidden costs. Some companies offer low energy prices, but also include additional daily or monthly fees. Also look for one-time enrollment fees and other additional fees. At Powervine, we like to keep things simple, so we offer fixed price plans with a simple early cancellation fee—that’s it!
4) Consider the available term lengths for your service. Many energy suppliers offer fixed prices with term lengths between 6 and 24 months. The length you choose can have an effect on the price you pay, so it’s important to consider this in making your decision.
5) How important is green energy to you? Some suppliers offer green energy options that are sourced from sustainable energy sources via either renewable energy credits or carbon offsets. Green energy costs are typically, but not always, a bit higher than the alternative. Ultimately, this is a personal preference.
At Powervine, we offer two green energy options. With electricity, for example, you can choose to have 25% of your energy usage backed by renewable energy credits from green energy sources such as wind, hydroelectric, or solar generation. Or, if you prefer, you can choose to have 100% of your electricity usage backed by green energy sources. With gas, we offer similar options backed by carbon offsets.
6) Extra perks and rewards programs. More and more energy suppliers are offering customers extras like rewards programs, free light bulbs, and coupons, which can be a nice added bonus. With rewards programs, you can earn rewards based on your length of time as a customer, your monthly usage, or simply for starting a new service.
With Powervine Energy Rewards, you will earn $50 in Powervine Energy Reward Dollars every month you are a customer of ours, which can be redeemed online for savings at many participating national and local restaurants, major retail stores, movie theaters, and online stores. That means you get to enjoy $600 in Powervine Energy Reward Dollars every year per energy account. And you can double your Reward Dollars by enrolling in both electricity and natural gas plans.
By simply going through these steps one at a time and narrowing down your list of options, you should have no trouble finding an energy supplier that’s right for you.
Making Your Switch Quick and Easy
Once you’ve found the best option, it’s time to switch over to your new energy supplier. Remember that your utility company—the one that typically sends you the actual bill and to whom you make payments—will remain the same. The differences will be the price you pay, any additional environmental benefits related to your energy supply, and the perks or rewards you will receive.
Making the actual switch is fairly easy and can be done either by phone or online. You need to have a current utility bill, because your utility account number is needed to make the switch. Once you’ve submitted your information, your new supplier will contact your utility company on your behalf and send you a copy of their Terms and Conditions for your records.
After Your Switch
Congratulations! You’ve now officially switched your Pennsylvania energy supplier to one that’s a better fit for you. And, while you’re enjoying the benefits of this new service going forward, there are some things to be aware of in case certain situations arise.
Timing—Once you make the switch to your new supplier, the transition should be seamless, with no lapses in your coverage. With Pennsylvania’s accelerated switching rules, most utility companies will have you switched to your new electricity supplier within 3 business days.
Customer support—Any energy delivery support questions or issues should be made to your utility company, not your new energy supplier. This also goes for any outages or emergencies. Utilities are required to deliver the same quality of service to homes regardless of their individual supplier. During the rare times when the power goes out, such as after a storm, your utility will give the same priority for power restoration regardless of whether you choose a supplier.
Just remember that your utility will continue to be your primary point of contact for any questions or issues related to your electricity or natural gas delivery. You should only need to contact your supplier to discuss the price.
As a Pennsylvania energy customer, you have energy choice. We hope this article has helped give you a better idea of how energy choice can benefit you and how to take advantage of it by choosing the right supplier in your area.
We at Powervine Energy know it can be a bit complicated to filter through the choices and options available. That’s why we keep it simple. We strive to offer consumers the best possible energy service experience with clear plans and no hidden fees or surcharges. We also have a dedicated customer support team that is ready to answer any of your questions. We look forward to servicing your electricity and natural gas needs going forward and hope you will consider Powervine Energy once you’re ready to make the switch.