Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Electricity is essential in every home and transmission lines crisscross the nation, but is it time to switch from Duquesne Light to a lower-priced electricity supplier?
KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano spoke with local residents who have been receiving enticing offers through the from electric suppliers.
One electric customer echoed a common view about switching: “No, because it’d be too complicated.”
But already, more than 1.5 million Pennsylvanians have made the change.
Many have made the switch because of the price difference.
Promotional letters from several electric providers are flooding local mailboxes.
One electric customer described it as, “tons of mail, which unfortunately I usually throw to the side.”
Some ads claim a nearly 25 percent savings on your bill.
Joe Cerenzia of First Energy Solutions said that consumers, “by switching to First Energy Solutions, they’ll be able to save about $428 over the two-year term.”
As competition for customers grows, some companies offer other inducements.
Ken Weilbacher of Direct Energy says, “Essentially it’s 15 percent guaranteed savings. In addition to that we’re offering a $50 Visa prepaid gift card.”
When reviewing the many offers from electricity providers there are three things to watch for: (1) price, (2) how long does it last, and (3) is there a charge for switching back to Duquesne Light?
The State Public Utility Commission’s website — PAPowerSwitch.com — lists 16 companies that beat Duquesne’s price of 9.3 cents per kilowatt hour.
For example, Direct Energy’s lowest charge is 7.92 cents. The rate can go up monthly, but it will always be 15 percent less than Duquesne and with no cancellation fee.
First Energy offers an even lower 7.15 rate guaranteed for two years, but if you cancel mid-stream it will cost $150.
Two other companies offer the lowest rates.
North American Power is 6.9 cents, but for just two months before going up to just under Duquesne Light’s price. But you can get out any time.
Tri-Eagle Energy is 6.9 nine cents and is fixed for two years, but there’s a cancellation fee.
The bottom line is don’t be afraid to switch just know the deal.