Getting the best gas and electricity rates - abc27 WHTM

Getting the best gas and electricity rates

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The Kempf Family in Swatara Township, Dauphin County is used to the sight of a spinning electricity meter in the summer as the air conditioning cools and the pump cleans the pool.

Now that it's fall they're ready to greet the heat, but it too is going to cost them.

"Too high. It's too much money," Tony Kempf said.

Pennsylvania in the 1990's was one of five states to deregulate electricity and natural gas. But there was a cap, so we were paying less than market price, and thus there were no takers.

Fast forward to 2010 when that cap came off: a shock to many when bills shot up. That's when people started to shop.

"Another unique thing about Pennsylvania, there more than 200 marketers and brokers in the marketplace making offers to customers," said Public Utility Commissioner Robert Powelson.

A bonus: those companies are competing for your cash. Did you use your power to make the switch? You would think everyone would sign up for better rates, right?

"Roughly 40 percent of all residential customers in Pennsylvania have picked a supplier," said Powelson.

The number is even lower for residential customers looking for a natural gas supplier; only 13 percent. As a result, many customers get stuck with a usually higher default rate.

"Customers, we want them out there shopping. They do it with cable," said Powelson.

Thee Public Utility Commission has sites for you to shop: PaPowerSwitch.com and PaGasSwitch.com.

Kempf made the switch with two phone calls. He called his current company and made sure he did not have a cancellation fee and was not under contract, with a no answer for both. The next phone call was to make the switch.

But first he had to decide if he wanted a fixed or variable rate. Also, if he did or did not want a contract and if there was a cancellation fee.

A few minutes on the phone and a few questions later, Tony made the switch and saved money.

"I found a company with a much cheaper rate," he said.


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