How low will electricity prices go? You can get it free in Pennsylvania

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Interesting times in Pennsylvania's electricity market, where a report in the Scranton, PA-based Times-Tribune says 44 competitive electricity providers are selling power in PPL's coverage area. Competition is so keen that one company is offering four hours of free power in the evening. Another one touts a free day of power each week.

 

But as the Times-Tribune points out, consumers need to read the fine print as they shop around for the best deal. For instance, it says the company offering four hours of free electricity between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. is charging a higher price per kilowatt hour the other 20 hours of the day than all but one of the flat rate plans available from other competitive suppliers. It's also 20% more than the default rate PPL offers customers who don't choose another supplier.

 

The report indicates that to date time-of-use (TOU) rates are still rare in Pennsylvania, but that will likely change. It says Con Ed Solutions is currently contemplating TOU for residential customers and that the state's PUC is pushing for smart meters that can enable real-time pricing.

 

Earlier this month Pennsylvania reached a milestone with more than 2 million electricity customers having elected to switch to a competitive supplier. Of those, nearly 1.7 million were residential customers. The state PUC hosts a PAPowerSwitch website that helps electricity shoppers compare rates and services.

 

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