The electricity landscape is now marked by numerous companies trying to get your business.   So how should you proceed?

powelson side Part 3:  Fighting For Your Business“PECO wants you to shop, the Public Utility Commission wants you to shop,” says the PUC’s Robert Powelson (right).  He says you don’t have to switch to a new electricity provider, but doing nothing is not a good option.

“By not shopping you’re going to pay a higher rate on their generation portion of your bill. Don’t get stuck paying the default rate,” he warns.

Philadelphia consumer advocate Lance Haver notes that for some customers, there are other things to consider besides the simple kilowatt-hour rate.

“Do you want to buy renewable energy or not? Renewable energy costs more, but if that’s something you’re interested in, you can buy it,” Haver told KYW Newsradio. “The second thing is, is the company going to have a variable rate — meaning, will the rates go up and down every month or every quarter, or will the rates be for a contracted period, say six months or a year?”

Powelson, the PUC commissioner, says you’ll have to navigate through a number of options and gimmicks that companies are offering, such as teaser rates and signing bonuses.

“Some electric generation suppliers are offering customers a free HVAC tune-up. My electric generation supplier is making a donation on behalf of everybody who signs up to Ronald McDonald Homes,” he told KYW recently.

And some companies are now running commercials. Expect to see and hear more advertising as this new market heats up.

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Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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