Electric customers are advised to be smart consumers when it comes to shopping for an electric generating company.

Pennsylvania consumer advocate Sonny Popowski says it pays to shop around for your electricity.

“People can save about five or ten percent on the generation portion of their bill, so a typical residential customer might save ten dollars a month or so by shopping.  And that adds up over the course of a year, 120 dollars a year,” Popowski told KYW Newsradio.

That may not seem like a lot of money to some people, but as Philadelphia consumer advocate Lance Haver puts it, “If I were to tell you that with one phone call you could go out to dinner for free one night a year, would you make the phone call? Of course!”

Some suppliers offer renewable energy options, such as solar or wind, usually at a higher cost.

Blaine Martin, the electricity program manager for the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania, predicts the biggest savings will come when we turn our air conditioners on.

“Anything in the summertime, second quarter, that you use above 500 kilowatts is going to be priced over 11 cents a kilowatt-hour,” he said.  “Here at the Energy Cooperative we’re priced at 9.28 cents as our cheapest option, which is fixed for all of 2011.  So if you look at the comparison there, you’re going to be able to save a lot of money.”

The Co-op is among 17 firms attempting to reel in PECO customers.  You can find them and compare by going to www.papowerswitch.com and clicking on the “Shop for Electricity” tab and then the PECO Energy link (direct link here).

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Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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