Frequently Asked Questions
My electric utility has always been a good company. Why should I switch now?
Electric utilities are encouraging customers to shop around because you may be able to save money by switching to a competitive supplier. Regardless of whether you choose a different supplier, your electric utility will continue to deliver your electricity, provide reliable service, and respond to outage problems. The quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric service should not change as it is still monitored by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Can I save money by choosing a competitive electric supplier?
Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money by switching electric suppliers. If you do not switch you pay a default rate with your electric utility company. The utility company does not profit from the default rate. Instead, they pass on the money received from default paying customers to energy companies who have won auctions for the right to service default customers. This is the reason utility companies do not care if you shop and switch electric suppliers. If you can find electric supply rates that are lower than the utility default rates (Basic Generation Service Rates) then you will save money. It is that simple!
Why should I shop for electricity?
The number one reason people shop for electricity is to save money. Just like you shop for any household item, you can shop for your electricity to find the best deal and the best service for your needs. Remember, saving just one cent per kWh could translate into more than $100 a year in savings, depending on usage.
Other reasons people are shopping is for the option to buy “green energy”, price protection, and to receive promotional offers.
How do I know that a different supplier will provide reliable service?
If you choose a new electric supplier, the quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric service will not change. Your current electric utility will continue to provide the same transmission and distribution service. And electric suppliers must be licensed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to do business in Pennsylvania.
What is an electric supplier?
Your electric supplier is the company that provides your electric generation service. In New Jersey, you have the power to choose your electric supplier.
If I choose a new electric supplier, what part of my service will change?
There are three parts to your electric service: generation, transmission and distribution. Generation is the production of electricity. Transmission is the movement of that electricity from where it is produced to a local distribution system. Distribution is the delivery of electricity to your home or business.
When you shop for an electric supplier, you are choosing the company that generates your electricity. For most electric customers who select a new supplier, transmission costs will also be included in the charges from your new supplier. The electric utility that distributes your electricity will remain the same.
As I shop for an electric supplier, what questions should I ask?
As you shop for electricity, be ready to ask competing suppliers the following questions:
• What is the price per kilowatt hour (kWh)? Is the price fixed or does it depend on time of day or usage?
• Are all taxes included in the supplier’s price?
• What is the length of the agreement? Can your price change in that time? If so, when can it change and how will you be notified?
• Is there a cancellation fee or any penalty for switching suppliers?
• Does the supplier offer a choice of energy sources, such as renewable energy?
• Will you receive one bill or two?
How long will it take to switch to a new supplier?
The effective date of your choice depends on your next meter read date and can take three to eight weeks.
What is the “Basic Generation Service” Rate?
The basic generation service (BGS) rate is the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) your electric distribution company will charge if you do not shop for competitive rates (i.e. the default rate). As you shop for electricity, ask competitive suppliers to provide you with a BGS so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison on price for the generation portion of your bill.