How much can you save with deregulated energy?

Even with one of the largest deregulated energy markets in the United States, many Pennsylvania residents still do not realize how they can benefit from a deregulated energy plan. Some may think the switching process is too confusing. Others question whether there are real savings. To answer that question, Choose Energy crunched the numbers to show how much residents could have saved this year by switching.

Choose Energy is a deregulated energy marketplace; its mission is to help customers understand their options. To do so, analysts compiled data showing how much customers have already saved in 2017 with deregulated energy plans.

Savings by the Numbers

On average, Pennsylvania deregulated energy customers saved 11% on their monthly energy bills in 2017 through Choose Energy. If this percentage doesn’t seem that impressive, then consider this: the total customer savings for 2017 adds up to nearly $350,000. And the savings don’t stop there; depending on the local utility company, deregulated energy customers saved up to $44.20 a year on the supply portion of their energy bills, as compared to non-deregulated energy customers.

annual electric cost

*Numbers scaled by a factor of 10

As the graph demonstrates, deregulated energy customers from Choose Energy (orange columns) saw consistent savings from month to month in 2017 as compared to non-deregulated customers who paid for their energy usage through their utility companies (blue columns).

Trends: Translated

When you look at the graph below, a clear pattern stands out: the average Pennsylvania household consumes more energy in the coldest and hottest months.

household consumption

Data sourced from EIA last available year (2009)

This cycle of consumption makes sense; after all, more energy is consumed by air conditioning and heating systems than by other home appliances. Most energy can expect their home’s consumption to remain somewhat uniform year over year, with the coldest and hottest months using the most energy.

What makes the above graphs more informative is looking at them together – months with higher average consumption correspond with higher savings. Put simply, the more energy consumers use, the more money they’ll save, and the best savings come from a deregulated energy plan. The difference in the supplier and utility rates may seem only like a few cents, but the more energy you use, the more dollars those cents add up to.

Most customers are unlikely to lower their home’s energy consumption drastically during the winter or summer, but they can lower the rate they pay for that energy with a deregulated plan.

How specific utilities stacked up:

Most Pennsylvania energy customers are serviced by one of the following utility companies:

PPL Electric Utilities

PECO

West Penn Power

Duquesne Light Co.

Penelec

Penn Power

Your utility company, which is solely determined by your residence’s location, charges energy customers a standard supply rate, called a default rate. Utilities’ default rates are often different and can fluctuate from month to month based on a range of factors, such as weather, energy availability and regulations. Choose Energy analysts compared the top Pennsylvania utilities’ default rates (PTC) with the retail suppliers’ rates and found how much customers have been saving so far in 2017:

The graph above shows the average savings per Choose Energy customer so far in 2017, compared with each utility’s PTC, or default rate.

Deregulated energy customers who live in the PPL utility area have seen the most savings in 2017, with an impressive average savings of 15.8% per customer. Deregulated energy customers in the PECO and West Penn Power area both have average savings of over 7% for the year, followed by deregulated customers for Duquesne Light Co., Penelec and Penn Power.

Potential savings aren’t all that deregulated energy suppliers can give Pennsylvania residents; many suppliers offer customers incentives like rate stability through multi-year contracts, options for renewable energy sourcing and home efficiency improvement services.

Learn more

The takeaway: Pennsylvania residents should do their research before signing up for a deregulated energy plan. ChooseEnergy.com and other websites can help with that.