P.a. (WETM) — As temperatures increase, so do electricity bills. During the summer, you might get a knock on the door from someone offering better electricity prices.
Many Pennsylvanians have received notices that their electricity bills would go up starting on June 1 if they kept using the default services provided by their electricity companies. Residents that got these notices may be able to get better electricity prices if they switch to competitive electricity suppliers.
“From the gas pump to the grocery store, many Pennsylvanians are feeling squeezed financially because of higher prices for essential items, so it certainly comes as unwelcomed news that many electric utilities are increasing their prices for select customers,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry. “Consumers should know they have options.”
While shopping around for new electricity rates can save you money, you should be cautious about choosing a new energy provider. Attorney General Michelle Henry and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) are warning Pennsylvanians to be wary of door-to-door energy salespeople.
If a salesperson knocks on your door, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to let them in your home. You don’t even have to answer the door. If you do decide to let a salesperson inside, you can ask them to leave at any time. Before you let any salesperson in, make sure they have clear identification.
When listening to a sales pitch, make sure you take your time before you make any decisions. Salespeople might use high-pressure tactics, but you should remain vigilant to avoid giving in to the pressure. According to OCA, if you do have regrets about a new energy contract you signed, you have three business days to rescind the contract.
The OCA and the attorney general’s office recommend considering a utility company’s standard offer or customer referral programs. These programs offer 7% off the utility price at the time of your enrollment and a 12-month fixed rate. The savings percentage might change or be eliminated if the price to compare changes, though.
Before signing up for any new energy service plan, make sure you carefully review all charges, not just the price per kWh. Some companies charge additional fees, like monthly fees or early cancellation fees. After you do enroll in a new plan, you should be preparing for the contract to end. Make sure your account doesn’t roll into a higher rate when your contract ends. You should be monitoring your bills every month as well to make sure you’re being charged the rate that you agreed to.
If you live in Pennsylvania and have any questions about your energy bill, you can call the OCA’s hotline at 1-800-684-6560 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org any time.