Pennsylvania has a retail energy market that empowers customers to choose an electric or gas product that suits them best. Utilities are still responsible for the transmission, distribution and reliability of the energy product and receive a rate of return (compensation) approved by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to manage those assets. In Pennsylvania, the utility also offers a supply product known as “default service” for customers who do not choose an energy supplier from the competitive market. Default service products and prices will vary based on the utility service territory a customer lives in. Most utilities operate on a six-month cycle where their prices are updated based on their operating costs and the supply they have procured.
In Pennsylvania, the competitive market is overseen and regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) and the office of competitive market oversight.
Pennsylvania is part of a regional transmission organization known as PJM. PJM oversees the competitive wholesale electricity market for 13 states and the District of Columbia where power generators sell their electricity to utilities, competitive suppliers, and other buyers. Utilities and suppliers can also purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) to support the development of clean energy generation assets from Community Energy, Clean Power Alliance, PJM-EIS, and the Pennsylvania electric company.
The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act in Pennsylvania mandates that a certain percentage of the state’s electricity sold to customers from a utility supplier or competitive supplier must come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. The PUC oversees compliance with these standards, ensuring that utilities and suppliers meet their obligations. There are two tiers of alternative energy sources in PA:
You can learn more about PA’s AEPS Act here.
Many suppliers offer products above the AEPS state minimum requirements and purchase and retire RECs so customers can choose 100% clean energy and support the development of renewable energy resources.
Pennsylvania customers can shop for an electric or gas supplier using the state-managed websites, PAPowerSwitch and PAGasSwitch. Customers can compare prices and options offered by licensed suppliers and choose a supplier based on their preference for cost or generation methods on the state-managed websites below. You can view our PA shopping guide with tips and resources.
Shopping for Electric in Pennsylvania: PAPowerSwitch.com
Shopping for Gas in Pennsylvania: PAGasSwitch.com
Pennsylvania has robust consumer protections for retail energy customers, overseen by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Office of Consumer Advocate, and Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. These protections include standardized contracts, the right to cancel within three days, the ability to switch suppliers within three days, and a complaint resolution center. Customers can file complaints with these institutions if they have concerns about their energy service. All customers in Pennsylvania are protected by state consumer protection laws.
If you have an issue with your energy supplier’s service or rate, first review the terms of your contract and contact your supplier. If the issue remains unresolved, you can seek assistance from the state resources mentioned above. If you are unable to shop for energy choice, you can also reach out to your local distribution company or the PUC for help.
Bureau of Consumer Services