There’s still time to switch up natural gas providers to save for the winter freeze

12 September 2023- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is urging consumers across the Commonwealth to jumpstart SaveInPA opportunities for the fall and winter heating seasons by shopping now for their natural gas supply – which could result in a savings on the energy portion of their monthly natural gas bills.

Warmer weather in late summer and early fall typically means less demands for natural gas, especially for residential gas customers, and that can translate into lower prices. Locking in a lower energy price now can help insulate consumers against potential energy price spikes this winter when gas usage and energy prices traditionally go up.

SaveInPA – Key Tips

While natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) are required to provide reliable service at the least possible cost, the PUC emphasizes that its natural gas shopping website, (PAGasSwitch), currently reflects offers from competitive suppliers in many parts of Pennsylvania below the supply price available from NGDCs. Because energy costs typically make up more than half a total utility bill, lower energy prices can have a noticeable impact on the size of monthly bills.

The Commission emphasizes the following about the current energy shopping market:

  • Energy Use Drives Bill Size – The more energy a household uses, the more quickly small changes in energy prices will convert into large dollar savings on monthly bills.
  • Falling Prices Expand Competition – When energy prices are falling, competitive suppliers are often able to more quickly respond and may be able to offer lower energy prices than utilities.
  • Degrees Equal Dollars – Temperature has a major impact on energy usage, which can also drive total energy bills up or down, so consumers should continue monitoring their energy usage and explore how efficiency and conservation can help manage energy bills.

Consumers can use PAGasSwitch to explore and compare other offers from competitive energy suppliers which may provide savings compared to their utility’s default service rate. 

The website provides consumers with valuable information on how to shop for natural gas supply services – enabling consumers to quickly compare offers from competitive suppliers against the default service rate from their local utility – and learn more on switching to a competitive supplier, or returning to default service, should they choose.

Notable Savings Available for Millions of Pennsylvanians

Natural gas supplier offers and prices vary greatly across the state, but many consumers could see substantial savings by shopping for competitive offers. 

The largest potential savings currently are in the service territories for UGIPECO and Columbia Gas, with potential savings ranging from 10% to 35%, depending on the length of contract and other factors. Collectively, that means notable savings are available for more than 1.6 million households stretching across nearly all of Pennsylvania – from Suburban Philadelphia to the Pittsburgh area, along with Central and Western PA, the Lehigh Valley, and the Poconos. 

The price differences between suppliers and utilities are much smaller in other parts of the state, but consumers can continue to use the PUC’s PAGasSwitch website to monitor price changes over the coming weeks and months to identify any future savings.