Your Rights And Protections
As a consumer, you have the following rights in the competitive energy marketplace:
- The right to a "price to compare" from both the utility and competitive supplier so you are able to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison. View understanding fixed and variable rates.
- The right to receive the benefits of new services, technological advances, improved efficiency, and competitive prices.
- The right to be protected from unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, and anti-competitive practices of suppliers of electricity. View marketing rules for door-to-door and telemarketing sales.
- The right to expect that the quality, reliability, and maintenance of your electric distribution service should not change and is monitored by the PUC.
- The right to unbiased, accurate, and easy-to-understand information to help shop for power and save money. View ways to save energy.
As a consumer, there are protections that you can take:
- Always read and understand your contract’s disclosure statement and the terms and conditions of the contract before agreeing to the contract.
- If you have concerns that your supplier is not acting in good faith, contact the supplier to discuss your concerns.
- If your concerns are not resolved by the supplier, you have the right to file an informal complaint with the Public Utility Commission. View Filing an Informal Complaint.
Expiration Notice Requirements
Prior to your contract expiring, you should receive two contract renewal notices from your current supplier.
- Suppliers should send out an initial renewal notice 52 to 90 days prior to your contract’s expiration date.
- Additionally, the supplier should provide you with an options notice, which includes the specific changes to the terms of service being proposed; information on new prices; an explanation of the customer’s options and how to exercise those options; the date by which the customer must exercise one of the options; the telephone numbers and website addresses for the Commission and the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA); and the electric distribution company’s Price to Compare.
- The options notice should be sent to you at least 45 days prior to the contract’s expiration date.
- Make sure you read these notices, as they will assist you in making the decision to stay with your current supplier or shop for another supplier.
- Important: If you choose to take no action with your renewal and options notices, your rate may change. For example, a fixed rate may change to a monthly variable rate. If you have a variable rate, once the term expires you may be moved to a different variable rate that could be higher.
Your electric utility can shut your service off if you fail to:
- Pay your bill.
- Follow through on payment arrangements.
- Pay a deposit when required.
- Allow the electric utility to access to its equipment.
Before your service is shut off, your electric utility will take the following steps:
- Send you a 10-day notice. Once you get the notice, the utility company has up to 60 days to shut off your service.
- Attempt to contact you, either once in person or on two different days by phone, three days before your shut-off date.
- From December 1 through March 31, if your electric utility cannot reach you at the time of termination, they will leave a 48-hour notice at your property.
For more detailed information about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer, view the PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights.
Find More Information
You are encouraged to contact electric suppliers for your area to compare pricing and service information. Competitive offers may not be available in all areas.
- Visit the Public Utility Commission website
- Shop for electricity now
- Get help paying your bill
- Find answers to frequently asked questions
- Explore Customer Assistance Programs
Can't find what you are looking for? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions