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In PA You Can Sign Up For Electric Service With No Deposit

April 2, 2010

In PA you have your choice of who you want to choose for your electric provider. Many people in PA still do not realize they can choose a cheaper electric company. Right now the old monopoly electric companies in Pennsylvania have been forced to raise their electricity rates because they were fixed below energy market conditions. The artificial price freeze was causing the monopoly companies to lose money and so when the price ceiling was lifted these companies raised their electricity prices.

Competitors in PA were then able to come into the PA energy market and offer electricity prices much lower than what you may have been paying for some time. It is worth the energy it takes to shop around and find a cheaper electricity supplier in PA. One of the main concerns of many besides choosing an electricity supplier with a cheap rate is if the price comes with no deposit required.

Electricity deposits typically range from $300 – $500 for a residential electric customer with bad credit and as much as a few thousand dollars for commercial customers.

There are ways around paying a large PA electricity deposit. There are electric companies that specialize in offering prepaid electric service. The prepaid electric companies in PA will sell you electric service based on estimated usage. They typically use estimated electric usage from the previous tenant which could be good or bad depending on how energy efficient the old tenant was.

Depending on your area of Pennsylvania you may have a digital electric meter that sends back real time data to the electric utility. In your situation a PA prepaid electric supplier can install a smart meter chip that works with a prepaid electric billing system. The chip keeps track of your prepaid kilowatt hours you have purchased and lets you know when it is time to recharge your kilowatt hours on the meter so you don’t get your lights cut off prematurely.

In most cases you will pay about double the amount with a prepaid electric company in PA than you would if you went with a traditional electricity company that asks for a deposit. Most low income people will still choose the pay as you go choice simply because they cannot come up with $300 – $500 on the spot to put down as a deposit. Although we recommend not choosing a prepaid electric company we understand that sometimes that is your only option.

You do have another choice however besides prepaid electric service and paying a deposit with a traditional electric company. Pennsylvania has government programs and agencies that will work with low income families to help you pay your deposit amount or have your electric service deposit waived. For more information contact the PA PUC at 1-800-692-7380

Low-income consumers may also qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). For information regarding LIHEAP Cash and Crisis benefits and Weatherization programs please call your local County Assistance Office or the state Department of Public Welfare at: 1-800-692-7462.