Sunday, July 5, 2015

Inquirer Letters Extra: Savings found in switching

Homeowners can reduce energy consumption and lower their monthly bills by shopping for an electricity supplier.

Inquirer Letters Extra: Savings found in switching

Understanding energy deregulation and alternative electric supply admittedly is a complicated subject. But just as EnergyWorks helps homeowners choose a trusted, home energy-efficiency company, there are many solutions in the deregulated electricity area. In Illinois, there's Power2Switch. Texas has ChooseEnergy. And Pennsylvania has Alphabuyer ("Energy efficiency gets easier," April 21).

Real estate writer Alan Heavens notes that he's using less energy every year, but his bill remains the same because the price of electricity goes up. From the Alphabuyer perspective, the data shows something different. Our analysis of PECO's price-to-compare, the standard measure of how much residents pay for electric generation, shows a downward trend over the past 2 years. Since 2011, Alphabuyer customers also paid less than that price and saved an average of $180 a year. Yet, even with high awareness, and proof of savings, switching rates are low.

A lot of people are simply turned off to the idea of switching because of sales tactics (only 3 in 10 PECO homeowners have switched). The barrage of junk mail, phone calls during dinner, and signing up customers without consent are tactics that make it much harder for consumers to feel comfortable enough to switch. But homeowners looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and lower their monthly bills should reconsider.

John Raisch, cofounder, Alphabuyer, Paoli

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