Energy Deregulation FAQs for Small Business Owners

July 29th, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions Answered for Small Business Owners

Owning a small business can be stressful, from making sure payroll is met each and every week to keeping operating costs at a minimum to maximize profits. One way to better budget for your small business is to switch to a commercial electric supplier that can help you maximize purchasing power when it comes to your utilities.

Below, we answer several questions we hear often from small business owners in Pennsylvania about deregulated energy.

What is energy deregulation?

When electricity was regulated for small businesses and the commercial industry, you only had one option when it came to choosing an electric provider—your local utility. When the market became deregulated, you had a choice of multiple service providers—such as UGI EnergyLink—that offered competitive rates for commercial electricity.

What does energy deregulation mean for small business owners?

The purpose of electricity deregulation is to lower prices for small business owners and increase customer satisfaction by introducing competition into the market.

Who provides my electric services if I switch suppliers?

If you switch electric services, your public utility will continue to provide metering and safety services. Your utility owns and manages the distribution system that brings electricity to your facility, small business, or property. They get paid a fee to deliver electricity to your meter. You will continue to pay this fee to your utility. What changes is the pricing rate you agree to.

Will I still have reliable electric service if I switch providers?

Yes! You will still have reliable electric service if you switch providers because as the previous question outlines, your public utility continues to provide metering and safety services. When switching commercial electric services, you will not experience any delay or lags in service and you will still get billed from the same utility each month.

There is no difference in the quality of service you receive from your new electric supplier (like UGI EnergyLink) and the service from the public utility. Electric power reliability is ensured by the PJM Interconnection, which coordinates the operation of transmission and generation in 13 states (including Pennsylvania) and Washington, DC.

What happens if there’s a problem with my electricity service?

Any problems should be reported to your local utility company. They are responsible for supplying reliable electricity to your small business office or facility.

What electricity pricing rates are available for my business?

At UGI EnergyLink, our commercial customers have two pricing options: variable rate pricing and fixed rate pricing. Read more about each in the next two questions.

What is a variable rate pricing plan?

Signing up for a variable plan allows your electricity rate to change from month to month,Commercial electric supplier in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic depending on market fluctuations. Selecting this plan means you may pay a different amount per kilowatt hour every month.

If you believe electricity prices will fluctuate enough on the low end to come out cheaper than a comparable fixed rate plan, then a variable plan might be suitable for you. With a little bit of risk, this plan gives you a significant amount of flexibility and gives you the opportunity to take advantage of lowering market rates.

What is a fixed-rate pricing plan?

With a fixed-rate plan on electricity, you’re guaranteed a set electricity rate over an extended period of time. In a fixed-rate arrangement, your electricity rate will be competitive at the time of contract, as well as based on your own demand for electricity. You’ll be charged the same amount per kilowatt hour of electricity each month until your contract expires, whether the price of electricity rises or falls.

Note that for commercial customers, each customer has their own billing cycle or “month” based off their meter read cycle. One customer’s bill may begin on the 1st while another’s cycle begins on the 17th.You can find this meter read cycle date on your monthly bill from the utility.

How do I switch commercial electricity supplier companies?

Switching is easy and can be completed online or over the phone! To enroll with UGI EnergyLink, all you need is your current account number (found on your monthly bills) and utility name on hand. As you read above, you’ll experience no interruption in service and you can switch in minutes—you don’t even have to contact your utility!

What are the benefits of switching to UGI EnergyLink?

For small businesses, there are so many benefits of switching to UGI EnergyLink for commercial electric services.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to save money on your monthly energy bills when you switch!
  • You’ll receive transparent pricing with no surprises or hidden fees.
  • You will be better able to predict the impact of your electricity use on your budget and bottom line.
  • You’ll get answers to all your energy questions from professionals at a company that has been in business for more than 127 years.

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