Look Out for Third-Party Overcharging

Thanks to a thread on Nextdoor, I was advised to check my PECO bill because of overcharging by third-party electric suppliers.

I signed up with Energy Plus/NRG in 2011 to save money on my electric bill and earn American Airlines mileage points. I checked to see if the rates were comparable at the time, and the account was on autopay.

After reading the Nextdoor thread, I checked my bill, only to realize that EnergyPlus had increased its rates from six cents per kilowatt hour to a high of 19.4 cents without my knowledge. This resulted in our overpaying about $1500 per year on our electric bill for the last 10 years!

There are plenty of customers who are in the same situation but may not realize the egregiously abusive rates that these companies can charge in an unregulated environment. Please check your gas and electric bills if you have signed up with a company other than PECO or PGW!

The folks at PECO admitted that this happens all too often and that they are reformatting their graphics to make the disparities between their rates and what third- party supply customers are paying more prominent on their bill. Currently, bills have a small box on the right side of the second page labeled “Message Center from PECO which, in the second paragraph, reads, “Your estimated electric price to compare is $0.0643 per kWh.”

I am making it my business to see that fellow Philadelphians are not being victimized by abusive pricing the way that I was before I switched back to PECO as my electric supplier on Feb. 1.

— Christine Bamberger