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Author Topic: Electric Rates.... look around in de-regulated states  (Read 215 times)
PopoJeff
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December 23, 2019, 11:08:45 PM
Last edit: December 24, 2019, 01:04:58 AM by frodocooper
Merited by frodocooper (7), philipma1957 (3), NotFuzzyWarm (2), DireWolfM14 (1)
 #1

I'm mining in PA.  Just a little garage operation. But due to my location, the norm around here is about .10-.11c/kWh. So efficiency was key when buying miners.  I'm still profitable, but I'm quite envious of people with 5-6 cent power.

Well, PA is de-regulated in regards to energy providers.  I've checked rates often, but never seen much more than a 1-2 cent difference between suppliers.

My bill is two parts. The company owning the local poles/wires/infrastructure charges me a portion of the bill for "delivery", usually about 5.5c/kWh.  That part cannot be changed.

The second part of the bill is from the "generation' company who creates the power.  That part we can shop around for.

Local delivery company's generation rate is another 6c or so, so I shopped around and got another company to make the juice for about 5.4c.     Overall, my current billing total is about 10.9c/kWh.

So now that I'm mining, power costs hit the forefront of my mind again. I started looking around the PA power switch website and saw a company offering a FLAT RATE generation fee.  They're charging higher than normal rates (for the avg customer), but with my high usage, theres a huge benefit.

I read thru the 12mo contract, terms and conditions, and all the literature.  There is no loophole to charge me extra. It's a flat $149.99 rate for generation regardless of usage.  They advertise green, clean energy to appeal to those folks, and they make bank off the avg household.

I filled out the form and the switch will occur within a week. Now I will be paying about 5.5c/kWh delivery, plus $150 flat rate for generation.

Here's how the changes work out:

So, 6,000 kWh bill will now be $480/mo..... (Delivery is approx .055c x 6000 = $330..... plus $150 flat generation fee).  Whereas previous bill combined .109 delivery+generation for 6000 kWh would be $654.

Now... the more juice I use... the more I save.

6000 kWh old rate = $654. New plan = $480. 174 saved. 8c kWh rate.
8000 kWh old rate = $872. New plan = $590. 282 saved. 7.3c kWh rate.
10,000 kWh old rate = $1090. New plan = $700. 390 saved. 7c kWh rate.

So if you live in a state that has this option... shop around.

Home garage miner: (1) S17e, (1) s17 pro 50, (2) S17+
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mgoz
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December 26, 2019, 09:08:17 PM
Merited by frodocooper (3), Heisenberg_Hunter (1)
 #2

What company is offering that? I'm in PA and my price to compare is 5.6 cents kWh. I used to shop around and had a generation rate as low as 4.2 cents before. I've switched my generation a few times before I finally just went back to Penelec because their rates dropped after tax cuts. Unless rate was at least 1 cent cheaper it wasn't really worth it because in my case they were tacking on other fees for things like non-utility generation and increasing the distribution charge so the savings was null or even cost me.

Most of these suppliers bank on you not cancelling prior to their ridiculous rate increases when the contract auto-renews, have cancellation fees, etc. One of my last suppliers actually cancelled my service 2 months early when I told them I wasn't going to renew even though they confirmed multiple times it wouldn't be cancelled until contract renewal.

If it's Inspire, I guess my historical usage is greater than yours cause they're giving me a rate of $225, which would still be worth switching if there really are no hidden fees.
PopoJeff
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December 26, 2019, 09:15:18 PM
Last edit: December 26, 2019, 09:57:28 PM by PopoJeff
 #3

What company is offering that? I'm in PA and my price to compare is 5.6 cents kWh. I used to shop around and had a generation rate as low as 4.2 cents before. I've switched my generation a few times before I finally just went back to Penelec because their rates dropped after tax cuts. Unless rate was at least 1 cent cheaper it wasn't really worth it because in my case they were tacking on other fees for things like non-utility generation and increasing the distribution charge so the savings was null or even cost me.

Most of these suppliers bank on you not cancelling prior to their ridiculous rate increases when the contract auto-renews, have cancellation fees, etc. One of my last suppliers actually cancelled my service 2 months early when I told them I wasn't going to renew even though they confirmed multiple times it wouldn't be cancelled until contract renewal.

If it's Inspire, I guess my historical usage is greater than yours cause they're giving me a rate of $225, which would still be worth switching if there really are no hidden fees.

It was Inspire.

I only started the mining operation in Aug, and since then went from 2 s9's to 4 s17's. So if they took annual average for my "locked in flat fee" ....I'll soon be robbing them blind when the 5th S17+ arrives.

Home garage miner: (1) S17e, (1) s17 pro 50, (2) S17+
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December 27, 2019, 02:41:51 AM
Last edit: December 27, 2019, 05:59:30 AM by mgoz
Merited by frodocooper (3), Heisenberg_Hunter (1)
 #4

I signed up just to see what they do. They're the only ones offering the "unlimited" rate for a year, but it definitely seems variable based on area and usage because it initially says $39.99. If they already locked you into the contract then you should be good. It's just what they do when they see the usage is high. I know when I've shopped around in the past, other companies had usage clauses that let them cancel if it was different than the usage you provided or what they saw on your bill during signup. They won't raise the price, they just cancel your contract. I didn't see any specific limit in their agreement like I have with others, but cancellation provisions does say they can cancel your contract for any reason at any time, including if your actual electricity usage exceeds the usage anticipated by Inspire. We shall see what happens.

There are actually several wind farms out by me, including the largest in the state, but last I knew all of the output was owned by Old Dominion and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperatives. Looks like Inspire just buys credits from various wind farms.
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January 06, 2020, 04:35:17 PM
Merited by frodocooper (7)
 #5

I have a place in PA and I can tell you be very careful.  It's bullshit.  If something is much lower than everyone else, they WILL cancel your contract and essentially kick you off.  PA places do not care.  For residential usually you will get around 9c all said and done all in including transmission and generation and tax charges for residential.  Commercial, depends really.     Anyone who is less most likely will do a bait and switch on you, they will start you off for a month or two at what was promised whether it be a fixed rate for a year contract or 1 price for whatever term etc all fine and dandy, but if you are using a good amount of power (I would say over 20,000kwh residential a month) they will end your contract and want to change your rate to something completely not what you wanted.  I have seen this done with 3 different electric providers in PA already, who were the lowest available.  Vista energy being the worst of them.  Straight up was giving me a 0.04X or whatever rate for 12 months just like others around that price which actually means like 7c with transmission where the location was, then after a month got a letter and phone call saying they were going to change it to 0.08 lmao just cause I used too much power even though they said that doesn't matter at all and lied to get me to sign up.  Needless to say, I reported as bait and switch scam and switched providers.     If you are running small hobby amount of miners, say less than 5000kwh a month, none of this matters and you will probably be fine.  Anyone who is using 300-600amps of a residential service 24/7 though basically is screwed below a 0.09 rate all in.
PopoJeff
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January 06, 2020, 05:14:39 PM
Last edit: January 07, 2020, 01:16:40 AM by frodocooper
 #6

Yeah, I'm aware. Ive live in PA for a few decades to say the least.  I expect to get about a month at this deal until they find out my usage is too high. I found the clause where they can cancel the deal for "higher than expected use" .  Then I'll shop for the next one.

Home garage miner: (1) S17e, (1) s17 pro 50, (2) S17+
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January 06, 2020, 07:34:07 PM
Merited by frodocooper (5)
 #7

If you're in a fixed rate contract they legally can't change the price unless they have some provision for it in the contract. Just need to read everything. Variable rates I think they would definitely exploit to their advantage so I never consider them.

I've been through 5 different suppliers over the past 3 years and all were fixed rate. These ranged from 3-12 month contracts. I'm small and use maybe 8,000 kWh/month. None have ever canceled on me for usage increases and I want to say I added miners for every supplier except the last one. Only one canceled on me early when I told them I wasn't going to renew. Renewal is where they'll get you on fixed rates. Every single supplier has had a renewal rate that's higher than my default supplier, usually at an increase of 3-5 cents kWh from the original contract rate. Really it's not a big deal if they do cancel early. It just automatically switches back to default supplier. The only downside is almost all of these companies with low rates are offering new customer/introductory rates. Once you signup and don't renew, they won't let you signup again, but there are new companies popping up all the time with lower rates.

Inspire sent me an email saying they switched me Jan 1, but I haven't received any letters yet confirming.
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January 06, 2020, 08:51:58 PM
 #8

If you're in a fixed rate contract they legally can't change the price unless they have some provision for it in the contract. Just need to read everything. Variable rates I think they would definitely exploit to their advantage so I never consider them.

I've been through 5 different suppliers over the past 3 years and all were fixed rate. These ranged from 3-12 month contracts. I'm small and use maybe 8,000 kWh/month. None have ever canceled on me for usage increases and I want to say I added miners for every supplier except the last one. Only one canceled on me early when I told them I wasn't going to renew. Renewal is where they'll get you on fixed rates. Every single supplier has had a renewal rate that's higher than my default supplier, usually at an increase of 3-5 cents kWh from the original contract rate. Really it's not a big deal if they do cancel early. It just automatically switches back to default supplier. The only downside is almost all of these companies with low rates are offering new customer/introductory rates. Once you signup and don't renew, they won't let you signup again, but there are new companies popping up all the time with lower rates.

Inspire sent me an email saying they switched me Jan 1, but I haven't received any letters yet confirming.

I have been with 1 before that legally could not change due to high usage but that didn't stop them and good luck getting a lawyer to fight them or waste money.  They do not care, even if it says in contract can't change rate due to higher than expected usage, they can and will do it anyways and you won't be able to do anything about it except leave.
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January 07, 2020, 02:32:05 AM
Merited by frodocooper (5)
 #9

No need to get a lawyer. Just contact the Pennsylvania Utility Commission and the Attorney General. They'd be fined and/or shutdown after enough complaints and it wouldn't require spending a dime. I don't know your exact situation, but they probably had a cancellation provision like almost every other supplier that says they can cancel your contract for any reason at any time. There's a difference if they canceled your contract and offered a new rate versus if they just jacked up the rate out of nowhere in a fixed contract and expected you to pay the bill. All you would do is just not pay them, dispute the bill immediately, and make them take you to court. I did this with a gas supplier I had a will-call contract with who decided to start delivering whenever they felt like it and jacked up the price at the same time. I won in court at their expense and made them pick up their empty tank.

I know the AG and PUC went after multiple electric suppliers several years ago and those were mostly related to telemarketing calls and door to door sales where people just didn't read the contracts and were promised savings. The companies still got fined millions and/or had to issue refunds, some in multiple states.
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January 07, 2020, 03:31:48 AM
Merited by frodocooper (3)
 #10

No need to get a lawyer. Just contact the Pennsylvania Utility Commission and the Attorney General. They'd be fined and/or shutdown after enough complaints and it wouldn't require spending a dime. I don't know your exact situation, but they probably had a cancellation provision like almost every other supplier that says they can cancel your contract for any reason at any time. There's a difference if they canceled your contract and offered a new rate versus if they just jacked up the rate out of nowhere in a fixed contract and expected you to pay the bill. All you would do is just not pay them, dispute the bill immediately, and make them take you to court. I did this with a gas supplier I had a will-call contract with who decided to start delivering whenever they felt like it and jacked up the price at the same time. I won in court at their expense and made them pick up their empty tank.

I know the AG and PUC went after multiple electric suppliers several years ago and those were mostly related to telemarketing calls and door to door sales where people just didn't read the contracts and were promised savings. The companies still got fined millions and/or had to issue refunds, some in multiple states.

The pucag has a 1/5 star rating on facebook and tons of forums, they are worthless, good like with that lmfao.  No they either up your rate or you cancel without early term fee is what they offer.  That's how they get out of the contract.  Most of the cheap suppliers do this, it's all a bait and switch scam and if you don't reply/call to answer the mail or email they send, it auto adjusts to their higher rate that they set.  I highly recommend against any cheap PA suppliers.  Most are bait an switch scams or frauds with a horrid rating virtually everywhere you search.
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January 08, 2020, 04:35:29 AM
Last edit: January 08, 2020, 05:04:28 AM by mgoz
Merited by frodocooper (4)
 #11

they either up your rate or you cancel without early term fee is what they offer.  That's how they get out of the contract.  Most of the cheap suppliers do this, it's all a bait and switch scam and if you don't reply/call to answer the mail or email they send, it auto adjusts to their higher rate that they set.

Even with no unexpected usage claims and early cancellation on their behalf, that's pretty much how every single contract works through PA Power Switch, which is controlled by the PUC. It's only a bait and switch if you don't cancel before initial term ends. Amazon does the same thing with Prime. People can be taken advantage of if they don't read and fully understand what they are agreeing to prior to switching. Most of the bad ratings I've seen from suppliers I've been with were from people not reading the contract and letting it renew, sometimes switching from fixed to variable or whatever is in the renewal terms or letter they send prior. Nobody should let any of these contracts renew unless they want to get robbed.

I think you'd have a hard time with any suppliers using 20,000 kWh/month on residential. You might be better off switching to commercial but they usually have demand charges that could make it more expensive.
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January 16, 2020, 01:25:01 AM
Merited by frodocooper (2)
 #12

Only partial billing month since switching, but savings was a little over $100. My default supplier jacked their rates up $0.01 kWh so should be even more savings next month when fully on new supplier. Taking my chances with them and throwing some Z9's back online. When I checked quotes for my address now it's only $140 instead of $225  Cry lol
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