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Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,623,555 times
Reputation: 1639

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A year ago, I switched electric providers to Respond Power. I read the part of the variable rate, but, what the heck, you can always switch out if they go up. On January, I got a bill with 13/kWh which is higher than PPL. But I decided to wait and see where it would go. On February it went up to 20/kWh. That pretty much sealed the deal for me and I called to switch back to PPL. Guess what? The switch can take up to 45 days to process. The funny thing is that the switch into Respond was processed by the next bill. Today I opened the bill to find out that they're charging me 40/kWh (39.99 to be exact). The current PPL rate is 8.7/kWh. And I might still have another month to go.

I am a conservative who believes in free market principles, but this company, and others like it, are just begging for the government to step in and regulate the hell out of them.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,146 posts, read 8,445,131 times
Reputation: 3411
The current alternative utility companies operates on a similar principles to what CC company used to do with "bait and switch". They will charge with whatever rate they wish once you are not in a locked contract. Their trick is to not raise it much once you are not locked to give you a false sense of security. Then they hit you with outrageous rate after that and will get a chance to do that for another 1-2 billing cycles. The government do need to step in and put a cap on the variable rates.

What you can do now is get a meter reading from your meter and submit it to your provider. Some will allow you to submit it online. Whether that forces the billing with the 3rd party company to end, I am not sure. Otherwise, up to 45 days is because they end the contract after your next reading.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Throop, PA
693 posts, read 749,814 times
Reputation: 1653
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
A year ago, I switched electric providers to Respond Power. I read the part of the variable rate, but, what the heck, you can always switch out if they go up. On January, I got a bill with 13/kWh which is higher than PPL. But I decided to wait and see where it would go. On February it went up to 20/kWh. That pretty much sealed the deal for me and I called to switch back to PPL. Guess what? The switch can take up to 45 days to process. The funny thing is that the switch into Respond was processed by the next bill. Today I opened the bill to find out that they're charging me 40/kWh (39.99 to be exact). The current PPL rate is 8.7/kWh. And I might still have another month to go.

I am a conservative who believes in free market principles, but this company, and others like it, are just begging for the government to step in and regulate the hell out of them.
I don't see how you were "screwed". You read and understood the contract and signed it anyway. That is not getting screwed anymore than you screwed PPL by dumping them.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:03 PM
 
37,072 posts, read 38,476,224 times
Reputation: 14846
Trucker you took a bet an lost. If it went down would you be complaining? The natural gas prices have a very large part to do with this. Back in '12 where it was about $2/MMBtu is where it was flirting with the cost of coal.






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Old 03-20-2014, 07:09 PM
 
37,072 posts, read 38,476,224 times
Reputation: 14846
Here's an article from last year that may perhaps shed some light on what you are seeing:
Quote:

On Feb. 9, the temperature in Boston dipped 15 degrees below freezing. Much of New England was under the white embrace of a brutal nor'easter, and electric utilities and gas companies struggled to keep their power lines pumping heat and light.

The utilities fought each other for natural gas, which supplies more than 50 percent of electric plants in that area. And while widespread blackouts were avoided, in the end, the prices of both electricity and heat quadrupled when they were most needed.

That is a cautionary tale for Pennsylvania and the electric grid that serves it -- Valley Forge-based PJM Interconnection, which is expecting an influx of new, gas-fired power plants and the retirement of more than a dozen coal plants over the next several years.

When gas is used for electricity and also for heat, there needs to be enough space in the pipeline to serve both masters.

Read more: Natural gas now serves two masters: electricity and heat - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,623,555 times
Reputation: 1639
The thing that I'm wondering, is, if generation prices increased so dramatically, then how can PPL charge 8.7/kWh and stay in business? They seem to be doing just fine. Regarding Respond Power, they better be able to justify a 500% increase in rates.

Press: The Attorney General's Press Office - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Quote:
Many factors may contribute to increased electric prices, including increased usage during a particularly cold winter season and rate fluctuations. Attorney General Kane noted, however, that price gouging - increasing prices above any increased costs - during a state of emergency is prohibited in Pennsylvania. Governor Corbett declared a state of emergency on Feb. 5, 2014.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:09 PM
 
37,072 posts, read 38,476,224 times
Reputation: 14846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucker7 View Post
The thing that I'm wondering, is, if generation prices increased so dramatically, then how can PPL charge 8.7/kWh and stay in business? They seem to be doing just fine. Regarding Respond Power, they better be able to justify a 500% increase in rates.

Press: The Attorney General's Press Office - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
I expect an increase in electric prices across the board and based on her record and gubernatorial aspirations the AG's concern is political. The variable rate is lower than what you would be paying for fixed rate *most* of the time. For the variable rate most likely these companies did not have contracts because by their nature they need the flexibility to adjust for the market. If it was contracted you wouldn't be able to pass on savings to the consumer either, it's a two way street.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,623,555 times
Reputation: 1639
I get your point. My savings were, at most, 1-2/kWh and I was expecting that, at most, the price would stay within 5 of each other. Anyway, lesson learned, it's definitely not worth the gamble.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,689 posts, read 3,280,500 times
Reputation: 6558
I switched from Met Ed to Met Ed's own discount-rate company. So I am saving money and I still have Met Ed.

Having lived through the "slamming era" in the early 90's where fly-by-night long distance carriers would "slam" people without consent, I was wary of companies I had never heard of.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:37 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 2,663,674 times
Reputation: 3016
Respond Power, an outfit based in Roanoke, TX, has a history of shady business practices. I wouldn't be surprised if the company's owners got their training at another Texas Company, Enron.

My generation supplier is Con Ed Solutions. I pay $0.0785 per KW-HR and it's a fixed price all year round.
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