Log In To Your Account
Username:
First time users may still use an email address from the old website to login. Upon logging in, you will be prompted to create a username.
[Click to close]

Supplier FAQs


Supplier Information


How will I know which suppliers are interested in providing service in my area?
A list of licensed suppliers for Duquesne Light customers is available on this
website. (www.papowerswitch.com) Suppliers may also contact you directly to market their services.

How do I find out supplier prices?
Suppliers can provide this information. The list of licensed suppliers for Duquesne Light customers provided on this web site includes toll-free numbers and web addresses. You can use this information to contact different suppliers and compare their prices.

If suppliers contact you directly -- either by phone or by mail -- they must be able to quote you a price.

Which supplier is cheapest?
This is something you must investigate for yourself. Only you can decide what is the best plan for you. The cost per kilowatt-hour may not be your only consideration. Some companies may charge a monthly fee. (You may be offered a month of free service at the end of an agreement.) Some people may only want energy from suppliers who generate electricity from renewable sources, which could cost more, but better suit your needs.

How long have the suppliers been in business?
Many suppliers began participating in the pilot program in November/December 1997. They are all licensed by the PA PUC. Some suppliers have been in business for years, others are newly formed. This is a newly developing market. The most important point to remember is that Duquesne Light will have electric service available if a supplier fails to deliver electricity.



Price To Compare


What is the 'price to compare'?
This is the kilowatt-hour (kWh) amount a consumer uses to compare prices and potential savings among generation suppliers. See your current Duquesne Light price to compare here.

How do I figure out savings?
To estimate potential monthly savings, subtract the supplier's price from the price to compare from Duquesne Light. Then, multiply the difference by the average number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you use in a month.

Additionally, when comparing prices, it's also important to consider the effect of time-of-day pricing or other offers. If a supplier offers a discount, be sure to find out what part of your bill that discount applies to (for example, does it apply to your entire bill or just the generation charge?). Click here to figure out your savings.



Participation


What questions should I ask a supplier before making a choice?
You should ask questions that help you make a choice based on what is important to you. If it interests you, ask about the source of supply. If you are interested in billing options, make sure you get a clear explanation of any option available to you. If you are interested in time-of-day rates, ask if a supplier offers time-of-day rates.

If I sign up with a new supplier, when will the switch to that company happen?
Generally, it will take about 45 days from the time you notify your new supplier for the actual switch to occur.



Changing Suppliers


How can I change suppliers?
If you still want to change suppliers, simply contact the new supplier. (You should review your agreement with your supplier to see if there are any penalties for early cancellation. If your agreement provides for a penalty, you must decide if this risk is acceptable. There may also be a charge for changing suppliers.)

Your new supplier will notify Duquesne Light of the change. We will contact you by mail to make sure you requested the change in supplier. Your electric service will not be interrupted when you change suppliers. However, if you violate the terms of a supplier agreement, the supplier could take legal action to enforce the agreement.

Also, you should negotiate terms with your new supplier of choice. Perhaps that new supplier may offer to pay any switching fees.

Is there a penalty for changing suppliers?
There may be a penalty written into the terms of your supplier agreement. You should read that document carefully. You must be aware that this is a legal agreement that is enforceable through legal process.



Billing Information


Will I receive two electric bills each month if I choose a new supplier?
Some electric generation suppliers might want to bill you separately. This is a question you should ask suppliers when shopping.

Will Duquesne Light charge me more for "other services" if I change suppliers?
Duquesne Light cannot increase any charges based on your selection of an alternative supplier.

Will I be charged taxes on the generation portion of the bill?
Yes. Taxes are embedded in the rate charged by a supplier. Most of the same taxes that Duquesne Light was required to pay will be charged by the supplier. However, they may not be itemized like they were on Duquesne Light's bill.

Can I be in the Electric Choice Program and still benefit from a time of day rate?
Perhaps. You must be very sure to compare the rates you are being charged for off-peak service with the rate you will be charged from a competitive supplier. You may not realize as much benefit from generation competition as other customers if you already have a specially reduced rate on your off-peak meter.



Slamming


How can I guard against slamming?
Preventative measures have been taken to protect you from slamming. First, your chosen supplier must send you the terms of your agreement in writing. After receiving this, you may cancel your agreement for any reason within three days. Second, if Duquesne Light receives notification of a supplier change, we will send you a confirmation letter that you must respond to in 5 days if the information is incorrect. During that 5-day interval your account will be restored without penalty if you notify Duquesne Light that you did not authorize the change of supplier.



Restructuring


I've heard talk about 'transition charges' and 'stranded costs.' What are these and how do they affect me?
Stranded costs are expenses for utility plants and equipment that were built in a regulated market and are not cost-effective in a competitive electric market. The PUC allows companies to recover some of these costs through a transition charge on electric customer bills. Although these costs have been itemized on your electric bill since February 1999, they are not new charges. Most of these costs have been part of your regulated electric rates. As a result of the successful completion of Duquesne's generation auction, the company's transition period ended for most of our residential customer in March of 2002. This resulted in an average monthly savings of 16%. Residential electric and add-on heat pump customers will see their transition charges eliminated at a later date. This was shortest transition period out of all the electric utilities in Pennsylvania.

Do we have to pay stranded costs if we are buying generation from a supplier?
Yes. Stranded costs have nothing to do with who provides the generation portion of your service. All customers who receive power over Duquesne Light's transmission and distribution system will pay stranded costs as approved by the PUC. These costs disappeared for many Duquesne Light customers in March 2002. As a result, the average residential customer received a rate reduction of over approximately 16%, assuming the customer continues to purchase power at the shopping credit level.



Energy Assistance


Will LIHEAP/CRISIS program payments cover supplier charges?
Before LIHEAP/CRISIS payments can be made to any qualified service provider, they must have an agreement with the PA Department of Welfare (DPW). Duquesne Light does have an agreement with DPW but is not permitted to forward program money to any other entity. As a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you have a credit with Duquesne Light Company yet owe the supplier money.



Renewable Resources


Which suppliers use renewables?
Some suppliers will advertise that they use renewable resources. Some will have a mix of sources. Each supplier should be able to tell you the percent of generation they sell that is from renewable resources. You can find out more about renewable resources from the Clean Air Council by calling 717-230-8806 or visiting their web site at www.cleanair.org.



Metering


Will I need a special meter if I choose a new supplier?
In most cases, no. You might, however, choose to have an advanced meter, which can record your electric use during specific time periods. If a supplier offers this service, advanced metering could allow you to benefit from special time-of-day discounts or other potential ways to save money. You should ask a supplier, however, whether there is a charge for the advanced meter.

Will Duquesne Light continue to be responsible for my meter?
In most cases, yes.



Service


Who will I call if I have an outage?
You should call Duquesne Light at 412-393-7000 immediately to report power outages and to request repairs.

Who do I contact if I want to discontinue service?
You should notify Duquesne Light to request discontinuance. If you are moving within Duquesne Light's service territory, you can arrange for your new Duquesne Light service at the same time.

You should notify your supplier of the same information. In turn, the supplier will notify Duquesne Light to re-establish your contract at your new address. It is important to remember that you are required to return to Duquesne Light's generation service for the first billing period at your new location.

What happens if I move outside Duquesne Light's service territory?
If you are moving out of Duquesne Light Company's service territory, you need to notify your supplier of your move. Your supplier can tell you if they can provide you with service at your new location.



General


Do I have to switch from my present electric company?
No.

Can I go back to my utility company for generation?
Yes, but you should be aware that there could be penalties or fees for breaking the terms of your agreement with your electric generation supplier.