Frequently Asked Questions about Switching Electric and Gas Suppliers in New Jersey
What is an electric supplier? gas supplier?
These are competitive companies that simply generate your electric or gas supply. In New Jersey, you can choose from several competitive electric and gas suppliers.
Are all electric and gas suppliers approved by the state?
All New Jersey electric and gas suppliers must be licensed by the Department of Utility Control.
Why should I shop for electricity or gas?
By lowering your generation or supply rate by even one cent, you can save several hundred dollars a year or more depending upon your annual usage. You can save even more by switching both your electric and gas supplier.
Can you explain the deregulation of electricity in New Jersey?
New Jersey deregulated its’ energy policy in the late 1990’s allowing state residents and businesses to purchase their electricity or gas from an alternate supplier other than the utilities. Deregulation in New Jersey provides the opportunity to find competitive rate plans, choose the best plan for your needs and save money on your electric and gas bills.
How many people have switched electric suppliers in New Jersey?
The education and awareness about deregulation is still growing in New Jersey. Residents and businesses are learning that they have the option to choose from competitive electric and gas suppliers that offer generation or supply rates that are significantly more competitive than the utilities. Even with these competitive offers, currently only about 10% of electric customers have switched and only 6% of natural gas customers. Compare NJ energy rates.
Why are there so many different rates?
Each supplier negotiates their own contracts with wholesale power plants to generate power for their customers just like the utilities do resulting in several different rates provided by suppliers.
What is the "price to compare"?
The price to compare (PTC) is the price per unit that your utility distribution company charges. As you shop for electricity or natural gas plans on MaketheSwitchUSA.com, you will see the Price to Compare above the comparison chart in the top right which is used to estimate your savings based on your recent usage.
Will my utility be upset if I choose a competitive supplier?
No. The utilities encourage customers to obtain lower rates since lower energy costs benefit everyone in New Jersey.
What will my new supplier do?
Your new supplier will handle the generation of your energy supply while your local utility will continue to be responsible for the distribution and delivery of your power along with maintenance, billing and customer service needs.
What are the different sections of my electric or gas bill?
Your utility bill generally breaks down into supply and delivery charges. The supply charge reflects the cost to generate the energy that you consume and is the section of your bill you are affecting when switching suppliers.
Can everyone shop for a supplier?
All residents of New Jersey have the power to choose their electric or gas supplier. However, competitive offers may not be available in all areas. Check for competitive offers.
Do I have to pay a deposit?
What is a variable rate?
A variable rate is a rate that may fluctuate on a monthly basis based upon current market conditions.
What will cause your variable rate to change?
Wholesale market conditions are the biggest reason rates could go up or down.
How often can the variable rate change?
Variable rates generally only change once a month, if it changes at all, and will be reflected on your utility bill.
How will I know if the supplier I have selected changes their rate?
If you choose a variable plan, you will know if the rate has changed by referencing the generation rate on your bill.
What is a fixed rate?
A fixed rate is a rate that you can lock into for a specific duration of time. Fixed rate plans are generally offered for 6 months to 1 year.
What do I do when the expiration comes up on a fixed rate plan?
Suppliers will generally notify you a month or two before the plan expiration date to see if you want to continue on a new fixed rate they are offering. If you don’t respond, you will automatically be renewed or you can switch suppliers at that time.
Will I get two bills?
Generally, you will still receive only one bill from the utility you currently have reflecting your new supplier. However, in some cases the supplier may bill directly. This will be noted in the plan details when comparing plans.
Do I have to call the utility and tell them to switch my supplier?
No. Your new supplier will notify the utility that you have chosen their company as your new gas or electric supplier.
What if I have a contract?
Unless you're able to get a release from your current contract, you should adhere to any previous contractual obligations you have with your current supplier.
Who do I call if my power goes out or I have an emergency?
You still call the public utility if your service goes out or you have any other repair issues.
Atlantic City Electric: 1-800-642-3780
Jersey Central Power & Light: 1-800-662-3115
Orange Rockland Electric: 1-877-434-4100
Elizabethtown Gas: 1-800-242-5830
To report a gas leak: 1-800-492-4009
New Jersey Natural Gas: 1-800-221-0051
To report a gas leak: 1-800-427-5325
To report a gas leak: 1-800-436-7734
South Jersey Gas: 1-888-766-9900
To report a gas leak: 1-800-582-7060
If I cancel do I have to pay a fee or penalty?
If you have previously switched suppliers and are not sure of their cancellation policy, it is a good idea to contact them to find out if there is a cancellation fee before switching to another supplier.
I have a deposit with my utility company, will I get that back?
You will need to contact your utility to discuss this.
How long will it take before my service begins with a new supplier?
It can take 1-2 billing cycles to reflect your new supplier and rate on your bill. Once you enroll, it can take a few business days for your new supplier to process and verify your account with the utility. After that, you will officially be switched following your next meter reading.
When I switch do they need to install a new meter?
No, you can continue to use the meter you have.
When I switch suppliers is there a disruption of power?
There will be no interruption in service from switching suppliers.
Are there higher rates during peak hours?
No. The plans offered generally have one flat rate throughout the day. There are very few with on-peak and off-peak rates but it will be reflected in the chart when you compare plans.
Will I get a confirmation when I enroll online?
Yes, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of your enrollment outlining the supplier you have selected, the details of your plan and the customer service information for your new supplier.
Can we sign up for a competitive supplier if our new address hasn't been activated yet through the utility?
No. A current utility account must be in place before you are able to make the switch.
Can we switch suppliers if we're on a budget billing plan or energy assistance?
Yes. Residential customers may contact their utility and/or supplier and request budget billing at any time. Most suppliers offer budget billing, which allows you to pay a fixed amount each month.