The First Energy New Jersey Utility Jersey Central Power & Light (JCPL) announced their default prices for the next twelve months. Since the inception of New Jersey energy choice JCPL has followed the same pattern of changing their default rates, known as ‘Basic Generation Service Rates’. Customers on the basic generation service rate see their price for electricity change each year on the first of June and October. For the period June through September of 2017 residential customers will pay $0.087137 for the first 600 KWh and then $0.096384 for all remaining KWh. The winter rates which go into effect on October 1 will be $0.096992 for all consumption amounts which will be a big increase for small customers living in one and two bedroom apartments.
Basic generation service default rates effect customers who are not purchasing their energy supply needs from a competitive New Jersey supplier. Through New Jersey energy choice JCPL customers have the option to opt out of the BGS default rate and choose a competitive rate plan. The current competitive electricity marketplace is producing rates that are well below the default rates which can lead to large electric bill savings for those customers who have not searched for lower electricity prices. Upon selecting a competitive electricity supplier the rate selected simply replaces the JCPL default price.
Current competitive rates are as much as 17% lower than the JCPL basic generation service rate according to electricrate.com. Despite the large savings potential switch rate for residential customers was only 20% for the JCPL service area according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities April 2017 statistics. With a residential customer pool of 989,741 roughly 791,000 of them are paying more for their electricity than is needed. For business customers the switch percentage is 38.7% in the JCPL area, which is the highest in the state among the four major utilities.