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Comparisons the key in Pennsylvania electricity market

Many different factors go into deciding to switch electricity providers, from the price to the length of the contract. But KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano notes that the key to saving on electricity bills ultimately is to actually comparing electricity rates.

Often, Delano points out, customers are too intimidated by the seeming complexity of the marketplace to begin shopping for an alternative electricity provider.

But the variety of options is ultimately the point of electricity deregulation. The large number of different providers, each with its own unique plan, allow residents and businesses the opportunity to find a plan that saves them money while fitting their specific circumstances.

Delano points to some that can actually offer compelling deals without actually giving the lowest electricity rates. Houston-based Direct Energy offers a plan that never reaches below a full cent per kilowatt-hour above some other electricity suppliers' rates, but it also never rises any higher than 15 percent below the utility company's base rate. reports that more than 1.5 million Pennsylvania customers have already chosen to switch electricity providers, including more than 1.3 million residents, and many of them are saving substantially in the process.