The Price to Compare, also known in some states as “the price to beat”, is the price per kWh that customers pay to their electric utility company for the electricity supply portion of their electric bill. It’s important to know this amount when you go shopping for the best electricity deal from a Third Party Supplier (TPS) in New Jersey.
The actual price comes partly from the Basic Generation Service (BGS) charge. Because local utilities are required to provide electrical service to customers who do not switch to a TPS, local utilities are required to provide electricity at a rate that is consistent with market conditions. Utilities buy their electricity load supply at auctions held in February. These auctions are overseen by the Board of Public Utilities and the resulting rates (tariffs) for each utility includes wholesale market prices, and related transmission, capacity, ancillary and administrative costs — all of which must be approved by the Board of Public Utilities.
Utilities use somewhat differing methods to determine their price to compare. For example, some use averages based on the class of customer (residential vs business or industrial), some estimate usage depending on the class of customer. You can find the current Price to Compare for each New Jersey electric utility below:
Because third party suppliers are not public utilities, their rates do not need to be approved by the Board of Public Utilities. Since their rates are set according to the wholesale markets, TPS are able to take advantage of more options in purchasing their supply such as setting up hedges against spiking summer prices or buying on the PJM Real Time Energy Market. TPSs are more flexible and often can readily offer their customers cheap electricity compared to the local utilities’ Basic Generation Service.