Educational Materials

  • The Basics of Electric Service

    With electric choice, consumers can select the company that generates the power they buy. Competition among electric generation suppliers may bring cost savings to consumers.

    To make the best choices, you'll need to understand the different services you use and pay for when you receive electricity. These services include the following:

    • Generation: electricity is produced, or generated, at a power plant, also called a generating station.
    • Transmission: electricity transmitted on high-voltage lines from the power plant to areas where it will be used.
    • Distribution: the local distribution company, for instance Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L), uses its wires, transformers, substations, and other equipment to deliver the electricity to homes and businesses.

    Some people compare this system to the way consumer products, such as clothing and furniture, move from manufacturers to customers. Power plants are like the manufacturing plants and the transmission system compares to the system of wholesalers who provide products to retailers. The distribution system would be the retail stores that deliver products to customers.

    Your electric generation supplier will charge for the cost of generating electricity. The supplier also will charge you for the cost of getting the energy to our wires. JCP&L will charge you for the cost of delivering the electricity to you, as well as other costs, such as meter reading and billing.

    JCP&L will continue to provide the same services we have in the past, except that you now will be able to decide who supplies your electric generation. We'll continue to maintain and operate our transmission and distribution system. In addition, we'll continue to supply electric generation to customers who do not choose another supplier, and we'll continue to read meters, bill customers, resolve complaints and restore service if an outage occurs.

    For additional information about energy choice, call our Retail Choice Center toll-free at 1-888-478-2300.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • What Is New Jersey's Energy Choice Program?

      Now you can choose the company that provides your electric generation supply - just as you can shop for other products and services. The New Jersey Energy Choice program provides information to help you make the decision that is right for you.

      Many things, including delivery, remain the same. For example, if you choose a third-party supplier, Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) will continue to deliver the electric service to your home or business. And if your power goes out, you should still call JCP&L.

      The most important benefit of energy choice is that it lets you shop for your electric generation supplier. This gives you the opportunity to choose a supplier based on what is important to you. For example, you might simply want the lowest price, so you would select the supplier with the lowest charge. Or, you might want to make a choice based on how the electric generation supply is produced.


    • What Is My Price To Compare?

      The Price to Compare is the price consumers pay for Basic Generation Service (BGS) from Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L). The Price to Compare includes the cost of energy, capacity, transmission, ancillary services, line losses, state tax and a financial incentive to encourage customers to shop for electric generation supply.

      Customers will save money if they can find a third-party supplier to sell them electricity and transmission service for a price that is less than the Price to Compare - that is, less than the price for BGS. JCP&L customers can call the Retail Choice Center toll-free at 1-888-478-2300 to obtain their Price to Compare.


    • How Do I Know If A Third-Party Supplier Is Reputable?

      New Jersey's electric competition law requires all third-party suppliers to be licensed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). These suppliers must meet strict reliability standards and BPU requirements that protect consumers. These requirements include maintaining an office in the state and agreeing to meet federal and regional reliability standards.

    • Will My Electric Service Continue To Be Reliable?

      Yes. Regardless of which company supplies you with electric generation, local distribution companies, like Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L), will continue to deliver your electricity. This service is regulated by federal and state agencies to ensure that the reliability and safety of your electric service adheres to strict standards.

    • Whom Do I Call If My Power Goes Off?

      Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) is responsible for restoring service during outages to all customers in our service area regardless of which supplier they choose. Call JCP&L toll-free at 1-888-544-4877 to report a power outage.

    • Who Will Read My Electric Meter And Bill Me For The Electricity I Use?

      Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) will continue to read electric meters for all customers within our service area. JCP&L customers who purchase their electricity from a third-party supplier can choose to receive one bill from JCP&L that includes their supplier's charges (subject to satisfactory bill payment history) or to receive separate bills - one from JCP&L and one from their supplier. JCP&L customers who do not choose a supplier will continue to receive one bill from JCP&L that reflects all charges for their electric service.

      JCP&L customers who are purchasing their electricity from a third-party supplier should call the Retail Choice Center toll-free at 1-888-478-2300 with questions about JCP&L charges. Customers should call their supplier with questions about its charges. JCP&L customers who are not purchasing electricity from a third-party supplier should call toll-free, 1-800-662-3115, with concerns about their entire bill.


    • Will I Be Eligible For Programs That Protect Consumers And Provide Financial Assistance For Electric Bills If I Choose Another Supplier?

      Yes. Programs that assist low-income consumers who meet the eligibility requirements will continue. For general information about saving money on your energy bill, call Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) toll-free at 1-800-823-6462. For information on weatherization, call JCP&L toll-free, at 1-800-207-9276, or the Office of Weatherization, Department of Community Affairs, at 1-609-292-6140.

    • What Is Basic Generation Service?

      Basic Generation Service (BGS) is the default service provided to consumers who do not choose a third-party supplier or who cannot find a supplier willing to sell them electricity. Through a competitive auction process, Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) procures electric generation supply to meet the needs of our BGS customers.

    • What Is Slamming?

      When a consumer is switched from their current electric generation supplier without their authorization, it's called slamming. The electric competition law makes slamming illegal in New Jersey. The law includes a number of provisions to prevent slamming, such as requiring third-party suppliers to obtain written authorization from customers. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), in consultation with the Division of Consumer Affairs, also has issued standards that protect customers from slamming.

  • Types of Electric Suppliers

    The third-party supplier you choose might be a firm located in New Jersey or elsewhere in the U.S. If you decide not to choose a supplier right away, Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) will continue to supply your electric generation until you do. The following are some of the types of third-party suppliers.

    • Aggregator - A buying group/organization that negotiates prices for a group of customers or a company that purchases a product, such as energy, in bulk for resale to retail customers.
    • Electricity (or Power) Marketer - A company that acts as a coordinator or broker, and obtains energy from any source or combination of sources, including independent generators, utility system power or spot purchases, for delivery to a utility or end user.
    • Electricity Supplier - A company that sells electric supply and services, such as billing or metering services.

    All third-party suppliers must be licensed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), including municipalities and boroughs that want to provide service outside their municipal limits. Rural electric cooperatives must have a certificate to supply service outside their areas. All licensed suppliers will be required to furnish a bond that will ensure their financial responsibility and the supply of electricity to satisfy their contracts.

  • Competition Law Summary

    New Jersey’s electric competition law provides that all consumers may choose their electric generation supplier. Consumers who do not choose a third-party supplier will continue to have their electric generation supplied by their local distribution company - such as Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L).

    Visit the New Jersey Office of State Legislative Services Web site, or select the following link for more information about New Jersey’s electric competition law:

    For additional information about energy choice, call our Retail Choice Center toll-free at 1-888-478-2300.

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