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Is this $100 gift card offer I got in the mail real? | FOX43 Finds Out

People are getting $100 Visa gift cards in the mail from an energy company. FOX43 Finds Out there's a catch before you can spend that money.

RED LION, Pa. — A woman from York County opened her mailbox to find a $100 dollar Visa gift card offer. It looks legitimate, but also maybe too good to be true.

The woman from Red Lion contacted FOX43 to see if this is a real offer. It is, but there's a catch, and it's all related to your energy bill. 

In Pennsylvania, you can shop for your energy supplier. It's something a lot of people have done with energy prices soaring lately.

In this case, this offer is for Met-Ed customers if they pick SmartEnergy as their supplier. 

FOX43 Finds Out contacted SmartEnergy and we were told that the $100 gift card will only be activated when someone signs up for a 6-month contract with the company. 

Seems like a pretty sweet deal, right?

Before you sign up, check the price to compare. That's how much you pay per kilowatt hour on your electric bill. Sometimes these offers will save you money and sometimes they'll cost you. It all depends on where you live and how much energy you use. 

By the way, these types of incentives from energy suppliers are nothing new. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission says it's pretty common and legal for these companies to offer gift cards, airline miles, Netflix subscriptions, and many other things when people sign up. Just don't let that immediate offer overshadow what you might be paying in the long run.

Why is this particular offer happening now? It's because that price to compare just changed.

Met-Ed's price just went up on Sept. 1, which means those customers who don't shop for a supplier will likely pay, on average, about 10% percent more on their next bill. Here's what Met-Ed had to say about that price increase:

"For non-shopping customers, Met-Ed's residential price to compare effective Sept. 1 will increase about 18% from 7.94 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 9.4 cents per kWh. For the typical residential Met-Ed customer using 750 kWh of electricity per month, the monthly bill would rise from $105.72 to $116.68 for an overall bill increase of 10.36%. (Keep in mind that roughly 50% of the Met-Ed electric bill is for the electricity itself (the price to compare that changes), and the other half is for us to deliver power to homes and businesses through our wires (distribution rates that do not change quarterly)."

If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com. 

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