Electric Choice in PA
GIVING CONSUMERS A CHOICE
Pennsylvania consumers have had the option of choosing their electric service provider for nearly 25 years, as part of the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996. Before the state law allowing customers to choose took effect, Pennsylvania had some of the highest electricity prices in the country. Since then, prices have lowered and stabilized, but the full intent of the law was never realized.
Electric choice in Pennsylvania isn’t keeping up with consumer demands, technology and market trends.
Residential customers have switched electricity suppliers.*
Commercial customers have switched electricity suppliers.*
Industrial customers have switched electricity suppliers.*
CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE MADE THE SWITCH IN PA
TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION:
Managed by utility companies like PECO, PPL, PennPower, Penelec, Met-Ed.
The state’s 1996 electric choice act deemed it in the best interest of the public for transmission (or the movement of large amounts of high voltage electricity across long distances) and distribution (the building and operating of poles, wires, and substations) to remain a “natural monopoly” subject to regulation and oversight by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE
State and national retail supply companies.
Opening the electricity market increased competition among suppliers, those that procure electricity on your behalf. That means you can compare plans and maximize aspects that matter most to you, whether that is contract length, price, green energy, cash back, flexibility, or any other factors that best fit the way you use electricity.
UNDERSTANDING PA'S ELECTRICITY MARKET
Right now, your electric bill is broken up into two parts:
HERE'S THE PROBLEM
Consumers who don’t choose their electricity supplier—roughly three-fourths of all residential customers—automatically default to their utility company. That means regulated monopolies have little incentive to invest in innovation, efficiency, or customer service. Plus, they lean on ratepayers to recoup production losses.
On the other hand, competitive retail suppliers must innovate, enhance efficiency, seek lower customer costs, offer creative renewable energy plans, and manage risk on behalf of consumers while bearing any cost increases, unlike utilities that pass on those costs to customers. Customer service is paramount, with suppliers focused on giving consumers greater control to pick the electricity plan that makes the most sense for them
In a truly competitive market, YOUR needs must be met.
According to a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission report, “Electric Service Reliability in Pennsylvania, 2019,” electrical outages are on the upswing: “The reliability performance and resilience of the overall Pennsylvania electrical distribution system are trending negative.” In plain English, that means your lights are more likely to go out than they used to be. The utility commission recorded a record-high 52 “reportable outage events” in 2019, driven largely by severe thunderstorms in the spring and fall. In a truly competitive market, utilities would focus more on ensuring reliability in transmission and distribution, rather than the retail sale of electricity. A utility’s natural customer is the supplier, not the end-use customer.