While competition is part of the everyday experience for many things like cable, Internet, and cell phones, shopping for electricity is not common practice for most consumers.
Driven to lower energy costs and take advantage of innovations that competition brings, a high percentage of commercial (40%) and industrial (80%) consumers in Pennsylvania participate in the competitive power market for savings and control over their energy usage and monthly bills.
But as beneficial as electric choice has been since it was instituted 25 years ago, it is still severely underutilized, especially among residential customers. Fewer than a quarter of residential customers shop for their electricity.
So, what can we do to revitalize the competitive market to give consumers more (and better) options?
One meaningful but simple reform is instituting Supplier Consolidated Billing (SCB).
Customers prefer simplicity. SCB allows the retail supplier to consolidate all electricity costs into one bill (including utility costs) and invoice the customer directly.
Think about it this way: When you order a product from Amazon, you don’t get billed by FedEx or UPS separately for delivering the package. You get one bill from Amazon with the shipping charges included. Your electric bill should be no different when you order a product from an energy supplier.
Maryland has separated itself from other states by boldly embracing SCB. Pennsylvania should follow their lead.
Pennsylvania has a unique opportunity to unleash the true value of competition, but that means adopting commonsense reforms like Supplier Consolidated Billing.