Pennsylvania sees number of retail choice customers drop in May

Dive Brief:

  • Pennsylvania's energy choice program took a bit of a decline last month, registering a net decline of 4,800 to the number of customers choosing a competitive supply option.
  • According to Energy Choice Matters, the May decline was the largest since September 2015; however, the drop two years ago was significantly larger: 22,000 customers stopped purchasing from a competitive supplier that month.
  • While PECO accounted for most of the decline, reporting about fewer 3,200 customers purchasing from an alternative supplier, PPL saw an increase of about 107.

Dive Insight:

Most electric utilities operating in Pennsylvania adjusted their electric generation prices charged to default service customers earlier this month, an event which often triggers customer changes. But the Public Utilities Commission's reminder notes several large increases in the "price to compare," including more than 14% at PPL.

“The upcoming price changes, combined with the increase use of electricity that we typically see during the long, hot days of summer, makes this a very good time for consumers to evaluate their energy options,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown. “We encourage consumers to carefully review their electric bills (and) understand the rates they will be paying."

PPL Electric's rate went from $0.07439/kWh to $0.08493/kWh, an increase of 14.2%. Penn Power's PTC was rising 13.4%,and West Penn Power PTC was rising 10.5%. Wellsboro Electric, Met-Ed and Citizens Electric all decreased the price to compare.

Retail choice became available in Pennsylvania after passage of the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996.

Brown noted that when generation prices change, suppliers get more aggressive in their marketing. “We urge consumers to be aware of all their energy shopping options and make informed decisions based on their specific needs,”Brown said, suggesting customers use the PUC’s site to confirm offer details.

Last November, about 37% of the state’s electricity customers were getting their electricity from competitive suppliers, a 3.5% increase over September 2015.

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Filed Under: Transmission & Distribution
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