Pennsylvania's retail choice program tracks growth despite December dip

Dive Brief:

  • Residential electric shopping in Pennsylvania declined on a statewide basis in December, according to Energy Choice Matters.

  • Residential electric shopping increased in Pennsylvania by an aggregate of nearly 1,100 accounts from late November to late December compared with an increase of 8,800 accounts from late October to late November. 

  • December’s decline followed an increase in November that was the highest monthly growth in residential electric shopping seen in the state since February 2014. The changes were driven by net declines in residential shopping at Penelec and West Penn Power, as well as a near-doubling in the decline of residential shopping at PPL. 

Dive Insight:

Despite a drop in December, Pennsylvania’s competitive electric market has had 14 consecutive months of growth, according to the state’s Public Utility Commission.

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

Retail choice became available in Pennsylvania after passage of the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996. A PUC survey on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of retail choice in the state found that the largest motivating factor behind switching is to lower monthly electricity bills.

“For two decades, Pennsylvania has stood on the national forefront of electric competition, putting the power of choice in the hands of consumers and giving them greater control of their electric bills,” PUC Chairman Gladys Brown said in a statement.

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response Regulation & Policy