On December 8, 2016 the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) celebrated the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996’s 20th anniversary. This act gave the state’s business and commercial electricity customers the option to choose their electricity supplier.
The Pennsylvania PUC is responsible for safe and reliable utility service and reasonable rates. The organization also balances the needs of consumers and utilities, protects public interest, encourages new technologies and competitive markets, educates consumers and more.
20 Years of Electric Choice in Pennsylvania
Attending the celebration early last month were current and past state leaders, agency and legislative staff, industry leaders and consumer advocates. PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown had the following to say about the occasion: “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.” She went on to say, “As a result of this historic legislation, millions of electricity customers have made choices and saved money, purchased renewable products and explored innovative new offers and plans.”
PA Commission Survey Results
As part of Chairman Brown’s remarks, she also revealed the results of a recent Commission survey. The survey showed that 94% of respondents understand that they have the option to shop for an electricity supplier. Out of the respondents that understand they have the option to switch electricity suppliers, 4 out of 10 stated that they themselves have switched electric suppliers.
Chairman Brown revealed that the survey included many other interesting findings. Some of these findings include:
- The biggest reason for a customer to switch electric suppliers is to decrease the total amount of a monthly electricity bill.
- Consumers between the ages of 45 to 64 claim that reduced electricity cost is a primary factor in making the switch (above the 18 to 44 and 65+ age groups).
- Of the customers who have made the switch, over 3/4 found that the process was very easy or extremely simple.
- Most of the customers who have not switched electricity suppliers say that it is because they are satisfied or happy with their current services.
PUC Competitive Market Stats
The result of this survey helps the Pennsylvania PUC to determine several important statistics regarding the competitive electricity market. Some of these stats include:
- Almost 2.9 million Pennsylvania electricity customers receive their electricity supply from a supplier.
- This is a 3.5% increase in number of shoppers compared to September 2015.
- Indicates 14 consecutive months of sustained growth from that time (September 2015).
PA Power Switch
Pennsylvania (PA) Power Switch is a site that aggregates consumer electric choice information regarding plans, rates and more. This site is one that many consumers seek out (in addition to ours, of course!) in order to determine whether or not switching to an electricity supplier is worth the effort.
Over the past 2 years, PA Power Switch has seen almost 1.9 million website visitors.
Based on the survey results:
- 70% of the site’s users think that the website is extremely/very simple to navigate.
- 85% of PA Power Switch visitors were extremely/very satisfied.
- 90% of consumers somewhat/strongly agree that PA Power Switch provides useful and helpful information.
Moving forward, the Pennsylvania PUC also announced that they will be applying upgrades to PA Power Switch. These upgrades will help to make the site completely responsive with any device (mobile, tablet, PC, etc.). These changes will also help in the following ways:
- Increase ease of navigation
- Enhance security
- Provide more information for consumers to learn more about offers and rates
- Consolidate pages
It goes without saying that we’re partial to the rates, plans, information, and support found on our own site, but PA Power Switch is still a good (official) source with rates and plans from providers around Pennsylvania. Of course, ElectricChoice.com doesn’t just offer rates and plans for Pennsylvania consumers, but consumers all throughout the United States including Texas, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, and many more.