Pennsylvania ranks second in electricity competition

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The announcement, made in a PUC news release, was based on the 2015 Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS).

“From accelerated switching to our newly redesigned PAPowerSwitch website — there are clear reasons why Pennsylvania continues to shine as a haven for competitive retail shopping,” said Robert F. Powelson, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and member of the ABACCUS Advisory Board.

“My colleagues and I are very excited to see continued progress with retail offers and new market enhancement programs that are driving further competition in the market.

“Further, we are committed in Pennsylvania to maintaining the long-term viability of the marketplace.”

Pennsylvania ranked No. 3 overall (No. 2 excluding Canadian provinces) in the ABACCUS report for residential electricity choice and moved up from No. 4 to a tie with Illinois for No. 2 for commercial and industrial electric shopping.

As of the end of June, more than 2 million total Pennsylvania electricity customers (or 35.8 percent) switched to an electric supplier.

The report highlights and its inclusion of fixed, variable and renewable products; the PUC’s 2014 implementation of accelerated switching; last year’s action to require a supplier contract summary highlighting key terms and conditions; and last year’s PUC direction to include suppliers’ logos and additional supplier messaging space on the electric utility bill.

ABACCUS 2015 includes best practices states should follow, including one related to Pennsylvania’s PAPowerSwitch shopping website and consumer education:

  • Educate residential consumers and make information about power markets accessible:
  • Create a comprehensive education plan that reflects how far the markets have progressed.
  • Create a website for residential consumers that is easy to use, up-to-date and includes comparison data regarding price, fixed-price contract term, renewable content, deposit/cancellation fees, and other pertinent consumer information.

According to the 2015 report, “Workable retail electric competition can thrive under a range of market structures and policies. Pennsylvania, Illinois and Texas – just to name a few – demonstrate there is more than one way to bring a choice of energy supplier, new and innovative services, and lower prices to retail customers.”

ABACCUS is a scorecard designed to highlight the best market structures, policies and business practices that support and sustain a high level of market performance and individual customer choice in the retail electricity sector.

ABACCUS is released by Distributed Energy Financial Group LLC (DEFG).

Copies of the full report are available at on the DEFG website.

The PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

Pennsylvania ranks second in electricity competition