While not necessarily the most riveting story in Pennsylvania's rich history, the deregulation of the energy market is an important aspect of the state's history in part because Pennsylvania was one of the first states to encourage competition between energy companies.
The process began in 1994 when the Public Utilities Commission formally began to investigate how competition in the energy sphere affected the overall market. The commission's findings were published as The Report and Recommendation on Electric Competition.
Following this study, the state assembly passed the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act in 1996. When the bill became law it included rate cap provisions to protect consumers from market volatility until 2011. During the time between 1996 and 2011, rate caps were removed in individual utility regions one after another, allowing for true competition to exist.
After successfully deregulating the electricity market, the Pennsylvania assembly turned toward the state's natural gas market. The Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act was passed in 1999 and for the first time Pennsylvania residents were able to choose which companies supplied their electricity and natural gas commodities.
Energy deregulation in Pennsylvania is different than some other states that have embraced a similar focus on competition. Most importantly, residents can opt to continue purchasing their commodities through their utility companies. This default service is available to everyone, but it can be one of the least competitive options.
Energy deregulation is now a tried and tested part of life in Pennsylvania, and is sure to be here for years to come. If you're not sure how to make the most of the system's perks, take a few minutes to do some research on this site. You'll have a grasp on your power to choose in no time!