It's an exciting time for the energy market in Pennsylvania. In February 2013 the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) announced that there are now more than 2 million electricity customers in Pennsylvania exercising their power to choose a retail supplier. Additionally, Pennsylvania has one of the healthiest deregulation models in the sheer number of retailers offering options to consumers across the state. The state has come a long way since first introducing deregulation to its energy market in the late 1990s. Let's take a look back at how far the state has come!

The introduction of the deregulated model

When the Pennsylvania legislature acted to deregulate the energy market, there was a lot of concern about price stability. Many people feared that the introduction of competitors and the removal of a bureaucratic system for setting prices would send the market into chaos. To promote stability, the legislature put price caps in place with an extended timetable for phasing them out. This prevented the market from spinning out of control while more and more residents and businesses began to select plans from competitive retail providers. 

Some of these price caps were in place until 2011, but today, Pennsylvania's deregulated energy market is operating as it was originally intended.

Embracing the power to choose

Many of Pennsylvania's residents and business owners have the opportunity to select an energy plan that fits their needs. Of the plans offered by the roughly 50 retail suppliers operating within the state there are sure to be options created with every type of customer in mind. Making the most of Pennsylvania deregulation means taking the time to find the right plan. 

Whether you're shopping for electricity or natural gas, depending on what part of the state you live in you may be able to choose your own supplier for both commodities. If you haven't taken advantage of your options yet, there's not a better time to begin. Learn about what your options are and take your time to select the plan that will meet all your needs. The more you know, the more you could save!

Understanding there's still more work to do

As with any system, the Pennsylvania deregulated market still has room for growth. While more than 2 million people and businesses have selected a new plan to date, that still only includes an estimated 35% of the overall number of residential electricity customers in the state, according to RESA. In order to get that number closer to 100%, there are a few things that need to happen:

1.       More people need to know about their options. You cannot save money on your electricity or natural gas supply rates if you don't know you have a choice. Education campaigns must continue to help spread the word to every Pennsylvania resident.

2.       Retailers need to continue to make innovative products. Without further innovation, choosing among retail providers will remain static. In order to compete, retailers must take the initiative and develop ever more enticing products for Pennsylvania consumers in particular.