Despite a tumultuous winter, more and more customers continue to choose their energy provider in order to save on their electric or natural gas bill.
Among the latest growth in electricity shopping is Pennsylvania, which has seen increased interest in alternative electric suppliers as the local utilities have significantly increased their default electric rates this fall.
In November, Pennsylvania saw the statewide number of electric customers choosing a competing supplier increase by 5,000 accounts, with PECO, Met-Ed, Penelec, and West Penn Power all seeing significant growth.
In fact, the number of electricity shoppers at PECO grew by nearly 2,700 residential customers in November alone.
It's not just residential customers who are increasingly shopping for their energy supply. The non-residential market is seeing growth as well. Nearly all of the largest energy consumers already shop for their energy supply because cost is such an important factor in their bottom line, but more and more small businesses are seeing the value of saving on their electric bill by switching to a competing energy supplier.
For example, at Consolidated Edison in New York, the number of small non-residential customers who have chosen a competing electric supplier, known as an ESCO in New York, has increased from 147,000 in January 2014 to 152,000 in June 2014.
The federal government has taken note of the burgeoning retail energy shopping as well.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently highlighted the growth in natural gas shopping in its "Today in Energy" series.
The EIA noted that natural gas shopping among residential customers has been growing over the past decade, and now more than 7 million residential customers across the United States choose their natural gas supplier.