The ability of Pennsylvania customers to choose their own electricity provider has helped Pennsylvania residents save on average $1,000 annually, a new Pennsylvania state energy plan concludes.

"Competition provides customers opportunities to realize cost savings. The average price of electricity, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in many states with successful competitive retail markets, providing customers some of the lowest electricity prices in years," Pennsylvania's state energy plan notes.

"In Pennsylvania, the abundance of affordable natural gas, combined with a robust electric choice program, has lowered wholesale electricity prices over 40% in just the past five years, saving the average household nearly $1,000 a year and even greater savings for commercial and industrial customers," the state energy plan reports.

"Lower utility overhead costs mean more money to invest in business operations and create new jobs," the energy plan notes.

"Competition also enables the cost-effective development and expansion of alternative and renewable energy resources, benefitting consumers and the environment. This market-based option allows customers to support the development of Pennsylvania's renewable energy portfolio and choose suppliers that generate electricity through renewable energy sources such as wind or solar, while providing a strong foundation to better ensure the long-term sustainability of these growing industries," the state energy plan adds.

To date, over 2 million Pennsylvanians have chosen a new electric supplier. Over 86% of all industrial customers, nearly 45% of commercial customers, and over 34% of residential customers have switched electric generation suppliers.

However, that means that more than half of Pennsylvania residential and commercial customers still aren't shopping for their electric supplier, and they're missing out on the big savings available.  As SaveOnEnergy has previously reported, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner James Cawley has compared not shopping for your electric supplier to leaving $100 bills lying on the sidewalk -- choosing a new energy supplier is just as easy as picking up those $100 bills, and puts just as much money back into your pockets.