More than one million Pennsylvania customers have saved money by shopping for a lower-priced competitive electric supplier, according to the latest figures from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
Starting in January, Pennsylvania's electric market was fully opened to competition for energy supply, after a transition period of over 15 years. Now, customers in all areas, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, have the ability to choose their electric supplier and save money on their electric bill.
At PECO, the electric company serving Philadelphia and surrounding areas, more than 6,000 customers are switching to an alternative energy supplier every week. PECO's system was essentially only opened to competing, low-cost energy suppliers in January, and already more than a quarter of a million customers have shopped for a new energy supplier offering a lower rate.
Shopping is robust in all customer classes, but especially among large power users like industrial and commercial customers. Nearly all industrial customer load (90%) at PECO has shopped for a competing energy provider, while switching among commercial customers is 51%. About 15% of residential customers -- more than 200,000 -- are shopping for a lower energy rate at PECO, which is a phenomenal shopping rate for not even three full months of customer choice.
Shopping is strong across the entire state, with the PPL service area seeing nearly 530,000 customers saving money by choosing a lower cost energy supplier. That's 37% of residential customers at PPL, 83.4% of commercial load, and 95% of industrial load.
On a statewide basis, however, only 20% of customers have shopped for a lower energy rate, despite savings of 10% for residential customers, and 20-30% for business customers.
The 80% of customers who haven't yet switched energy suppliers in Pennsylvania are leaving money on the table, and are paying a higher electric rate than necessary. While shopping for a power company -- like customers do for cellular service, long distance, or cable/internet service -- is new to Pennsylvanians, it doesn't have to be hard or take a long time to save money on your electric bill.