As one of Pennsylvania’s smallest utilities, providing service to roughly 150,000 residential customers, Penn Power has often been overlooked by competitive electricity suppliers searching for a way to attract new customers. That trend is starting to turn due to an increased awareness in Pennsylvania electricity choice laws and a high Penn Power default rate that is finally making competitive rates more attractive to consumers. Penn Power customers are receiving rate offers that offer them the ability to save money on their electric bills through lower fixed prices compared to the Penn Power default rate.
True electricity choice in Pennsylvania has been active since 2010 for most residential customers living in the state. However, in the early years the few alternative electricity suppliers who obtained licenses with the Public Utilities Commission of Pennsylvania were focusing on the larger PP&L and PECO service area markets. Besides both PP&L and PECO having over one million residential customers, both markets had relatively high default rates in the early part of the decade which allowed for the alternative suppliers to offer lower rates which resulted in electric bill savings. In contrast, during this time Penn Power only had about 12% of the number of customers as these two larger markets. In addition, the Penn Power default rate was low, disallowing suppliers to advertise lower costs and savings with better pricing structures.
Now that the Pennsylvania electricity choice market has matured, alternative suppliers are looking to expand their footprint into some of state’s smaller markets such as Penn Power. Some of the expansion is due to a partially over saturation of competitive electricity suppliers obtaining licenses, forcing suppliers to look for new pockets of customers. Meanwhile, the space between the Penn Power price to compare rate and the lowest competitive rates has widened giving customers a big incentive to educate themselves on the merits of electricity choice. Choice awareness is still low in Penn Power compared to some of the other utility markets in the state. As of August 2015 only 21% of residential customers have switched electricity suppliers even though competitive rates are offering electric bill savings of as much as ten percent. The larger markets in Pennsylvania have switch rates above thirty percent.
Competitive rates and energy choice is still a new concept to the majority of customers who receive their electric bill from Penn Power. However, as more electricity suppliers start advertising their rates, and the longer savings are available, the more awareness and choice participation will occur. Competitive Penn Power rate options are below from suppliers who have been approved by the state of Pennsylvania.