While competition to supply large customers with electricity since rate caps ended everywhere on December 31, 2010 has been substantial across the Commonwealth, competition has waxed and waned for smaller customers or residential customers across Pennsylvania.
In the PECO service territory competition is waxing with as many as 30 companies competing to supply residential customers and more are fighting for large commercial and industrial accounts. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Energetix and Constellation are two companies newly competing for residential accounts in the PECO service territory.
Savings in the PECO service territory can be considerable and both the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate provide full residential shopping guides listing all offers. Consumers can save money by shopping; can lock in longer term pricing; and can buy green power products of many descriptions. I personally have switched to a 100% wind power product with the wind energy produced in Pennsylvania and our regional PJM power pool.
Energetix, the new entrant for example, is offering residential service at 8.95 cents while the PECO default rate is 10.42 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 500 kilowatt-hour and 11.69 cents per kilowatt-hour for usage over 500 kilowatt-hours, while Constellation is offering a product that save customers up to 12% according to their product offering.
Yet in some service territories, competition for residential customers through May has been minimal, with just 1% of residential customers switching in the Metropolitan Edison, the Pennsylvania Electric, and the Allegheny Energy service territories. In these service territories, about 99% of customers remain on Default Supply or purchasing electric generation service from their local distribution electric utility.
Steps need to be taken to boost competition in all parts of the Commonwealth. More on this later.