Pennsylvania deregulated their electricity market in 1997 by passing the state’s Electric Choice and Competition Act providing retail access to consumers who wanted to shop for a new electric supplier different from their utility. In order for a competitive environment to develop, they required the utilities to unbundle their services and sell off their generation assets in order to purchase power on the wholesale market along side their new competitors. However, to help protect customers from unpredictable price fluctuations, Pennsylvania utiilty companies provided rate caps during the transition period which ended up keeping competition from entering the marketplace for a number of years. In the last few years, the utilities have lifted these rate caps and competition has thrived. PPL was the first to lift their rate caps followed by PECO and several other utilities at the end of 2010 presenting a significant opportunity for Pennsylvania electric customers to now lower their electric bills.
Electric deregulation in Pennsylvania allows utility customers the ability to choose what electricity supplier they would like to use to generate their power instead of the utility.All Pennsylvania customers will continue to remain with the utility they have, it is simply the supply portion of the bill that is open for comparison shopping.With over 2 million customers who have already switched in Pennsylvania, this is one of the most successful deregulated markets showing healthy competition and energy cost savings for customers.