Alternative Electric Suppliers Grab 16% of PECO Customers in 3 Months
In the first three months since electric deregulation gave customers of Pennsylvania’s largest public utility the power to choose who they buy electricity from, more than 260,000 electricity customers have switched from PECO to alternative electric suppliers.
The number represents about 16 percent of PECO’s 1.6 million customers, and includes most of the Philadelphia utility’s large industrial customers, according to PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engel Menendez.
Additionally, more than half of the electricity transmitted through PECO’s grid system is now supplied by PECO competitors, Menendez said.
Under deregulation, PECO customers can buy their electricity from the utility or shop around for a PECO alternative. Regardless of which electric company customers decide to buy their electricity from, the electricity is still transmitted to homes and businesses using PECO’s system, just as it always has, and all customers in PECO’s territory are charged a delivery fee.
Competition for PECO customers has grown rapidly since deregulation, and there are now 50 alternative electric suppliers in PECO’s market, including 36 that serve residential customers.
Customers who stay with PECO can expect their default electric rate, also known as the price to compare, to be adjusted every three months to reflect market conditions. PECO’s price to compare increased to 9.99 cents per kilowatt-hour from 9.92 cents per kilowatt-hour. PECO’s price to compare is due for another adjustment in July.
PECO: 16% of Customers Have Switched Suppliers, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 30, 2011).