In the past few years, more and more residents and businesses in states with competitive electricity markets have become aware that they can choose an electricity supplier. A recent report released by the COMPETE Coalition has shown that while electric consumption was no greater in 2011 than it was in 2008, the number of customers who have chosen a new competitive electric provider has grown.
The report showed a few areas of growth in electric choice since 2008:
– More than 18 percent of the nation’s electric load — one of every five kWh in the U.S. — is supplied by a competitive energy supplier, with consideration that retail electric choice is available in 18 jurisdictions that accounts for about 44 percent of the nation’s total electric load.
– A 53 percent increase in the number of customers served by retail electric choice, from nearly 8.7 million in 2008 to more than 13.3 million in 2011.
The report also speaks to how more residential consumers have demonstrated an appetite for the benefits of customer choice. The number of people who are taking advantage of selecting a competitive energy supplier has increased since 2009 — this includes both individual contracts for electricity supply as well as participation in municipal aggregation programs.
Education is the key to helping residents understand the advantages of electric choice. Providing residential customers with access to information enables them to effectively compare their savings potential in electricity choice programs and make educated decisions. Websites make it easy for customers to research the rates available to them and reach out to suppliers with questions.
As the report points out, the popularity of retail electric choice during a challenging economy is no accident. Residents located in the 18 jurisdictions with retail electric choice have been able to benefit from the lower electricity supply prices, innovation in products and services, and flexibility that is possible in competitive electricity markets. Stable and clear regulations set by regulators and policy makers allow for residents to choose their own supplier and as more do so, there is more of an opportunity for electric choice to continue to grow.
Have you chosen a new electricity supplier? If so, leave us a comment about your experience.
To view the full report, go to: http://www.competecoalition.com/files/COMPETE_Coalition_2012_Report.pdf
Constellation Energy, an Exelon company, is a member of the COMPETE Coalition.
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