Study Lists Winners in Deregulation
Six electric companies have emerged as clear winners in their bid for customers in Pennsylvania, where more than 300,000 customers have switched energy suppliers as the result of retail choice, according to a study by XENERGY Inc.
The six electric companies–in either residential or commercial/industrial–are Allegheny Energy, Conectiv, Exelon (a subsidiary of PECO Energy), Green Mountain Energy Resources, New Energy Ventures and PP&L Energy Plus. Actual market share numbers are proprietary to the companies that sponsored the study.
Pennsylvania is the most active market in the United States for retail power. The number of customers–more than 300,000 accounts–who have changed energy suppliers is greater than in any other state. By contrast, in California and New York–more heavily populated states with many more customer accounts–only about 100,000 customers in each state have switched suppliers. About two-thirds of Pennsylvania customers became eligible to choose their electric supplier in January 1999.
“There`s no question that Pennsylvania is a good laboratory to see what works–it`s been a proving ground for new ideas,” said Dr. William Huss, XENERGY consulting and information technologies division senior vice president. “The market design factors in Pennsylvania encouraged lots of activity that we were able to track. The variations we`ve witnessed across the various electric distribution companies–differences in generation credits, among other factors–provide for a meaningful market analysis.”
The study showed that one of the most important vehicles for switching suppliers is aggregation groups. Price and green power were the major selling points for residential customers, while price and company reliability were the major selling points for commercial and industrial customers.