The Retail Energy Supply Association, one of the primary industry groups for electricity providers, spoke with the Pensylvania Public Utility Commission on ways in which the state can help to lower electricity rates for its residents.
Pennsylvania ended its rate caps for utility companies at the start of the year, leading to far more intense competition from independent electricity suppliers, but the state remains concerned that the market has not yet reached its full potential. In particular, regulators were concerned about a recent poll that found that half of all consumers who were aware they have a choice in electricity providers actually shop for options.
"While more than 1.4 million consumers have made the switch from utility supply to competitive retail energy supply, many more have been slow to do so," Ritchie Hudson, RESA's Pennsylvania state chair, said in a statement.
Hudson noted one of the leading roadblocks remained the mandatory waiting period that has led some customers to wait as long as 45 days to enroll with a new electricity provider.
"It can take longer to change suppliers in some cases than it does to refinance a mortgage, and this is unacceptable from a customer service perspective," Hudson noted.
With the encouragement of the RESA, the PUC considered ending the mandatory waiting period, along with measures such as creating a referral program for residents.