Many Pennsylvania residents have not yet investigated the possibility of switching electricity providers, and electricity companies are primarily concerned with why. StandardSpeaker.com reports that many in the energy industry believe the issue remains a lack of understanding about electricity deregulation.
Pennsylvania has had a competitive electricity market for years, but the last of the rate caps that kept prices artificially low and prevented sufficient investment in generation capacity expired at the beginning of 2011. However, a survey by Opinion Research found that only around 25 percent of residential customers had chosen to leave their utility company and 40 percent had not investigated alternate electricity suppliers at all.
"Some people believe if they switch suppliers, if there is a blackout, they will be the last to have their power restored," John Bodine of OnDemand Energy told the new source. "There's a lot of unfounded fear. That's why we stress education."
Terry Madonna, the founder of Opinion Research and a professor at Franklin and Marshall College, also notes that some believe their service will change dramatically with a new electricity provider.
Instead, switching electricity suppliers only changes a single line on a utility bill stating where the electricity came from and the rate being paid. Bills, problems and service are all still run through the same utility company. Notably, PAPowerSwitch.com notes that the largest electricity users, with the largest electricity bills, have switched at the highest rate, with 71.2 percent of all industrial customers making the move.