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    The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission proposed a new set of recommendations for the state's electricity providers on Friday, October 14.

    The proposal is designed to lay the ground rules for electricity rates and service plans. The Commission hopes to the encourage greater competition between electricity suppliers and utility companies and lower electricity prices by changing the structure of default service packages for Pennsylvania customers. In particular the recommendations cover the timeline or duration of plans and the basis of charges.

    The plan comes as the result of an investigation into the state's electricity market. Pennsylvania adopted electricity deregulation at the beginning of the year, but regulators are concerned that customers are not aware of their choices and are failing to effectively compare electricity rates.

    The investigation began at the end of April this year, but the current proposals represent only intermediate recommendations, with plans to present further suggestions later on. The most important over-arching theme of the current proposal is a call for electricity companies to ensure that their current plans will maintain the flexibility necessary to adopt these later reforms.

    Electricity suppliers have 20 days to respond to the current proposal.