Prior to deregulation, Pennsylvania utilities (PECO, PPL, Met-Ed, etc) were responsible for generating electricity, transmitting the power, distributing the power to the individual homes and businesses, as well as billing and service issues. In addition, they were also responsible for all repairs to the electric lines and equipment. Pricing was regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
As a result of the Pennsylvania Energy Choice Program, the different responsibilities of the utilities were “unbundled” and the power industry was separated into two divisions. The generation sector has been deregulated and, as a result, utilities are no longer the sole producers of electricity. Incumbent utility companies are still responsible for the delivery of the power and maintenance of the lines and wires. Those charges are still regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.
Competition is allowed between companies to provide power at lower rates than the default rates that the utilities are forced to charge consumers who have not shopped the market. The utilities do not make a profit from selling electricity supply to their customers. They would rather see all of their customers choose an alternative electric supplier so that they can put more focus on their core business, the management and maintenance of delivering power to homes and businesses.
The utility companies continues to send out the monthly electric bill, so the only thing that changes when you choose a competitive electricity company is the price you pay for power.