Last year the competitive electricity market in he PPL region saw a retraction in participation among the residential class; fewer customer purchased their power from a competitive supplier in 2014 than in the previous year. That trend is reversing as 2015 has brought in higher PPL price to compare default rates and lower competitive pricing.
The PPL electricity choice market can be considered the first truly successful competitive energy market in the north. In 2010, after decade long default prices expired, competitive Pennsylvania electricity companies were able to enter the market and offer prices below the new default rate. The ability to lower the monthly PPL electric bill simply by choosing a competitive supplier gave PPL electricity customers the incentive they needed to get out there and learn about Pennsylvania electricity choice. The participation rate, the number of PPL customers who bought their power from a competitive supplier, steadily increased to just around half, 50%, through the end of 2013. However that trend reversed in 2014 as the PPL default rate lowered and customers started to go back onto the price to compare. By the end of 2014 the number of customers participating in energy choice had fallen from 50% to 44% in the PPL service area.
Electricity shopping in the PPL service area in once again on the rise due to higher PPL default rates that started to go in effect in December of 2014. The higher PPL rates were first noticed by many PPL consumers on their January electric bills. Pennsylvania electricity suppliers are trying to gain back customers by offering competitive PPL electricity rates that are yielding double digit percentage savings versus the price to compare rate. Fixed rates with savings greater than 10% are likely to get the participation rate in PPL back to over half and possibly beyond. At some point in the future PPL will likely end their default rate program and all customers will have to purchase their power from a competitive supplier.