Science & Technology
8:00 am
Thu November 24, 2011

Pennsylvanians Find Lack of Savings in Electric Company Switch

The majority of electric consumers in Pennsylvania know that they can change their supplier, but only half have looked into the option, according to panelists who met with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commisison (PUC) earlier this month.

PUC spokesperson Jennifer Kocher said that the testimony came during a hearing to examine what changes need to be made to the retail market. "We heard from four separate firms who had done polls in Pennsylvania," said Kocher. "And the majority of the people said that the reason they're not switching is because they are not seeing as much in savings as they thought they should see for the effort to switch."

She said that more needs to be done to inform people about electric competition and promote switching suppliers. Polls found that about one-third of Pennsylvanians know about PAPowerSwitch.com, the PUC's website intended to educate consumers. Ninety percent of those who visited the site found it easy to use.

Kocher said that the PUC has explored many different ways of raising awareness, like touring the state with consumer educators and attending events. "We've also done large shopping events where we've set up computer terminals," said Kocher. "PUC staff is available to help, and people come out to the malls and actually shop for their electricity while they attend the malls."

Firms who provided testimony at the hearing included Terry Madonna Opinion Research, Alphabuyer (a group buying company), Zogby (a polling company), and Tarrance Group (a D.C.-based polling group).