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PUC adds features to for small-business owners

By , - Last modified: November 20, 2012 at 9:22 AM

The state Public Utility Commission has enhanced the section of its electric choice website aimed at small-business customers, the agency said last week.

The "Shop for Your Small Business" section of now offers detailed pricing information on electricity suppliers' offerings for commercial and industrial customers with a peak demand of 25 kilowatts or less. Previously, pricing information was supplied only for residential electricity plans.

Small-business owners can search for electricity suppliers based on their ZIP code or distribution utility and can organize the results alphabetically, by price or by other criteria.

For large-business customers, which generally negotiate customized contracts, continues to list supplier contact information only.

Pennsylvania fully converted to a competitive electricity market as of January 2011. Under the system, electricity suppliers compete for business, while distribution utilities remain regulated. Customers who do not choose a supplier continue to receive electricity bought by their utility under set rules and passed on at cost.

The PUC is working to encourage greater participation in the competitive market. As of last week, 32.5 percent of residential customers, 38.7 percent of commercial customers and 73.4 percent of industrial customers had switched to a competitive supplier, the PUC said.

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