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Report: Pa. remains near top in competitive electricity

By , - Last modified: January 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Pennsylvania continues to rank among the top U.S. states for its competitive retail electricity markets and is poised to make further progress, according to an industry-sponsored annual study.

The commonwealth is one of five states that, along with the Canadian province of Alberta, possess "vibrant markets with numerous retail energy suppliers" and robust consumer choice, according to management consulting firm Distributed Energy Financial Group.

DEFG last month published the 2012 edition of its "Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States." Retail electricity competition "grew in 2012 at an even more aggressive pace than in 2011," the ABACCUS report found.

Texas was the No. 1 jurisdiction for both residential and commercial/industrial markets, the report said. Pennsylvania ranked No. 3 for residential and No. 4 for commercial/industrial, as it did in 2011.

Among Pennsylvania businesses, 95 percent of large customers and 73.3 percent of medium-size customers have switched into the competitive market, the report said. Pennsylvania has the largest number of residential retail suppliers, 47; its percentage of residential customers in the competitive market, 31.5 percent, puts it fourth, behind Texas, Connecticut, Ohio and Alberta.

More than 1.9 million Pennsylvania customers, comprising 59.4 percent of the market, use retail energy suppliers, state Public Utility Commission Chairman Robert Powelson said in a statement.

"In the coming year, we'll be moving forward with recommendations that have grown out of our Retail Markets Investigation" to enhance the system, Powelson said.

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