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PUC launches investigation as few opt for competitive gas supplier

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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission unanimously voted today to launch an investigation into the state's retail natural gas market to see whether effective competition exists and recommend improvements, the agency said.

The commission has made changes since proceedings that followed a 2005 report that determined effective competition did not exist in the commonwealth.

But less than 13 percent of current customers purchase natural gas from a competitive supplier statewide, according to a news release about the motion passed today.

Commissioners in the motion called the rate "dismal."

All Pennsylvania retail gas customers have had the ability to choose a supplier since 1999, when then-Gov. Tom Ridge signed the Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act.

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