On Tues, Dec. 7, PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday joined a virtual panel of other business and energy leaders to discuss the historical significance of enacting the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act 25 years ago. Today, this law remains critical to growing the state’s economy and giving PA residents and businesses the choice of electric provider.
In recognizing this historic milestone, a panel of Pennsylvania business and energy leaders provided an overview of the benefits enjoyed by Pennsylvanians because of this Act, including enhanced reliability, reduced cost, and consumer protection. Panelists also discussed how competition and market-based solutions to electricity have delivered environmental results for Pennsylvania consumers.
“Since its founding, Pennsylvania has been a place where we welcome innovation and leverage our natural resources,” said Kevin Sunday, Director of Government Affairs for the PA Chamber. “Over the past 25 years, ratepayers benefitted from billions of dollars in savings, and emissions have fallen precipitously. Private capital continues to pour, by the billions of dollars, into new energy technologies to improve efficiency, reliability, and sustainability. This landmark law has provided a foundation for energy policy long into the future. By empowering businesses and individuals with the choice to select the energy that makes the most sense for them, and rewarding innovation, the economy, and the environment both win.”
Data from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission shows that more than 1.5 million residential and 300,000 non-residential customers have taken advantage of the program, providing more than 85 million MWh of electricity.
“This historic legislation continues to pay dividends for the state and the region by encouraging investment and innovation by the private sector,” said Nora Mead Brownell, Founding Partner, ESPY Energy Solutions, LLC. Mead Brownell was a commissioner for the PA Public Utility Commission when the bill was signed into law by former Governor Tom Ridge. She is also a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Pennsylvania’s approach led to massive new investment in this industry, creating thousands of jobs. The legislation and its implementation by the PA PUC served as a national model,” Mead Brownell added. “We hope that other states and federal officials continue to recognize the value of markets and competition. When consumers and ratepayers are empowered, the results speak for themselves.”
Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania Executive Director Rod Williamson said there are three key benefits to the legislation for large industrial customers, including competitive pricing, greater pricing flexibility and structuring the electricity supply, and greater flexibility in the type of generation and the ability to seek lower-carbon forms of generation.
“It’s for these key reasons that IECPA supports competitive energy markets and regulatory structures that facilitate a consumer’s use of these markets,” Williamson said.
David N. Taylor, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association added that competition in Pennsylvania’s electricity markets have yielded very significant savings for our industrial power consumers.
“While our transition period was long and expensive, Pennsylvania is now deeply invested in competitive markets for electricity, and there can be no going back,” Taylor said. “Affordable and reliable electricity powers Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector and strengthens our ability to earn private sector investment, create jobs, and accelerate economic growth.”