Electricity customers want competitive market


Martin O’Malley,
Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 26, 2007 – A survey conducted by the Retail Energy Supply Association, a diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail energy markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than regulated utility structure, has revealed that almost three-quarters of the residential electricity customers polled in Maryland prefer being able to choose from a variety of suppliers. The survey was conducted in April this year among 220 residential electricity decision-makers from Maryland’s four investor-owned utilities – Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Delmarva Power & Light and Potomac Electric Power Company.

In addition 80 per cent of residential customers polled thought that a choice of electricity suppliers will provide them with more control over the electricity prices they pay.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently held an energy to discuss a strategic energy policy for the state. RESA believes that any dialogue about energy policy must include a discussion about enabling a competitive electricity market to bring benefits to all Maryland customers.

"As members of RESA, we believe that healthy competition will provide customers with competitive pricing and help ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy for retail customers across Maryland and nationwide," said Richard Rathvon, President of RESA. "Retail suppliers will offer demand response, energy efficiency, renewable energy and different pricing products because customers will be looking for these types of products and services."

RESA members suggest that the first step toward bringing these benefits to customers is to allow customers to receive a Standard Offer Service (SOS) price that corresponds with the current electricity market. In addition, they recommend that to further encourage energy conservation, utility companies should install smart meters for all customers and allow them to see how much electricity they are using in real time. Data from smart meters should also be accessible by retail suppliers so they can offer creative solutions to customers’ energy needs.

"Giving consumers choice and arming them with the information from advanced meters will foster energy efficiency and demand response initiatives," said Rathvon. "Better price signals drive competition within the industry and ensure energy customers receive the best service at the best price."