PPL Electric Utilities survey finds price, flexibility favored most by shopping customers

445,000 have switched to new supplier

Almost two out of every three kilowatt-hours of electricity delivered by PPL Electric Utilities go to a customer whose generation is supplied by a third party. More than 445,000 PPL Electric Utilities customers have already switched to competitive suppliers for the electricity they need to run their homes and businesses. 

And as PPL Electric Utilities continues to encourage even more customers to explore their options, a recent survey offers insight into what customers value most:

  • 58 percent of customers who’ve switched say price was most important to them when choosing a supplier, and 21 percent say no cancellation fee was paramount.
  • 83 percent gave high marks (8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10) for “ease of signing up” with their supplier.
  • 20 percent said they were swayed most by their own research.
  • More than half say they have recommended their supplier to someone else.

“In large numbers, our customers are shopping for discounts and taking greater control over what they spend for electricity,” said Robert M. Geneczko, vice president of Customer Service for PPL Electric Utilities. “We think that’s a good thing, and we’re encouraging customers who haven’t shopped to give electric choice a closer look, as well.”

The survey of 360 residential customers, conducted in May, shed light on why some are still hesitant to make the switch:

  • 41 percent say they don’t want to leave PPL Electric Utilities.
  • 26 percent say the discounts aren’t great enough.
  • 23 percent are concerned their electric service won’t be as reliable.
  • Other factors include lack of interest (23 percent), lack of familiarity with suppliers (22 percent) and “not enough information” (19 percent).

Loyalty has been a frequent refrain of customers hesitant to make a switch, said Geneczko. What’s still unclear to many, he said, is that it doesn’t hurt PPL Electric Utilities when customers switch. That’s because the company makes no money on the generation piece of customers’ bills.

Instead, it buys power from many different suppliers for customers who don’t choose their own. Customer payments for that generation are passed by PPL Electric Utilities directly to those suppliers. The company doesn’t keep any of it as profit.

“Our business is delivering power, and no matter what customers choose, we’ll still be their delivery company,” Geneczko said. “We’re very appreciative of the loyalty many customers have expressed, but we want them to know that it’s OK to shop. The last thing we want is for customers to miss out on an opportunity to save money.” 

He said the company also wants customers to know that nothing about electric choice affects reliability.

“We’re going to deliver your power the same way – safely and reliably – whether you shop or not. That’s our job. If severe weather strikes and knocks out power, we’ll respond as we always have,” he said. “And if your supplier would leave the market, power will flow without a hitch. You’d simply pay us until you decide to choose another supplier.” 

To compare supplier offers, residential customers should visit the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s Web site at www.papowerswitch.com or call the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560. Business customers can find a list of licensed suppliers at www.papowerswitch.com. For more information about electric choice, visit www.pplelectric.com/choice.

The company’s survey was conducted online from May 6 through May 13. About 41 percent of survey respondents had selected another supplier. The survey margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent. For complete survey results, click here.

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.

For further information: contact Ryan Hill, 610-774-5997 or rwhill@pplweb.com
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