Pennsylvania consumers now have choice in who generates their electricity, supplies their natural gas and provides their local telephone service. In 1996, the electricity market in Pennsylvania was deregulated and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order that established competition in the local telephone market. Competition for all gas customers in Pennsylvania began November 1, 1999, after Governor Ridge signed House Bill 1331 into law (Act 21). Act 21 allows all gas customers the option of purchasing natural gas services from a natural gas supplier, just as customers currently purchase electricity from an electric supplier under the Electric Choice Program.
It is important for all Pennsylvanians to understand that competition provides them with more choices for their utility suppliers. Competition does not mean that companies will have to install new telephone lines, gas pipes and electricity lines to your home or business. What is new is the fact that you now can choose the company that supplies your telephone, natural gas or electric service. Learn more about choice programs for each utility by following their links: local telephone, electricity and natural gas.
Together, the Council for Utility Choice and the Public Utility Commission (PUC) are bringing choice and competition to Pennsylvanians. The Council for Utility Choice is a non-profit corporation working in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The Council is comprised of individuals from the PUC, PA Rural Development Council, Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, Governor's Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs, electric, natural gas and telephone associations, public school educators and community based organizations. The meetings are open to the public. Click here for more information about the meetings and for a list of members.
The PUC is the state regulatory agency that provides oversight, policy guidance and direction to public utilities and suppliers. The PUC is charged with ensuring that Pennsylvania consumers have access to safe, affordable and reliable electric, natural gas, water, telephone and transportation service, as well as serving as stewards of competition.