HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced that its Nov. 10, 2011, Retail Markets Investigation en banc hearing will feature testimony and poll results on the attitudes of Pennsylvania residents toward switching to a new electric supplier from pollster Terry Madonna, Alphabuyer, Zogby and Tarrance Group.
Terry Madonna, of Terry Madonna Opinion Research and Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, will discuss the results of a recent poll that examined consumer knowledge of their ability to shop for electricity, and their attitudes toward savings.
Following Madonna’s presentation, other customer survey results will be presented by Alphabuyer – a group buying company that negotiates rates, options and terms on behalf of consumers. Results of a Zogby poll and a presentation by pollster Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group, a Washington, D.C.-based polling group, also will be presented.
“As we continue to explore ways to enable Pennsylvania residents to fully realize the benefits of competition, we are anxious to hear from those who have been surveying customers about their understanding of how to shop for electricity, their opinions on PAPowerSwitch.com and more,” said Commission Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “We are pleased Dr. Madonna and others are able to join us at this hearing to discuss their findings as we strive to enhance our consumer education so that all Pennsylvania electric customers possess the knowledge they need to have a positive experience shopping for an electric supplier.”
Following the presentation of consumer survey information, the en banc hearing will be divided into panels addressing issues such as a statewide consumer-education campaign; accelerated switching timeframes; customer referral programs; retail opt-in auction; and default service plans beyond June 2013. The panels include a mix of consumer advocates as well as utility and supplier representatives. The agenda is available on the Commission’s website.
The en banc hearing is to be held:
12:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 2011
Hearing Room 1
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North St., Harrisburg, PA
The hearing is designed to provide insight on key issues that the PUC plans to address either before or as part of the intermediate work plan to promote competition.
Interested parties are welcome to submit written comments after the en banc hearing no later than Nov. 23, 2011. Comments along with any questions about the hearing should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The comments will be considered as part of the process to develop an intermediate work plan.
On April 28, 2011, the Commission launched its retail electricity market investigation, which is being conducted in two phases. The first phase was designed to assess the status of the current retail market and explore what changes need to be made to allow customers to fully realize the benefits of competition. On July 28, 2011, the Commission directed its Office of Competitive Markets Oversight (OCMO) to hold technical conferences to address intermediate and long term issues pertaining to the competitive retail electricity market and provide specific proposals for changes to the existing retail market and default service model. The second phase is examining and addressing how to best resolve the issues raised and implement the prudent changes identified based upon information gathered during the investigation.
On Oct. 14, 2011, the PUC issued for comment intermediate recommendations to guide the state’s electric distribution companies in developing upcoming default service plans for the period beyond June 2013. Interested parties file comments by Nov. 3, 2011.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket No. I-2011-2237952