Survey Finds Overwhelming Support for Electric Choice yet Many Remain Unaware of this Right to Shop for Electricity

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88 Percent of Americans Want Customer Electricity Choice, many unaware of customer choice

The 11th EcoPinion survey conducted by EcoAlign finds that overall, 88 percent of Americans think it is a good idea for consumers to have a choice of electricity suppliers. The survey also found that less than 50 percent of Americans are aware that consumers in many states are able to purchase electricity for their home use from someone other then their local electric utility. Interestingly, nearly 60 percent of renters and younger energy users are unaware of their right to shop and choose an alternative electric supplier.

“These findings are consistent with what we have experienced in the marketplace,” says David Fein president of RESA. “It is clear that consumers of all sizes want to have a choice in their electric supplier -- just as they have a choice with virtually every other aspect of their lives and businesses. We are hopeful that survey results like that conducted by EcoAlign will help policymakers in States like Michigan, Arizona, and California expand those markets in order to provide customers with a competitive alternative to the utilities.”

These findings also highlight that consumers still lack a basic understanding of what restructured competitive markets mean to them as a residential energy consumers. While consumers believe choice and competition are a good idea, they still may not understand how to go about seeking a competitive supplier and what the important questions to ask are, when they are shopping for a competitive option. This is why RESA believes active and ongoing customer education by regulators, consumer advocates, the electric utilities, and competitive suppliers is a key component of any restructuring of the energy markets.”

The newly released survey also found customers are looking for more electricity choices and more competition in the marketplace and are willing to pay a little more for “new and better products and services.” Of the 1,000 Americans polled many believe competition will also lead to greater innovation, which has been shown to be true in a February 2011 KEMA report. In addition, the study suggests consumers are looking for more choices to better manage their electricity investments.

As of November 2010, more than 11 million residential and business customers in the United States were reported to be engaged in the competitive electric market and shopping for electricity. The 20 member companies within the Retail Energy Supply Association are serving many of these U.S. consumers.

To learn more about the results of the April EcoPinion survey, visit http://www.ecoalign.com or contact Jamie Wimberly at jwimberly(at)ecoalign(dot)com.

About RESA
RESA’s members include: Champion Energy Services, LLC; ConEdison Solutions; Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.; Direct Energy Services, LLC; Energy Plus Holdings, LLC; Energetix; Exelon Energy Company; GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA, Inc.; Green Mountain Energy Company; Hess Corporation; Integrys Energy Services, Inc.; Just Energy; Liberty Power; MC Squared Energy Services; MXenergy; NextEra Energy Services; Noble Americas Energy Solutions LLC; PPL EnergyPlus; Reliant Energy Northeast LLC and TriEagle Energy, L.P. The comments expressed in this release represent the position of RESA as an organization, but may not represent the views of any particular member of RESA. For more information, contact RESA Executive Director Tracy McCormick at (717) 566-5405 or go to http://www.RESAUSA.org.

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Alicia Moran
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