Constellation NewEnergy commended the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for its proactive efforts to support the development of retail electric competition in the PPL Electric service area. The Commission's Order begins the process of removing certain operational barriers for competitive retail electric generation suppliers, such as Constellation NewEnergy, to begin offering service and choice to customers in preparation for the expiration of rate caps at the end of 2009.

"The Commission once again reaffirmed the Commonwealth's commitment to creating a well-functioning, competitive retail market," said David I. Fein, vice president of Constellation Energy and director of retail energy policy. "The Order adopted today contains a well-reasoned, detailed and thorough analysis of various key operational and other issues that are necessary for Pennsylvania energy customers to be able to benefit from suppliers competing for their business."

Key provisions in the order include mechanisms to ensure that customer information is standardized and up-to-date while still maintaining appropriate consumer protections. Electronic access to key usage data, as provided by the Order, is essential to providing accurate price quotations and timely billing. Allowing access to energy consumption data at frequent time intervals will also give energy providers the ability to offer innovative usage-based plans that save energy and reduce costs for customers. The Order also requires educational programs for customers to better understand how restructured markets function and what new energy options will be made possible by competition.

"The Commission's action today, coupled with the efforts of PPL Electric to promote customer choice and retail competition, is in line with the high volume and demand that we have seen by customers wishing to explore their competitive options in this new market environment," said Brian Weatherford, regional vice president of sales for Constellation NewEnergy. "Constellation NewEnergy has been actively conducting seminars, webinars and other similar forums to educate business consumers about the impending changes to the market structure in the PPL Electric service territory."

As evidence of this customer awareness and desire to explore competitive options, Constellation NewEnergy has been selected as the endorsed supplier to several regional chambers of commerce in the PPL Electric service area and a number of public sector institutions.

"Today's order also creates a high degree of regulatory certainty in which to operate, which is critical to attracting market participants and providing a high degree of choice for energy customers," said Fein. "The order removes any uncertainty about how the market will operate, which gives generation suppliers an assurance that they can invest resources in the PPL Electric service area and offer programs and price-hedging strategies that meet the budget requirements and environmental and sustainability goals of customers."