As true electric competition begins in Central Pennsylvania, Constellation NewEnergy, a subsidiary of Constellation Energy announced that businesses and public sector energy customers in the PPL Electric Utilities service territory may be in a position to significantly reduce energy spending for 2010 and beyond. In its most recent estimate comparing current competitive market prices to capped rates, Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) found that market costs are trending below the utility’s standard rates. While market rates can and do fluctuate considerably, the PUC’s price comparison illustrates that non-residential customers shopping in the newly competitive retail market may be in a position to save an estimated 10 percent to 12 percent on electricity costs.

“If businesses wait to make a decision about their 2010 electricity supply, they may lose opportunities to lock-in savings now and be faced with the uncertainty of what might happen to electric rates in the future,” said David I. Fein, vice president of Constellation Energy and director of retail energy policy. “Energy buyers who were waiting on this announcement from PPL to gauge their future electricity costs now know, based on the PUC estimate, that there is the potential for savings in the competitive marketplace. While the final retail rates will not be filed until early November, the market now has plenty of data and information to calculate final prices to compare as businesses prepare for the expiration of rate caps at the end of the year. Businesses, hospitals, schools, governmental customers, and other commercial organizations should be shopping for an electric supplier this fall and lock into rates for 2010.”

Competition now gives commercial sector customers in Central Pennsylvania access to innovative energy products and services to help control energy costs in ways not previously available in region. Constellation NewEnergy now offers electricity supply agreements that enable businesses and institutions in the PPL service territory to modify the term and level of fixed price electricity to suit the budgets and strategies of individual organizations. Customers can also better manage their energy usage through NewEnergy Online, a comprehensive suite of Web-based tools that help businesses lower costs, reduce overall usage and access energy market updates.

More sustainable energy options will now be available to Constellation NewEnergy customers in the PPL region, from participation in demand response programs that compensate organizations for reducing electricity usage during periods of peak demand on the grid to installation of on-site solar generation systems to purchase of renewable energy from wind facilities across the region.

Constellation NewEnergy has scheduled a series of forums across the region to meet with business owners and others to answer their questions about customer choice and electric competition. An advertising campaign, including electronic, radio, newsprint and billboards, coincides with the forums. As a result, several businesses and organizations, including regional chambers of commerce, already have begun to assess their options, leading them to select Constellation NewEnergy as their endorsed supplier.