Nearly 100 business professionals joined the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce last week at WHYY to learn about what the upcoming energy changes will mean for their business, and what they can do to save their company money.

Speakers at the event included Commissioner Robert F. Powelson, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; Phillip T. Eastman, Manager, Economic Development, PECO; and David Braun, Regional Vice President, GDF Suez. The event was moderated by Dave Davies, Senior Reporter, WHYY.

The speakers addressed the common misconception that if consumers switch to a new energy provider in December, they will lose their PECO services. What consumers will be shopping for once caps are lifted is an electric generation supplier only; PECO will still be responsible for the transmission of energy from the supplier to the consumer, which means they will still service the wires.

If consumers choose not to shop for a new energy supplier, they will automatically receive default service from PECO, the rates for which could be more costly than other suppliers’ rates. “PECO does not care where you get your energy. Get a deal – don’t get stuck with the default rate,” advised Powelson.

While there are no contractual obligations for PECO’s default service (consumers can switch to or from PECO default supply at any time up to 16 days prior to their meter reading date), other suppliers usually require a one- to two-year service contract, similar to cell phone and internet services. As always when shopping for service, buyers should be aware of the details of their contract and should ask plenty of questions. The speakers warned attendees that if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

The new energy supply rates will take effect on January 1, 2011. To check out energy suppliers in your area, visit

View Commissioner Robert F. Powelson’s presentation here.
View Phillip T. Eastman’s presentation here.
View David Braun’s presentation here.

View photos from the event here.