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Since Pennsylvania electric deregulation began in 1996, businesses have the power to choose their specific electricity provider or to continue to purchase from their utility company. For businesses of all sizes in Allentown, the deregulated market allows business owners to compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the best electricity rate.
In 1994 the Public Utilities Commission began investigating the energy market and published their findings in "The Report and Recommendation on Electric Competition". Their research convinced the state assembly to pass the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act in 1996. Over the next 15 years, Pennsylvania removed market rate caps by region gradually forming a free market.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utility in Allentown is PPL Electric Utilities. Each utility is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in Allentown.
Energy providers in Allentown, like Direct Energy, Entrust, and Public Power, are the competitive energy retailers. Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale market (the generators) and then re-sells it to consumers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the consumer (the homeowner, renter, or business) signs a contract with an energy provider for a specific energy plan. The basic energy plan details the rate class, the energy rate per kWh, the contract term length (6, 12, 24, 36 months), and other contract terms like the cancellation fee policy.
Allentown is the 3rd largest city in Pennsylvania and the 231st largest city in the U.S, with a growing population of 121,283.
Founded in 1762 by William Allen, the city was named after him in 1838. Traditionally recognized as an industrial city with it’s economy dependent on iron and mining, it has since expanded to a wide range of products and services, including publishing, food processing, chemicals, electrical and medical equipment, and furniture.
Allentown is located just 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia, offering the comfort of a small city with big city attractions not too far away.
It is estimated that Pennsylvania is home to 1 million small businesses in a wide variety of industries and categories. Small businesses in Pennsylvania make up 98.2% of the total businesses in the state with the remaining 1.8% being large or enterprise level companies.
As of the latest SUSB census, Pennsylvania small businesses employed over 2 million people in the state representing 47% of the total employees in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is the 3rd highest electricity-generating state in the nation, behind only Texas and Florida. Commercial energy consumption makes up 17.1% of all energy consumption in the state.
Electricity for Allentown business and residential users is generated across the regional electricity grid, and several entities are collectively responsible for providing electricity: