electric meter

Senate Bill 1121 Would End Default Electricity Service and Auction Off Consumers to Unregulated Suppliers






Issue Background

  • Currently, more than 60% of Pennsylvania households receive default service from their electric utilities which purchase generation in the competitive wholesale markets and provide it to retail customers with no additional markup or profit margin.
  • Residents who shop for electricity on the retail market use default electric service plans as the baseline to compare prices.
  • Pennsylvanians have made it clear they want to keep default electric service. In a recent AARP survey, almost 70% of 50+ residents supported continuing default electric plans.
  • Electricity marketers have tried eliminating default service plans in other states. The most recent attempt took place in Connecticut, where the proposal was rejected by lawmakers.
  • The bill is opposed by PA Office of Consumer Advocate, the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project and numerous consumer advocacy organizations.


 AARP Position

  • SB 1121 eliminates the utility default service that is currently relied upon by more than 3 million residential customers across Pennsylvania
  • Under SB 1121 the state would auction off residential customers to unregulated suppliers without the customers consent and without any assurance that customers will benefit. This policy has not been implemented in any other state. 
  • SB 1121 would increase costs to customer by forcing distribution utilities to incur more stranded costs that will be then charged to consumers.
  • SB 1121 would harm low income consumers, and put at risk the universal service programs that Pennsylvania consumers have supported and relied upon for many years.
  • Default service as currently defined in Pennsylvania law is not in conflict with the implementation of a competitive market for electric generation service.
  • AARP opposes SB 1121. There’s no need to change how we sell electricity to consumers. The state’s current default service plans assure affordable electric service under reasonable terms, and provide a price to comparison shop.


What You Can Do

Call the AARP Pennsylvania Legislative Hotline toll-free at 1-800-843-6735 and tell your State Senator:

  • To vote no on Senate Bill 1121. 
  •  That the state’s current default service plans deliver affordable electric service under reasonable terms and provide a price to comparison shop.  


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