Before the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee
Public Hearing regarding: “Update on Electric Competition and Consumer Choice”
Terrance J. Fitzpatrick, President & CEO
Energy Association of Pennsylvania
January 23, 2014
Good morning Chairman Sturla, Chairman Daley, and members of the House Democratic Policy Committee. Thank you for the invitation to testify today. I am Terry Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania (EAP), a trade association formed by the electric and natural gas utilities operating in Pennsylvania. This morning I am commenting on behalf of EAP’s electric utility members, which are also referred to as “electric distribution companies” (EDCs) under the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act (Competition Act).1
I commend you for holding this hearing. The Public Utility Commission (PUC) completed its investigation of the electric retail market last year. It concluded that the retail market was not as vibrant as it should be, and it developed new policies and made recommendations to the General Assembly regarding statutory changes. In addition, Senate Bill 1121 has now been introduced, which would make fundamental changes to the electric retail market, including significant modifications to the default supply service model. The issues raised by these proposals are important to the public interest, and it is appropriate for this Committee to examine them.
At the outset, it may be relevant to point out that I have had significant experience with competition in the utility industries, including electric competition. I began my career in the law bureau of the PUC, and in the 1980s worked on assignments to bring greater competition to the trucking, telephone, and natural gas industries. In 1996, as a lawyer on the staff in the Senate, I was part of the group that drafted the Competition Act. Shortly after that, I went into private law practice and represented electric utilities in the restructuring proceedings under the Act. From 1999 to 2007, I served as a Commissioner at the PUC and participated in decisions implementing the Act.
Please direct any questions or requests for more information to Debra Kitner by email or phone at (717) 901-0607.