By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The price of electricity is dropping in our area.  But why is that the case?

Is it because Pennsylvanians can now choose their electric supplier, so suppliers are dropping prices to encourage customers to switch?  Or is it because the cost of producing power is less?

Ritchie Hudson, Pennsylvania chair for the Retail Energy Supply Association, says it may be a combination of both factors.

“Energy prices are at historic lows due to several factors,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “(including) the increased natural gas supplies made available by the Marcellus shale exploration.  And that has been timely with the implementation of competition; as competition increases, this puts downward pressure on prices.”

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says shopping for electricity is easy — and in your best interest.

“Would you walk by a hundred dollars on the sidewalk and leave it there?  You wouldn’t! And for ten minutes on line, you can save yourself $100 a year,” she says.  More information is available at


See the KYW Regional Affairs Council report, “Your Electricity Buying Guide