Survey finds 74% of consumers want to select their energy supplier

The Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) last week released its national scientific poll that indicates three out of four voters want options and choice when selecting their energy suppliers. The results were released in conjunction with National Energy Shopping Day.

“National Energy Shopping Day was created to educate consumers, regulators, and legislators on the benefits of retail choice,” said Tracy McCormick, executive director of RESA.

The survey was conducted by Ragnar Research Partners. Interviews included 1,000 Likely Voters (LVs) nationwide. Quotas on age, gender, ethnicity, education and region were used to ensure a representative distribution. The study’s margin of error is ±3%.

The survey found that 76% find importance in choice when deciding on consumer products such as cell phone or ISP plans and that 74% of voters agree that consumers should shop for energy suppliers in the same way.

Additionally, 58% of voters want energy to be a competitive marketplace and let competition drive down costs, although 49% believe investors should bear the cost to expand energy infrastructure.

Those who are less satisfied with their energy supplier want increased competition, while those who are more satisfied are more willing to bear the cost of infrastructure expansion. 70% of voters are more likely to support competition among energy suppliers if it leads to an increase in low-cost, green energy options.

Highlight of poll findings can be seen in the figure:

Similar to choosing an Internet or telephone service provider, consumers in some states can choose an electricity and natural gas supplier for their home or business. This choice is a significant change over traditional utility service, in which an energy consumer has no choice but to purchase from a monopoly utility service provider offering few or no options in terms of energy management tools, renewable energy and efficiency, and pricing. 

All consumers must be afforded the right to shop for competitively priced energy products and services, just as they do for other services.

“It is clear that the majority of Americans want the right to choose their electric providers and suppliers,” said President of RESA, Matt White. “With only 14 states offering consumers a right to choose (or 28%), while three-quarters of Americans want a choice, clearly there is a disconnect.”

For competition to be effective, all consumers must be afforded the right to shop for competitively priced energy products and services, just as they do for other services, according to RESA. Voters are ready for energy options in the marketplace and want more players in the game, such as green energy suppliers, to reduce costs. 


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