An online survey of energy professional was conducted in July 2011 to better understand the issues affecting commercial and industrial energy consumers. The survey was designed to help to identify changes or reformed that are needed to improve the performance of electricity markets for C&I consumers in underperforming states and provinces.

Throughout North America, large commercial and industrial consumers are demanding lower-cost electricity, risk management services, and new approaches to energy management. In several states, retail electric competition allows C&I consumers to select from a broad array of products and services. The survey was intended to gather information about the expected future energy prices for commercial and industrial consumers, electric market segments that are most important to retail competition, electric restructuring goals and the measurement of outcomes, market structure issues and market performance and commercial and industrial consumer decision making on a variety of issues.

Selected findings:

  • Competitive markets allow C&I customers to readily select the level of energy price risk they are willing to bear
  • Energy price fix or float is most important option (47% gave it first choice)
  • Large industrial consumers are expected to switch in anticipation of 1% to 10% savings
  • Small commercial consumers are expected to switch in anticipation of 1% to 15% savings
  • C&I consumers of all sizes list “volatility of energy prices” as a significant problem with competitive markets
  • Small consumers are concerned with “complex contracting” and “retailers going out of business”


Filed Under: Choice