Here’s the information you need to understand deregulation and make smarter energy choices.
Core to the principles of capitalism, the United States encourages healthy competition and opposes monopolies. Antitrust laws in the US, as well as other regulation, are designed to prevent a single company or organization for owning an entire market (service or good). That’s when deregulation sometimes occurs, such as in trucking, airlines, or telecommunications in the past.
So, in the name of healthy competition, many states have chosen to deregulate electrical energy, natural gas, or both.
Deregulation of the energy industry separated the utility and the supplier:
- Utility – the infrastructure, including wires, poles, pipes, etc.
- Supplier – the company selling the energy.
A “deregulated” market is also referred to as an “open” market. In an open market, consumers are free to choose from the supplier that provides the pricing, incentives and other features most appealing to the consumer.
It’s a bit like shopping in a mall. The utility is the mall structure itself, including the stores. If you were shopping for clothes, because it is an open market, you are free to choose to purchase at the clothing store that best suits your needs. If there were only one clothing store, at which everyone were required to choose their clothing, it would be a clothing monopoly.
Deregulation of the energy market lets you shop at different “stores,” to encourage competition among suppliers and let consumers make the choice that best suits their needs.
Reasons for Choosing
More competition means lower pricing, but only if you are looking for that lower pricing. If consumers do not choose their energy provider, they still “default” to the earlier provider or a designated provider, which may not include the best pricing. That’s another reason it’s important to understand energy choice–just because you can choose your energy provider, doesn’t mean that you have.
Sometimes better pricing is even available from the same provider, but if you have not asked you have not evaluated the pricing options available.
If you do choose a provider, you have the power to:
- Choose the incentives and pricing that best suits your needs.
- Choose the energy source, such as “greener” energy solutions.
- Enjoy improved customer service, in many cases, since companies are competing for your business.
What’s more, energy choice in no way interrupts your servic, and frequently doesn’t even the look, frequency or setup of billing.
How to Choose Your Energy Provider
Energy choice is simple! For residential consumers, you can search for energy providers in your state, and compare offers. Compare pricing, incentives, but also other penalties or automatic pricing increases. Then contact the energy provider of your choice.
For commercial consumers, there are energy brokering companies who specialize in assisting businesses to maximize the potential of energy choice programs. Working with a 3rd-party energy specialist, you have several added benefits:
- Determining the best pricing for your needs, with an ally in your local market,
- Making energy efficiency upgrades and solutions, potentially without installation or upgrade charges,
- Managing billing, even if different utilities come from different companies, for improved accuracy and predictability,
- And planning for smarter long-term energy uses, to meet cost and sustainability goals.
At Energy Professional,s we help manage your total energy solution, including the best choice for your business or home energy resourcing. Contact us for a free quote.
This articles was originally posted at: https://www.energyprofessionals.com/energy-news/what-is-energy-choice/ on