What is energy choice?
Since the mid-1990s, a number of states and provinces have passed legislation deregulating these electricity markets, allowing for competition in the industry. This means that customers in states and provinces that have undergone deregulation can now choose an alternative electricity provider (different from their utility) to seek competitive pricing and choose electricity products that make sense for their homes or business.
Today, energy choice is still going strong and it presents many individuals, businesses and organizations with decisions as to what energy strategy is best for their goals, business objectives, and most importantly, their bottom line.
Energy deregulation is very similar to the deregulated telephone industry, in which you may choose different companies for your long distance service, while your local phone company continues to maintain the lines you use. The transmission/distribution portion of your electric bill (the cost to get the power to you) is still provided by the utility, but you have the ability to shop for the best prices and services available to you in the market for supply or generation.
How does energy choice work?
Energy choice allows you to compare rates and additional service offerings from a variety of retail energy suppliers. Then, you can enter a contract to secure your energy at that rate for a defined period of time.
First, you should understand the cost components of your electricity and natural gas service. Typically, your bill includes charges for three components.
Supply refers to the generation of electricity or natural gas. This element of your energy service is deregulated to create competitive pricing based on the economic principle of supply and demand. Companies that generate electricity and natural gas make their supply available through the competitive, wholesale market. These rates will fluctuate based on a number of factors, such as weather and market conditions for other commodities. If your home/business is located in a deregulated market, you can choose a retail energy supplier (or provider) to secure supply from the wholesale market on your behalf at the most favorable rates available.
Transmission refers to the transportation of the large electricity supply from its source (e.g., a power plant) to the utility's receiving station. Transmission is regulated by the government to ensure the reliable delivery of energy.
Local Distribution refers to is the transportation of electricity from the receiving station to your home/business via wires and pipelines. Distribution is also regulated by government agencies.
How do I get started?
Natures Current can come to your home or business for a complimentary consultation to analyze your energy bills and determine what makes sense given your current electric usage and possible efficiency upgrades.