What is energy deregulation, and how can it save me money?

 In Energy News

Once upon a time, energy was sourced to individuals and businesses by a single, local provider. The competition was non-existent and the suppliers’ regional monopoly was regulated by the government—but the lack of accountability resulted in dissatisfied customers at the mercy of the market prices or whim of the utility.

In the 1980s, as energy prices soared and consumers struggled under the weight of high costs, the U.S. Government gave individual states the power to reduce or remove government regulations that prohibited competition and open up the free market.

A competitive advantage

By reducing or eliminating electrical and gas regulations, other providers were able to begin offering service and products to customers in once-monopolized regions. Opening the free market has allowed competition to thrive. This, in turn, has encouraged utility providers to vie for the top spot by providing more innovative products, competitive pricing, and stellar service—qualities that had been problematic and lacking standardization under government regulations and inflexible pricing. Increased competition has stimulated the economy by creating more jobs and keeping prices competitive.

Deregulating the energy markets

Deregulation opened to door to consumer choice by doing away with fixed, inflexible pricing schemes. Consumers determine what types of contracts or agreement types, providers and rates will work for their individual energy usage needs, and what will save them money now or in the long run. Index product pricing, future dating, block and index or flexible, fixed pricing give customers the ability to customize their utility and determine what is best for them.

Energy brokers advocate for consumers across deregulated markets to find the lowest prices and customize the ideal energy contract for each individual or business.

Graphic Source: ElectricChoice.com

Currently, there are 31 states (along with the District of Columbia) that are either fully or partially deregulated for gas and electricity. These states include:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Deregulation of gas and electrical utilities has created free and open industry commerce, and put power is back in the hands of the people. And that’s exactly where it belongs.

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