If you pay an electricity bill, who do you pay it to? Have you ever paid attention? If you were the primary account holder on your electric account prior to 1978, you may have paid the bill to your local electricity utility company. That makes sense, doesn’t it? They provide the electricity and you pay the bill for it. If you haven’t noticed, a change has been occurring lately in several states as it applies to the energy industry. Due to electricity deregulation, third-party non-utility electric retailers will now take over the service and billing of energy services you receive in your home or office, but the local utility company will still retain ownership of the electricity that is provided to your home. Confused yet? Let’s break it down into simpler terms to make the concept a little easier.
When you hear the term ‘energy industry’, you may think it refers to merely electric and gas companies. In fact, the term energy industry can refer to a wide myriad of industries involved with the production and sale of power, gas and energy. On one hand you have the companies that extract the fuel, such as oil and gas, from the Earth and then you have the manufacturing companies, the ones that take the fuel through the refining process and then of course there are the companies that deal with the distribution of energy to homes and businesses.
As you begin to learn more about deregulated energy, you may begin to wonder if it’s good or bad for you in the long run. It is always a good idea to weigh out the pros and the cons of any situation before jumping on board, and deciding on natural gas and electric companies should be no different. The following are the pros and cons of deregulated energy so that you can make a sound and informed decision regarding your energy service.
The Benefits of Deregulated Energy
When you move into a new apartment, home or office, one of the first steps you will typically take is to activate your gas and/or electricity service. Depending on where you live, you may notice that you now have many choices as to where your energy comes from. You can thank energy deregulation for this. It used to be the public utility companies that handled the supply, transmission and distribution of gas and electric. In the current energy market, you now have third-party companies handling many aspects of the power supply chain. Let’s examine the current energy market so that you can better understand why you are paying the amounts you are.
Energy deregulation is now commonplace in all states across the union, but has it helped the U.S. as a whole? What are some of the effects of energy deregulation and how do they affect the average American home or business owner? Let’s look at these effects now to see how you, as an energy consumer, have been affected.
Before you activated your current gas or electricity service, you probably shopped around for the best price. That option is fairly new for home and business owners – the ability to select companies based on price, that is. It used to be that there was one public utility company and that is the company you paid for gas or electricity service.
Thanks to deregulated energy programs, home and business owners can now select their providers based on the lowest rates, the best customer service, billing practices and more. Not only are home and business owners saving money with deregulated energy, but the competition alone has made for much better service. Let’s look at how you actually save money with deregulated energy programs and how you can make the system work for you.