What Are the Benefits of Energy Choice?
Before jumping into the benefits of energy choice or energy deregulation, I thought it would be best to quickly recap what energy deregulation is.
What is Energy Deregulation?
If you live or own a business in a deregulated energy state, you’ve most likely heard about the energy choice program.
If you’ve not heard about it or if you’re not familiar with it, energy choice gives you – as an energy consumer – a choice as to where to buy your electricity and natural gas.
Having a choice over who supplies your electricity or natural gas allows you to shop for better energy rates as well as choose energy plans that best fit your energy needs.
Many retail energy suppliers offer green electricity plans that certify the energy you use is sourced from renewable energy generation. If your business has green energy goals, choosing a green energy plan will help you meet those goals.
Energy choice is often referred to as “energy deregulation”.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a choice over their energy. In states where energy is regulated, homes and businesses are obligated to buy the energy they use from their local utility. Subsequently paying whatever rates their local utility charges for electricity and/or natural gas.
What if Cell Phones Were Regulated?
Now, I know that energy and cell phones are two very different subjects. But I thought it would be interesting to compare energy deregulation to how you would shop for cell phone plans.
Today, when buying a new cell phone, you are presented with many different options. Through flexible plans, discounts, and multi-plan pricing different phone carriers compete for your business. And you – as a consumer – can shop and choose the one that you feel best fits your phone needs.
Well, just imagine if you had no choice as to what phone carrier to use, or what plan you were on. Let’s imagine that in the state by state, laws determined what phone carrier you HAD TO use in order to have a cell phone and that you had no choice as to what phone plan you had.
We could call that “phone regulation”.
In many U.S. states, that’s how energy is. It’s regulated, meaning, the utility supplies and sells you energy and you don’t have a choice as to where to buy it from.
However, some U.S states saw this as a monopoly. So, they changed the laws and regulations concerning how energy is bought and sold, allowing retail energy providers to offer electricity and natural gas directly to you – the consumer.
If you live or own a business in a deregulated energy state, you can choose where to buy your electricity or natural gas from. Retail energy suppliers in-turn, compete for your business by offering competitive rates and different kinds of plans.
If you choose to buy your electricity or natural gas from a retail energy supplier, the electricity or natural gas itself will still be delivered to you through the local utility’s infrastructure, which is to say wires and pipelines. But you’ll be paying less for the electricity or natural gas itself.
Finding better energy rates is one of the biggest advantages of energy deregulation, but it’s not the only one. Now let’s take a look at the main benefits the energy deregulations offer to your business:
The 4 Biggest Benefits of Energy Choice (Energy Deregulation)
- One of the biggest benefits of energy deregulation is being able to shop for lower energy rates. Finding and choosing a retail energy supplier that supplies electricity or natural gas at rates lower than your local utility offers is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lower your monthly energy bills.
- Energy deregulation also helps you stabilize your energy budget. As the general demand for electricity and natural gas grows year after year, so do energy rates. According to statistica.com, last year alone energy rates increased by 2.8 percent, and have been generally increasing year over year for the last decade. One of the most popular plans offered by retail energy suppliers is a fixed-rate plan that allows you to choose a lower rate that is guaranteed over a specific period of time, usually 12, 24, or 36 months. Choosing a fixed rate energy plan will protect you against seasonal fluctuations in the energy market and generally increasing energy rates.
- Green energy. Today, solar and wind are the two cheapest forms of electricity generation. That being the case, more and more retail energy suppliers are investing in energy produced by large-scale solar and wind farms as a way to offer competitive energy prices with the added benefit of green energy. When shopping for lower energy rates, look for green energy options that will allow your business to reach its renewable energy goals.
- It’s kind of speaks for itself but one of the main benefits of energy deregulation is that you have a choice over your energy costs. It sounds simple but when you consider that over 75 percent of America doesn’t have a choice over how much they pay for their electricity and natural gas, you all of a sudden see the importance of the energy choice program.