Energy deregulation is one of the ways in which many states across America can keep the cost of electricity low, fair and reasonable for all consumers.
In many areas of the United States, energy deregulation took effect in 1992 when congress passed the Energy Policy Act. This Act amended utility laws, created mandates and set many goals to change the way consumers in the United States used energy. These changes also had an effect on the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1936 and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. Both policies required amendments to allow new rate-making standards and wholesale electricity sales.
Impact of Deregulation on Electricity Prices
While many elements of the energy industry are complex, energy deregulation itself is really quite simple.
In a regulated energy market, the utility is responsible for handling all areas of business — from generation to customer service. In a deregulated market, one area of business — supply — is separated from the utility. This separation gives organizations known as electricity providers or suppliers the opportunity to establish themselves within the energy market. What this really means is that instead of having a limited number of utilities (and in many cases only one utility) to choose from, customers have many electricity provider rates, plans and options to choose from.
Ultimately, energy deregulation breaks apart the monopolies that can form around a utility.
After all, if a utility controls the entire energy process from start to finish, there is no real incentive for them to keep rates low, innovate, or provide products and services that are exceptional. That doesn’t mean the average utility in a regulated market doesn’t strive to do all of those things already — it means they simply don’t have any competition to force them to do so. On the other hand, in a deregulated market, having many different electricity providers generates competition because consumers are not required to remain with those providers and can switch at any time.
In order for an electricity provider to attract and retain their customers, they need to offer the best services at the best rates. That’s why it’s advantageous to get a quote for electricity, whether it be for your home or business, so you can compare rates and plans of numerous companies in your area in one place.
Quotes in Deregulated Markets
In the United States, there are millions of people living in deregulated electricity markets. It’s important to note that while a state itself might be considered to have a deregulated electricity market, none of them are entirely deregulated. These states include:
- Washington D.C.
- New York
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
Texas, for example, is only 85% deregulated. Ultimately, in states that do operate a deregulated market to some extent, many of the major cities are deregulated providing access to consumer choice programs to millions. Some of these major cities include:
- New Britain
- New Haven
- Norwalk Stamford
- West Hartford
- West Chester
- Fort Worth
- Corpus Christi
- San Angelo
- Wichita Falls
- Abilene Pearland
- Texas City
Energy Quotes for Homes
Homes all over the world require electricity to generate daily necessities like light, cooling and heating. Homes in the United States are no exception. According to the United States Census Bureau there are many interesting stats associated to homes in America, including:
Number of Households (2015): 124.6 million
Number of Rented Units (2014): 42.58 million
Number of Housing Units for Sale: 1,416,000
Most Expensive City to Rent: New York
Median Rent Amount: $1,381/month
Average Price of new Home: $360.6K
Types of Residential Buildings
When it comes to electricity, this type of business in the United States is often referred to as Residential. It applies to a building or structure where people live. That being said, there are many different building or structure types that can fall under the residential umbrella including,
- Apartment buildings
- Detached single unit
- Nursing home
- Mobile Home
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2015 the average household in the United States uses 10,812 kWh, for an average of 901 kWh per month. Hawaii had the lowest electricity consumption at 6,166 kWh per residential consumer, while Louisiana had the highest at 15,435 kWh per residential customer. Overall, the average electricity bill was, $110.21 per month.
Getting a Residential Quote
The information provided above is very useful when trying to determine how much you should pay for your electricity. The type of building you live in or rent, as well as the area of the United States you live in could have a significant impact on your bill.
Your next step is to get a quote, or a rate for how much electricity will cost you per month as a United States resident. This step is quite simple. There are many tools online like Electric Choice that aggregate electricity provider rates and plans to show you what you would pay for their services. These tools will also inform you as to whether or not you live in an energy deregulated area. In addition, you can call an electricity provider at any time to speak with a representative in more details about your options.
Energy Quotes for Businesses
There are many businesses for many industries in the United States. Businesses themselves can be classified as small, medium or large, and this classification depends on the number of employees. Just like homes or residences, businesses also need electricity in order to run efficiently. In fact, many businesses require much more electricity depending on what kind of machinery is used (for example).
Types of Businesses/Industries
The United States has so many businesses it’s hard to truly determine the exact number. Currently, the best guess is that there are well over 18,204,679 businesses in America in many different industries. Some of these industries include:
- Air Transportation
- Data Processing
- Food Manufacturing
- Gasoline Stations
- Health Care
- Non store Retailers
- Paper Manufacturing
- Postal Service
- Professional and Business Services
- Real Estate
- Social Assistance
- Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
- Waste Management and Remediation Services
- Wood Product Manufacturing
Getting a Business Quote
Many electricity providers offer quotes for businesses of various sizes. Some even offer rebates and incentives for small businesses that might not be able to afford electricity otherwise. Similar to getting a quote for residential electricity consumption, businesses can take advantage of sites like Electric Choice to determine the electricity provider, rates and plans offered in the area. Alternatively, it is likely better for a business to contact the electricity provider directly to ensure that the rates and plans are fair.