In 1999, the state of Connecticut started deregulating its public utilities. The driving force behind electric deregulation was to stop utilities from handling the entire business process from electricity generation to delivery. The movement eventually opened up the market to allow different companies to supply energy to consumers.
When the law went into effect in early 2000, Connecticut’s two main utilities, Connecticut Light & Power and The United Illuminating Company were divided up. This allowed energy providers to enter a more competitive market.
Since then, some commercial, industrial and residential customers in Connecticut have benefited from the ability to choose their energy supplier.
According to the Connecticut General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee, in 2011 41.8% of all electric company customers opted to switch to a competitive supplier. Competitive suppliers also sold more than two thirds (67.6%) of the total amount of power in the state. These suppliers include the following companies:
– Aequitas Energy
– Agera Energy
– Ambit Energy
– Choice Energy
– ConEdison Solutions
– Constellation Energy
– Direct Energy
– Hiko Energy
– Liberty Power
– Mega Energy
– North American Power
– Spark Energy
– Starion Energy
– Think Energy
– Town Square Energy
Energize Connecticut is an initiative of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State and local electric and gas utilities. It is an official program that focuses on providing consumers with the knowledge and information they need to save energy and create clean energy.
The program encourages energy consumers to use Connecticut’s Official Rate Board to compare suppliers. This simple action helps to ensure that electricity rates and cost remain low. It also offers home or business rebates, financing, services and resources to inform state residents about their best energy options — now and for the future.
Fast Facts about Connecticut’s Energy Market
Electricity deregulation wasn’t the only benefit to Connecticut’s energy market. There are several other interesting facts about how the state generates and manages energy such as:
– Since 2013, more than one-third of households in the state use natural gas.
– Consumer funded efficiency programs conserve more than 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
– Groton, Connecticut is home to one of two Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve sites, which aid in preventing interruptions in the supply of home heating oil.
– Green electricity generation technologies contribute to the state?s mission to generate 23% of Connecticut’s energy through renewable energy by 2020.
Electricity for Homes
Connecticut, like any other state, requires energy to power households of different sizes and types. Currently, the average number of people living within a household is two, within a total of 1,371,087 households. The primary source of energy consumed by residents is petroleum followed closely by natural gas. Electricity and renewable resources are a much less commonly used source of energy within any household type.
Electricity: The state’s electricity consumption is on the low end when compared to the rest of the nation. The summer season is very mild, which doesn’t lead residents to use air conditioners very much within any household type. In addition, electricity is the primary source of energy for only one in six households. Part of this is due to the fact that the cost of electricity is one of the highest in the country. To help combat these soaring rates, Connecticut has started initiatives to help customers reduce their monthly bill through peak demand reduction and energy efficiency.
Natural Gas: This is one of the dominant sources of energy for the state, with nearly one in three households using gas for heating. The supply of this fuel has recently come under debate as the state relies on storage capacity within other nearby states like, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. As the need for natural gas increases within Connecticut, making sure that there is enough to get households through the winter season and peak demand has become an important focus.
Petroleum: This source of energy is used by almost half of the state’s households for heating. Connecticut has several state laws that strictly regulate the use or consumption of this fuel.
Renewable Energy: The state has put a multi-decade initiative into place to help residents implement renewable energy technologies like solar panels on their homes. To help with this project, Connecticut also ensures that retail utilities offer different pricing options for renewable sources and efficiency like, net metering and time of day.
Electricity for Businesses
Industry and related operations make up most of Connecticut’s business. The state primarily produces textiles, silverware, clocks, watches, silverware, jet engines, computer equipment, helicopters, and electronics. In order to power this economic sector, Connecticut consumes 11.5% of the total energy used by the state.
The commercial sector on the other hand consumes 25.2% of the total energy used by the state. Insurance companies, financial, retail services, real estate, and casinos require large buildings for many employees. Powering the buildings these types of businesses operate make up for a large portion of this energy use.
Transportation is another sector in Connecticut that consumes a lot of energy. It makes up for 30.1% of the state’s total consumption.
New Energy Initiatives
Energy Conscious Blueprint is an Energize Connecticut initiative that provides financial support to help people better understand their energy options when it comes to buildings within the state. The financial support provided helps to minimize the cost of adapting a building to be more energy efficient.
This project is run through Connecticut utilities, who assist applicants in determining areas of energy savings within a building. The program’s administrative team will then provide the assistance required to pick and choose the correct equipment. Once confirmed, and the improvements in energy efficiency within the building are verified, the incentive payment is provided.
Through this program, it is possible to upgrade a building in many different ways including,
- Energy efficient lighting
- Energy efficient HVAC
- Overall building performance
- Energy efficient refrigeration
- Energy efficient water heating
Connecticut’s Biggest Cities
There are several large cities in Connecticut. Many of them allow customers to choose their energy provider because they are included under deregulated electricity laws.
These cities include:
Connecticut’s Top Utilities
Despite the fact that almost half of Connecticut’s energy consumers purchase their electricity from suppliers, there are still many who remain with their utility. The following is a list of utilities that currently supply electricity in Connecticut:
Abest Power and Gas – 1-888-313-9086
Clearview Energy – 1-800-746-4702
Discount Power – 1-877-259-7693
Eversource Energy – 1-800-286-2000
Perigee Energy – 1-855-275-1500
Public Power – 1-888-354-4415
Sunwave Gas + Power – 1-855-478-6928
The United Illuminating Company – 1-800-722-5584
Verde Energy USA – 1-800-388-3862
Xoom Energy – 1-888-997-8979
When it comes to energy emergency situations, Connecticut customers are still required to call their utility. Retail energy suppliers typically do not handle downed power lines, or other emergency related outages.