Ohio is known for having some of the biggest “firsts” in American history, which make it such a multi-faceted and engaging state for so many to call home. The first ambulance service was established in Cincinnati, the first traffic light appeared in Cleveland, Akron became the first city to use police cars, while Cincinnati had the first professional fire department. As for the Cincinnati Reds — they were the first professional baseball team in the US.
Today, Ohio, known by many as the Buckeye State, is home to 88 different counties and two of the country’s largest lakes: Lake Erie and Grand Lake. The nickname is based after the state’s official tree; the Buckeye. Today many know Ohio for major features like the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Whether it’s the draw of major universities such as Miami of Ohio, University of Ohio or Ohio State University or for the state’s bevy of historic sites, Ohio has not only become one of the most popular state to live in, in the US but one of the most popular destinations to visit as well.
Energy Deregulation in Ohio
Ohio’s long and sorted history contains more than just inventions and sports teams, the state was also one of the first in the country to adopt a deregulated energy market. In 1999, Ohio’s electricity market officially became deregulated when the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3. In 2001, Ohio consumers were given direct access to a number of different competitive retail electricity suppliers.
With a competitive market in place, several energy companies began emerging throughout Ohio, including Retail Energy Providers such as:
– Champion Energy
– Clearview Energy
– Constellation Energy
– Direct Energy
– Entrust Energy
– Hudson Energy
– IGS Energy
– Just Energy
– North American Power
– Spark Energy
– Think Energy
– Verde Energy
– Xoom Energy
These suppliers were able to offer customers competitive rates for energy, causing many to switch their service from their state-appointed utility. As more consumers began taking advantage of this deregulated service, the market became more and more competitive. Today, many suppliers are able to offer deals on both fixed and variable rate plans, short-term and long-term solutions, green energy products and they are able to offer a number of different incentives for consumers willing to switch providers.
Energy Choice Ohio
In Ohio, all residents still receive their gas and electricity from a single source, no matter what retail energy provider they choose. Rates and service in the state are still regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). The PUCO has been in charge of regulating energy in the state for more than 100 years.
Ohio’s official program is known as Energy Choice Ohio. This program not only provides residents with important information on energy deregulation but great resources to better understand the state’s approach to its electric market and tools to use when shopping for a new energy plan. Residents who choose not to shop for an energy plan from an individual retail energy provider can still receive the same electric service from their state-appointed utility.
Ohio’s Biggest Cities
Ohio is home to several major metropolitan areas. The following cities are not only some of the biggest and most populated in the state but also fall under Ohio’s deregulated energy laws.
These cities include:
Ohio is still separated into different utilities, meaning that different cities may each have unique utilities governing their area’s energy services.
Fast Facts About Ohio’s Energy Market
Ohio’s energy market is not only one of the most diverse in the country because of deregulation, there are also a number of other interesting facts about the Buckeye State’s energy use and production, including:
- Ohio ranks 7th in the nation for crude oil refining capacity ,as of 2014
- In 2014, coal fueled 67% of Ohio’s electricity generation
- Approximately 18% of Ohio’s electricity in 2014 came from natural gas
- Ohio’s industrial sector ranked 6th in the nation in 2012 for overall energy consumption
- In 2003, a transmission failure in the state of Ohio led to a blackout that impacted more than 50 million people. It was the largest blackout in North American history.
Ohio’s Top Utilities
Even though deregulation made it possible for Ohio residents to receive their energy from sources other than their state-appointed utility, these utilities are still major entities in the Ohio energy market. The following electricity utilities still service the state:
American Electric Power (AEP) - 1-800-672-2231
Duke Energy Ohio - 1-800-544-6900
Dayton Power and Light - 1-800-433-8500
FirstEnergy Ohio Edison - 1-800-633-4766
FirstEnergy The illuminating Company - 1-800-589-3101
Toledo Edison - 1-800-447-3333
If there is ever an outage, emergency or down power line, residents will still need to call their local utility, not their retail energy provider, which means it is important that all residents of Ohio know what utility services their area and how to contact them.