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.
Electricity for Homes
There are several key elements to Ohio’s household demographics. Some of these residential or household stats include,
- Total number of households (and occupied housing units) is approximately, 4,445,773
- Total number of vacant housing units is, 337,278
- There are around 3,072,522 owner-occupied units and 1,373,251 renter-occupied units
- The average household size is, 2.49
- The average family size living within a household is 3.04
Energy is consumed by many different sectors for many different reasons. When it comes to residential users or customers, approximately 24% of the energy consumed in the state comes from this particular sector. When it comes to electricity, the state consumes approximately 3,745 trillion Btu’s per year. The consumption of electricity in the residential sector is around 914 trillion Btu’s, which adds up to a cost of $9,911 million. In addition, homeowners within the state consume energy in several different ways, using several different types including,
- Natural Gas: 66.6%
- Electricity: 22.8%
- Fuel Oil: 2.4%
- Liquefied Petroleum Gases: 5%
- Other: 3.2%
Electricity for Businesses
Ohio has benefited greatly from the Utica Shale, where the state produces most of its natural gas. In 2015 the state also had the seventh largest crude oil refining capacity in the United States.
Outside of its energy industry, the state also has a thriving industrial sector, which includes, steel production, banking and insurance, motor vehicle manufacturing, food processing, and research and development. All of these sectors require a lot of power to run different machinery and tools, not to mention the lights that allow workers to come into the office or warehouse to do their jobs.
Overall, 32.2% of energy consumption in Ohio is made by the industrial sector, while 18.6% of consumption comes from the commercial sector. Transportation makes up another 24.7% of the total energy consumption amount by sector.
Energy Saving Initiatives
During the summer months, Ohio’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) runs a special assistance program called the, Summer Crisis Program. This special program helps low income elderly residents and those who have particular medical conditions to afford the additional costs that cooling can add to a monthly bill.
This program will give successful applicants $350 for electric bill payments, an air conditioning unit or a fan. Applicants must be for someone who has a verified illness, or have a person living within the residence that is 60 years or older.
Applications are accepted from July 1 to August 31.
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.