Ohio Electricity and Natural Gas Choice
Find out how Ohio energy deregulation has given you the power to make an apples to apples electricity and natural gas comparison to help avoid high energy bills.
In 1999, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3, which began the process of energy deregulation in Ohio. Under the deregulated system, consumers in many areas of Ohio would have the ability to select a different company to supply their electricity, rather than relying solely on one price based upon their utility’s ability to produce electricity.
In January 2001, the law went into effect and consumers in Ohio had the option to compare electricity providers and choose different electricity plans from the limited set offered by their incumbent utility. Adoption of Ohio electric choice was brisk as many consumers jumped at the opportunity to compare and save. Following in the steps of the early adopters, today’s consumers continue to take advantage of deregulation’s benefits.
Ohio Electricity Deregulation: Common Questions
Q. I have decided to make the switch to a new Ohio competitive retail electric service provider. Will there be any change in the reliability of my electricity?
While you are buying energy from your new electricity or natural gas provider, your local wires company, or utility, is still responsible for delivering electricity to your home or business. In charge of the maintenance of power lines, these local wires companies are regulated by the Ohio PUC. If you are facing a power outage or other problems, the local wires company is still your first point of contact. The contact number for your utility is provided on your electricity bill.
Q. With the advent of deregulation, what has changed?
Deregulation implies that consumers can choose among the companies providing natural gas services in Ohio. Competing companies provide different offers for both commercial and residential use, and your decision will affect the price you pay for electricity supply. Deregulation has significantly increased competition levels among energy service providers, and as a result, consumers have many lucrative offers and promotional incentives from which to choose – not to mention competitive electricity rates as well as fixed and variable contracts and renewable energy options. Competition was introduced into retail energy markets to enable consumers to benefit from a healthy market. It all translates into keeping electricity and natural gas prices competitive and thereby providing you with a choice when it comes to finding the best electricity and natural gas provider for your particular needs.
Q. Has deregulation opened electric choice to every Ohio consumer?
No, not every Ohio consumer has the ability to choose a new electricity provider. Some parts of the state are serviced by electric cooperatives, which were not required to restructure for deregulation under Senate bill 3. An electric cooperative is a not-for-profit member owned utility that provides service solely to its members. There are 25 electric cooperatives serving more than 350,000 Ohio residents and small businesses in the state. On the other hand, Ohio’s major utilities are open to deregulation. Consumers in these areas have a choice when deciding who supplies their electricity:
Columbus Southern Power Company (AEP)
Q. California has already faced challenges with deregulation. Is Ohio at risk too?
California’s move to deregulation was entirely different than it is in Ohio. Most importantly, California never had the kind of power reserves that exist in Ohio. Consumer protection laws are very strong in Ohio and the Ohio PUC continues to take active efforts in this regard. A number of rules have been formulated by the PUC to protect the interests of consumers. Companies operating in the energy sector must abide by these stringent rules which prevent placing risk on consumers.
Q. While switching to a new electric service provider, will I lose power?
No, your utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home or business regardless of the electric service provider you choose.
Q. What is green energy and how does it relate to deregulation?
While not entirely related to energy deregulation, deregulation provides consumers with the ability to compare different electricity plans, including those supplied by renewable, or green, energy sources. Renewable sources of energy are becoming more popular to power homes and businesses in Ohio. Examples of green energy sources include solar, wind, and geothermal.
Q. How should I choose my new electric service provider?
Choose Energy has comprehensive information about some of the top Ohio competitive retail electric service providers and will help you find the best option for your energy needs. Whether you are looking for the best electricity rate, a fixed or variable contract, or electricity supplied by renewable energy sources, Choose Energy enables you to compare and switch.