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 About ELECTRICITY and gas deregulation

deregulation:

THE TERM “DEREGULATION” RELATIVE TO GAS AND ELECTRICITY, BUT YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS OR HOW IT RELATES TO YOU. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.

What is electricity deregulation?

Electricity deregulation eliminates the rules and regulations that restrict companies from selling energy. That makes it easier for companies to enter into the market, which in turn gives you more options of where to purchase electricity and natural gas. In other words, in a deregulated energy market, you can purchase your energy from someone other than your local utility. Just like how there’s more than one phone company, more than one cable company, and more than one airline, there are multiple energy companies that compete for customers.

If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.  you can choose your electricity and natural gas suppliers. After switching energy suppliers, the only difference you'll notice will be your bill.

Electricity prices

Electricity prices vary by fuel cost, power grid maintenance and operation, type of customer (residential, commercial, industrial), location, seasonality and weather conditions.

Help with electric bill

Many families struggle to pay electricity bills in full each month, particularly when prices and demand rises during the summer and winter months. One way to get help paying your electric bill is to lock in a lower rate during the spring and fall. This will keep your monthly electric bills more consistent and predictable.

 

Electricity power sources

The United States generates electricity from a variety of sources including coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy such as hydropower, geothermal, solar, and wind.

 

Gas Deregulation

The regulation of natural gas dates back to the industry’s very beginning (mid-1800s). Before deregulation, utilities billed their customers for all the essential steps to obtain natural gas from the gas well and deliver it to customer homes or businesses. This included purchasing the gas, delivering it to the customer, measuring each customer’s usage, providing emergency services and billing customers.

Deregulation has made it possible for customers to continue working with their gas utility or choose to purchase only part of its services. This ability to pick and choose which part of the process a customer wants to purchase is called “unbundling.”

Moreover, deregulation has allowed consumers the ability to choose their gas suppliers. The local utility is still responsible for the regulation and delivery of gas.

As is the case with electricity, gas deregulation has resulted in competition which helps lower the cost of gas and increase the choices available to consumers.

Currently, there are 19 states that have some form of gas deregulation as a result of federal and state regulations.

Energy Tips

Energy cost can impact your family budget. Here are some tips to help you save money, minimize the impact to the environment and maximize efficiency.

Lighting

  • Replace light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate and last about 10 times longer.
  • Switch to T8 fluorescent lamp tubes with solid-state electronic ballasts that are more efficient than older T12 tubes with magnetic ballasts.
  • Turn off lights and other electronics when not in use.
  • Install switch plate occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting if there’s not someone in the room.
  • Install ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs.
Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Change HVAC filters monthly during peak cooling or heating seasons. New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters are more costly to use and over exert the equipment.
  • Tune-up your HVAC systems with an annual maintenance contract. A contract ensures that your HVAC contractor will provide tune-ups before each cooling and heating season.
  • Install an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system. This solid-state, electronic device optimizes HVAC operation "24/7" based on your schedule, and can be "overridden" as needed for unscheduled events.
  • Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking, which lets you manage your ventilation.
Food Service Equipment
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified commercial food service equipment. They can save over 45 percent of the energy used by conventional models, which equals about $140 annually for refrigerators and $100 for freezers; deep fryers can save up to $180 per year; hot food holding cabinets can save up to $280 per year; and steam cookers can save up to $820 per year.
  • Service walk-in refrigeration systems once a year. That includes cleaning, refrigerant top off, lubrication of moving parts and adjustment of belts.
Office Equipment
  • Buy ENERGY STAR qualified products, which are the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans and other appliances and equipment.
  • Turn off machines when they are not in use. Automatic switching to sleep mode or turning computer off is a great energy-saving strategy.
  • To maximize savings with a laptop, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically).
  • Use a laptop; they use less energy than desktop computers.
  • Unplug battery chargers once the batteries are fully charged.