Ohioans have had the power to choose their energy supplier for more than 10 years thanks to energy choice. With energy choice, customers of investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities can shop for competitive supply rates from an energy provider that best fits their needs. In addition to comparing energy supply rates, many consumers can also look for other features that may be important to them such as renewable energy options, innovative products or customer service. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) encourages consumers to be informed about their energy choices and to make the most of this new power.
PUCO’s apples to apples electric website allows Ohioans to easily compare electricity and natural gas supply rates from certified suppliers. The site also offers information on what to expect if you decide to switch to an energy supplier, including how the switch is implemented and the benefits of switching.
Before deregulation, your local energy utility provided every aspect of your service – generating the electricity, delivering it to your home or business and sending you a bill. Under energy choice, your utility company continues to deliver the electricity and send you a bill. You now have the option to select a different company for your generation supply, just like you can with other products and services such as mobile phones, cable, insurance and internet.
Electric Choice is available to residential and commercial customers of AEP Ohio, AES Ohio, EOCo, Duke Energy and FirstEnergy utilities. The PUCO Apples to Apples site allows them to select an electricity generation supplier for their regulated account. Once selected, the new supplier will provide the power and your utility will continue to manage delivery and distribution of the power you use.
The PUCO website is dedicated to consumer education about energy choice and hosts a variety of other resources for consumers, such as the Energy Choice FAQs page. The site also offers a list of approved suppliers, a list of energy aggregators and a map of available electricity options in Ohio. It is also possible to compare energy rates for both natural and electric energy suppliers in a number of other deregulated states.
While many Ohioans enjoy the benefits of energy choice, not everyone is familiar with what it entails. The PUCO website provides valuable information for both new and experienced energy choice users. The site is also an excellent resource for information about upcoming PUCO regulations that affect retail electricity and natural gas supply markets.
In addition to providing comparisons of energy supply rates, the PUCO website also contains important consumer-related information such as your rights as an energy choice user, tips for selecting an energy supplier and a glossary of commonly used terms. The site also has helpful links to other resources that can help you get the most from your energy choices, such as information on rebating and energy efficiency programs. Moreover, it can be a good idea to keep an eye on upcoming PUCO regulations as they may impact pricing and the quality of service that Ohioans receive.