Origins of Energy Deregulation in Ohio
Ohio is one of dozens of states that has chosen to deregulate it’s energy market, allowing electric and natural gas consumers to shop around for the rates and plan features they want.
Ohio’s major step toward energy deregulation came in 1999 with the passing of the Ohio Electric Restructuring Act in July (also known as Senate Bill 3). At the time, eight investor-owned utilities controlled nearly all electricity sales in the state. In addition to owning the infrastructure that delivers electricity, these utilities generated or purchased electricity and then passed the electricity cost along to customers. Because customers can’t leave their designated utility, there was no incentive for these monopolies to bargain hunt for cheaper electricity rates.
Senate Bill 3 went into effect in 2001. It decoupled the transmission of electricity (what the utility does) with the cost of the actual energy. Customers still can’t leave their designated utility, but they no longer have to get their electricity supply directly from them. This decoupling allowed more energy suppliers to access a once monopolized market and slowly, competitive pricing began to take hold.
PUCO Introduces Apples to Apples
Deregulation doesn’t mean no regulation. Every state has a public service commission consisting of elected or appointed officials that are responsible for regulating utilities. In Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) continues to oversee the energy sector following deregulation. Among other responsibilities, PUCO certifies electric suppliers and facilitates the state’s energy choice comparison website, called Apples to Apples.
Apples to Apples is a tool customers can use to compare the dozens of electricity suppliers that service their given utility. Each supplier offers different rates, rate types, term lengths, incentives, renewable options, and early termination fees, which are laid out in a filterable grid on the site.
Not all Ohioans choose to shop around for their energy supplier. If you do not contract with an energy supplier, you default to a Standard Service Offer (SSO) provided by the utility itself. Also known as the “Price To Compare”, this rate varies each month based on market pricing. You can see your utility company’s current Price To Compare rate on your utility bill or by selecting your utility on the Apples to Apples website.
Currently, nearly 2.4 million electric customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers are participating in energy choice programs within the state of Ohio.
Benefits of an Energy Broker
While the Apples to Apples website can be a valuable tool for Ohioans, it is-at its core-just rows and columns of data.
Brokers like Integrity Energy can help you move beyond the data. For over 20 years, our in depth market knowledge has allowed us to predict future market trends and be more forward focused. In addition, we factor in customer reviews and the supplier’s track record of service so only reputable suppliers make the short list.
Integrity Energy is able to offer personalized and expert assistance in switching to a new provider and getting your commercial energy service set up from start to finish. Our brokers take the time to get to know your business’ needs so they can recommend energy plans and incentives uniquely suited to your usage patterns. We handle the contracts and stay on top of the renewal process so you aren’t inadvertently switched back to volatile variable rates when your contract ends.
Things to Know About Business Electricity Rates in Ohio
Energy Rates Change With Supply and Demand
It’s important to remember that energy rates are highly volatile and change constantly, especially in a deregulated market. Finding the best electricity rate is important to minimizing your business’s energy costs. Using the right network of commercial electricity providers is key to making a sustainable choice for your business, and Integrity Energy can connect you to that network.
This connection will help minimize the fluctuation in energy costs by helping you find the best energy plan for you.
Electricity Rates are Made Up of Three Charges
This cost incorporates electricity production (running the power plant), transporting the electricity, and repairing and maintaining that equipment.
This is the charge you see on your electric bill as your usage in kilowatt-hour (kWh). It covers the costs of creating and moving electricity.
This relates to the customer service and local distribution of commercial electricity.
Are Other States Deregulated, Too?
Yes! Several states, like Ohio, have deregulated both electricity and natural gas. Several other states have deregulated one market but not the other. Integrity Energy is licensed in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Because deregulated markets put the power of energy choice into the consumers’ hands, suppliers must win over their customers. This rivalry among suppliers can lead them to offer more competitive pricing and improved energy technologies (including renewable technologies) in order to earn the business of energy shoppers.
Integrity Energy is Your Partner in the Deregulated Energy Market of Ohio
Whether you’re from Columbus or Cleveland, Integrity Energy is ready to partner with your business in finding the best energy rates and services for your bottom line in the state of Ohio. Between rates, terms, early termination feeds, finding the best energy plan for your business can feel like an overwhelming chore. But the energy experts at Integrity Energy are knowledgeable and armed with an in-depth understanding of the markets and local electricity suppliers.
We prioritize your business needs and match you with a plan that provides consistent energy savings, while explaining unfamiliar terms and helping you navigate your new contract every step of the way. This allows you to feel confident in your energy plan without the stress of learning, understanding, and managing it all. We believe that keeping the lights on for your business should be as easy as flipping a switch!
Let Integrity Energy eliminate the complications and dig through the details for you. If you’re unsure where to start, contact one of our experienced energy consultants today!