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The Deregulated Energy Dictionary

Are you a business owner trying to get a handle on your electricity expenses? If you live in a state with energy deregulation, you have much more freedom to choose who you buy your energy from. Energy deregulation in different state’s energy markets gives more power to the buyers, helping them secure energy plans that actually fit their needs at the best price.

You might be asking, “What is energy deregulation? What is an electricity market? What does an energy broker do? Finding a provider is already hard work, so we put together this dictionary of the most important terms to understand when it comes to energy deregulation.

Deregulated Energy

Deregulated energy is a system in which the generation and sale of electricity and natural gas are open to competition from multiple companies, as opposed to being controlled by a government-regulated utility. In deregulated energy markets, businesses can choose their energy provider and the rate plan that best suits their needs. This type of system is in place in certain states in the United States, as well as in some countries in Europe and Asia.

Deregulated Energy Markets

In the United States, deregulated energy markets are systems that have opened up competition in the energy sector. In these markets, consumers have the freedom to choose their electricity and natural gas providers, fostering competition among various energy companies. They promote efficiency and innovation within the energy industry, ultimately benefiting consumers through greater choice and more competitive pricing.

However, the specifics of deregulated energy markets can vary by state, as some regions have fully deregulated systems, while others maintain some level of regulation. This approach can lead to different pricing structures and options for consumers based on where they live.

Electricity Markets

Electricity markets in the United States are systems where electricity is bought and sold. These markets help ensure a stable supply of electricity across the country. In the U.S., there are different types of electricity markets, including wholesale markets where power generators sell electricity to utilities and other buyers. These markets use competitive bidding to determine prices and allocate electricity resources efficiently.

The structure of electricity markets can vary from state to state, with some regions having deregulated markets where consumers can choose their electricity providers, while others have regulated markets where prices are set by government authorities. These markets play a crucial role in managing the supply and demand for electricity, promoting competition and influencing energy prices for consumers and businesses.

Electricity Meters

An electric meter, also known as a power meter or an electricity meter, is a device that measures the amount of electricity consumed by a residential or commercial customer. The meter records the amount of electricity used over a period of time, typically in kilowatt hours (kWh), and this information is then used to calculate the customer’s electric bill. Electric meters are typically installed at a customer’s premises by the utility company, and are read periodically to determine the customer’s energy usage. You can also read your electric meter to check your own usage.

Electric meters come in different types. The most common types are:

  • Analog electric meter: This type of meter uses mechanical parts, typically a spinning disk or a set of gears, to measure the amount of electricity consumed.
  • Digital electric meter: This type of meter uses electronic components to measure and record electricity usage, typically using a digital display to show the customer’s energy usage in real time.
  • Smart meters: These are digital electric meters that can communicate remotely with the utility company, allowing for automatic meter readings, remote disconnection and reconnection, and more accurate billing.

Electricity Rates

Electricity rates are the prices that customers pay for the electricity they consume. These rates are determined by the market, which fluctuates regionally based on local supply and demand.

There are different types of electricity rates depending on the market and the company, but some common types are:

  • Residential Rates: These rates are for households. Most are flat rates.
  • Commercial and Industrial Rates: These rates are for businesses and are typically based on the amount of energy consumed. They vary depending on the specific usage of the business.
  • Time-of-Use Rates: These rates vary depending on the time of day and the day of the week, with higher rates during peak usage times and lower rates during off-peak times.
  • Real-Time Pricing: This type of rate changes hourly or even more frequently based on the cost of electricity at that time.
  • Tiered Rates: These rates have different prices for different levels of consumption, with higher prices for customers who consume more electricity.
  • Flat Rates: Also known as fixed rates, these rates are predetermined in an energy contract. They remain the same regardless of energy prices, which keeps business energy rates stable.

The electricity prices can also vary depending on the type of contract and if any discounts or promotions are available.

Energy Broker

An energy broker is a company or individual that acts as an intermediary between energy suppliers and consumers, helping businesses and organizations find the best energy plans and prices for their needs. Energy brokers typically have relationships with a variety of energy suppliers and can negotiate rates and contract terms on behalf of their clients.

They may also provide consulting services to help clients understand the deregulated energy market and make informed decisions about their energy procurement. Energy brokers are commonly used in deregulated energy markets where businesses and organizations have the freedom to choose their energy supplier.

Energy Pricing

Energy pricing is, quite simply, the current price of energy (whether electricity or gas). It affects what we pay for energy, how much we use, and where companies invest their money in the energy business

Energy prices fluctuate constantly based on production and delivery costs, supply and demand, and government laws and regulations. However, energy prices for an individual consumer or business often depend much more on their energy contract than they do on the current market price of energy. That’s why it’s crucial to negotiate a favorable energy contract.

Energy Supplier

An energy supplier is a company that generates or purchases electricity or natural gas and sells it to consumers. In deregulated energy markets, energy suppliers can compete against each other for customers, offering different rates and plans for electricity and natural gas. Energy suppliers can be large corporations, or smaller, independent companies.

Some suppliers specialize in renewable energy such as solar or wind power.

In regulated energy markets, energy suppliers are typically government-owned utilities that have a monopoly on the generation and sale of electricity and natural gas.


A utility is a government-owned or regulated company that has a monopoly on the generation and sale of electricity and natural gas in a regulated market. Utility prices for electricity and natural gas are usually set by the government or a regulatory agency, and consumers usually don’t have a choice of supplier.

Utilities are usually responsible for maintaining and upgrading energy distribution infrastructure like power lines and gas mains, while energy suppliers just generate or purchase energy and sell it.

Looking for More Info on Energy Deregulation?

Explore our business resources to learn more about energy deregulation and how it affects you. If you’re ready to take the next step, get a quote on business energy rates from Integrity Energy today to see how you can cut your energy expenses and take advantage of your deregulated energy market.