Saving Energy Dollars: Everything You Need to Know About Energy Choice

Pictured: a map showing the regulatory status of the energy markets in the continental United States. The map shows four kinds of states: states with regulated gas and electricity markets, states with deregulated gas markets, states with deregulated electricity markets, and states where both the gas and electricity markets are deregulated.

Published by Marc Freedman on August 27, 2019

Energy choice: an opportunity to save on energy is becoming more available.

Until quite recently, government-regulated utility companies had a monopoly on the areas that they serve. As a result, everyone who uses electricity or natural gas is stuck buying it from one provider. Now, however, some states are deregulating the power that these companies have over their communities. Deregulation allows companies to compete to provide customers with natural gas and electric service. This means you can choose the right energy supplier for your business and budget, which can save you money.

The term “energy choice” refers to a consumer’s ability to choose their energy supplier. An energy supplier, as opposed to a utility company, has the ability to set fixed rates and negotiate the services they provide you with. Since energy suppliers have always provided utility companies with their energy to begin with, switching to one would be like cutting out the middleman.

Which states offer energy choice?

Unfortunately, energy choice is not available in every state. Of the states that do offer it, some options are limited. Most neighborhoods were built with utility wiring in mind. This is because utility companies are responsible for a large part of your city’s critical infrastructure. There is no way to cut them out completely. We’ve compiled a list of the states where you may be able to negotiate energy savings directly with suppliers.

Deregulated Gas and Electricity Markets

Some states have enabled competition within markets, but that does not guarantee that there are multiple choices available at this time.

  • California: Electric choice works on a very limited lottery system called DirectAccess.
  • Connecticut: Gas choice is partial and very limited.
  • Illinois: Approximately 75% of the state of Illinois is eligible for Natural Gas Choice.
  • Maine: Only available to Industrial and Commercial consumers.
  • Maryland: Some areas not eligible
  • Massachusetts: Full access
  • Michigan: Full access
  • New Jersey: Full access
  • New York: Full access
  • Ohio: Full access
  • Pennsylvania: Full access
  • Rhode Island: Full access
  • Texas: Gas choice is available to select commercial customers.
  • Virginia: Choice programs are limited for residential consumers.
  • Washington DC: Full access

Deregulated Gas-Only Markets:

  • Colorado: Natural Gas Deregulated, however no utilities currently offer choice programs
  • Florida: Full gas access
  • Georgia: Full gas access
  • Indiana: Only available to NIPSCO customers
  • Iowa: Limited to select customers
  • Kentucky: Full gas access
  • Montana: Full gas access
  • Nebraska: Full gas access
  • New Mexico: Full gas access
  • South Dakota: Full gas access
  • West Virginia: Full gas access
  • Wyoming: Full gas access

Deregulated Electricity-Only Markets:

  • Delaware: Full electric access
  • Oregon: Full electric access

If your state is listed, have any questions, or would like to learn more about Energy Choice savings, give us a call. We’ll walk you through the processes and help you negotiate the best energy solutions for your company.

Phone: 240.406.9075