Do you receive calls from com­pa­nies try­ing to sell you elec­tric and/or nat­ur­al gas at cheap­er rates than what you are cur­rent­ly pay­ing?  Do you receive offers in the mail that offer the same thing?  Let’s talk about the specifics of this and clar­i­fy some of the confusion.

First, let’s be clear about the dif­fer­ence between a Util­i­ty Com­pa­ny and a Retail Ener­gy Provider.

What is a Util­i­ty Company?

In a dereg­u­lat­ed mar­ket, the util­i­ty is the com­pa­ny that owns and main­tains the lines, wires, poles and trans­form­ers that deliv­er elec­tric­i­ty and gas to homes and build­ings. The util­i­ty is respon­si­ble for check­ing meters, restor­ing pow­er after severe weath­er and emer­gen­cies and fix­ing gas leaks. As it was before dereg­u­la­tion, it’s the norm for a sin­gle util­i­ty to serve a large geo­graph­i­cal area. In some parts of the Unit­ed States, util­i­ties com­pete along with com­pet­i­tive providers and act as the default provider for cus­tomers who do not choose their own.


What is a Retail Ener­gy Provider?

Providers, also referred to as com­pet­i­tive sup­pli­ers, alter­na­tive sup­pli­ers or third-par­ty sup­pli­ers, are com­pa­nies that mar­ket and sell elec­tric­i­ty or gas ser­vice direct­ly to cus­tomers. In oth­er words, a provider buys elec­tric­i­ty or gas from pow­er gen­er­a­tors, and you buy it from the provider of your choice. Cus­tomers in dereg­u­lat­ed mar­kets can typ­i­cal­ly choose from among sev­er­al dif­fer­ent providers. These com­pa­nies han­dle billing and pay­ment pro­cess­ing, and they com­pete for busi­ness in a vari­ety of ways.

For decades, util­i­ties were one-stop shops for gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­i­ty or gas, trans­mit­ting it to cus­tomers and pro­cess­ing pay­ments. Cus­tomers did­n’t have a choice in the mat­ter — your util­i­ty depend­ed on where you live.  Then, in the 1980s, some states began to allow the dereg­u­la­tion of elec­tric­i­ty mar­kets. As of Novem­ber 2019, 32 states plus Wash­ing­ton D.C. offer dereg­u­lat­ed elec­tric­i­ty and nat­ur­al gas.  Here is a map of all dereg­u­lat­ed states:

Map of Deregulated Energy Markets (Updated 2018) – Electric Choice

How Do Ener­gy Providers Compete?

The dri­ving force behind the move toward elec­tric­i­ty dereg­u­la­tion was a desire to break up the geo­graph­i­cal monop­o­lies that util­i­ties enjoyed. Because cus­tomers could­n’t take their busi­ness else­where, util­i­ties lacked an incen­tive to pro­vide supe­ri­or cus­tomer ser­vice or com­pet­i­tive rates. In a dereg­u­lat­ed mar­ket, providers that don’t work hard to earn and keep cus­tomers risk los­ing them to their competitors.

In addi­tion to com­pet­ing on the basis of cus­tomer ser­vice, providers offer cus­tomers the fol­low­ing options:

  • Low­er rates. To attract cus­tomers who are focused on the bot­tom line.
  • Vari­ety of plans. Providers offer a mix of fixed-rate plans and vari­able-rate plans. This allows cus­tomers to choose a plan that fits their bud­getary needs, lifestyle and risk tolerance.
  • Cus­tomer Ser­vice. Excel­lent cus­tomer ser­vice is a must to all Ener­gy Providers

Get­ting signed up with a third-par­ty can be com­pli­cat­ed.  Triple “S” Ener­gy is an expert man­age­ment com­pa­ny and has strong rela­tion­ships with many third-par­ty Ener­gy Providers who can pro­vide com­pet­i­tive rates for pow­er.  We can help you decide on prices that best meet your needs along with a free ener­gy audit. Once a con­tract is signed between the cus­tomer and the Ener­gy Provider, Triple “S” Ener­gy will con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor usage, demand, review invoic­es for accu­ra­cy and gen­er­ate a month­ly cost analy­sis for your review.  Triple “S” Ener­gy saves busi­ness­es up to 10 to 20% on all ener­gy costs.  Vis­it for more detail.