Q: What is deregulation?
A: Deregulation involves the unbundling of functions traditionally served only by regulated utilities. Historically utilities owned and/or controlled the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity and natural gas. However, customers in deregulated energy markets are now able to choose the company that supplies their electricity. The transmission and distribution functions are still regulated and as such will still be controlled by the local utility. Likewise, the local utility will continue to respond to emergency situation. Deregulation enables you to shop for the best price of electricity just as you do for your long distance phone service today.
Q: What happens if I have an emergency or power outage?
A: Because your local wires company is still responsible for the maintenance and repair of the poles and wires, you will call them in the event of an emergency or outage at the number provided on your bill.
Q: What has stayed the same in electric and natural gas service with deregulation?
A: Your current Transmission and Distribution Utility, continues to deliver electricity and natural gas to your business. Your local utility company still responds to service interruptions and continues to maintain the poles, wires and pipelines. You will continue to receive the same reliable service you are used to with your local utility company, regardless of which energy provider you receive service from. It’s helpful to think of electricity and natural gas deregulation like the deregulation that occurred several years ago in the long-distance telephone service market. Consumers now have the power to choose the long-distance carrier of their own liking. However, regardless of which long-distance carrier they choose, their phone lines are still provided and serviced by the same local phone company.
Q: What does choice mean?
A: Customer choice means the ability to choose the company who will supply your Electricity/gas. Your utility company will still deliver the electricity or natural gas provided by the alternate supplier you choose.
Q: Why would I want to choose?
A: You may choose the company that supplies your electricity based on your individual needs and preferences. Those can include budget certainty, the lowest price, terms of the agreement or the best combination of all.
Q: Who will read and maintain the meters at my business?
A: Your utility will continue to handle metering.
Q: Will choosing a new supplier change the reliability of my service?
A: No, your utility company owns the poles, wires and gas pipelines. Regardless of whom you choose as a supplier, your utility will continue to deliver your gas or electricity with the same reliability as before. You will continue to have access to your utility customer service representatives, and crews will still respond to emergencies and power outages.
Q: If one company supplies my electricity/gas and another provides the rest of my electric/gas service, who will I call about outages or repairs?
A: As a delivery customer, you will still call your utility company about electricity/gas outages and repairs (delivery refers to the facilities including poles, transformers, wires, and pipelines which carry and distribute the electricity/gas provided by your electric/gas supplier). If you have questions about the supply portion, you will call your new supplier.
Q: How will I be billed?
A: If you choose a competitive supplier, you may receive two bills: one bill from the supplier for the electricity or generation portion, and one from the utility for the delivery of the power.
Other options also are possible - the utility may bill you on behalf of the competitive supplier and include the supplier's charges as a line item on its bill, or the supplier may bill you on behalf of the utility and include the utility's charges in the supplier's bill.
Q: What is an Alternate Retail Electricity Supplier?
A: A supplier is a company that provides electricity or natural gas to commercial and/or residential customers in a competitive market. To operate in a service territory, suppliers must be accepted by that state's regulatory agency and must meet certain criteria, which varies across utilities and states.
A supplier also may offer other energy-related services such as energy efficiency programs. A competitive supplier can be a company affiliated with your local electric utility company or an independent electricity supplier.
Q: Can a supplier turn off my service?
A: No. Only your current utility is authorized to connect and/or disconnect your service. If you lose your supplier for any reason, you will be given advanced notice and allowed time to choose a new supplier or return to the local utility.
Q: Will I save money if I switch suppliers?
A: Your savings will depend on several things, including how much you currently pay for electricity or natural gas, how much electricity or natural gas you use, and your agreement with the supplier.
Q: Is there a chance I will lose service temporarily when I switch companies?
A: No. There will be no interruption of service if you switch to a competitive supplier or from one utility to another.
Q: How much of my energy bill relates to lighting in my facility?
A: As much as 50% of your energy bill could be related to lighting. HVAC systems and plug loads may contribute to the difference in non-production/manufacturing facilities.
Q: What can be done if I want to upgrade my lighting system, but don’t have the money to do it?
A: Lighting upgrades save so much money they are considered the “low hanging fruit” of energy savings tactics. We have relationships with leasing entities that understand lighting retrofits, and offer favorable terms that allow you to pay for the lease (3-4 years.) from a PORTION of the savings.
In other words, the new lighting system can pay for itself. Most leases only require the client to pay a nominal processing fee. Once approved the lessee pays only the first and last month payment. In some areas the electrical utility companies have rebates that reduce the project net costs.
We handle the entire process to save time and money!
Q: What has changed in electric and natural gas service with deregulation?
A: You can now choose to buy your energy from a different provider than the original provider for your area. These companies are called retail energy providers. Additionally, your bill now looks different than bills you have received in the past, but each retail energy provider provides the same standard information.
Q: Does everyone have the option to choose a new electricity or natural gas provider?
A: Unfortunately not. City-owned utilities and member-owned electric cooperatives have the option of giving their customers a choice of providers, or keeping things the same.
Q: Why use an energy procurement advisor?
A: The answer is simple: we save you time and money. Staying in-tune daily with energy markets, providers and new opportunities is a full-time job. With Trusted Energy LLC you can capitalize on the benefits offered by deregulation without committing significant time and resources to understanding the complexity of the markets. We get to know your business and your specific energy needs. Then we negotiate with energy providers on your behalf to get the best rates and options. After you have an agreement with a provider, we continue to service your business, and in case your needs change we are there to renegotiate new agreements that fit those needs. We do all the work. You receive all the benefits.
Q: Will I notice a change of service when I switch my energy provider?
A: No. No matter which energy provider you choose, your energy will continue to be delivered safely and reliably by the local utility company, a company still regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
Q: What happens if my energy provider stops serving customers?
A: If this were to take place, you would not be without energy. Your energy provider must give you advance notice to give you time to select a new provider. However, if you do not choose a new energy provider, your service will automatically be switched to another provider for your area. In this case, your energy rate may increase, so it’s in your best interest to find a new provider if yours stops serving you.