If you’re like most Americans, you get an electric bill in the mail, wonder why it’s so expensive, and then send a check (or pay online). You assume that when the utility company bills you, they charge you whatever they want and it’s just tough luck for you if they raise their prices.

But what if it didn’t have to be like that? Better yet, what if it isn’t like that?

Most home and business owners in the United States are unaware of the fact that they can actually choose their electric and gas providers. That’s right, you can actually shop energy rates for the lowest price. Even better, when you find the lowest price, you can lock that price in for multiple years and always receive the same rate. Energy Supply Companies, or “ESCOs,” battle to win your business by cutting costs and reducing prices. This is all the result of “energy deregulation.”

Energy deregulation means that your electric and gas supply is now divided into two parts. There’s a delivery charge, and a supply charge.

Delivery Charge: This is the part that you can’t shop around for. This is the part that the utility company takes care of. The utility company manages the wires and pipes that bring electricity and gas to your home or business. The utility company charges its own, steadier rate for this service.

Supply Charge: This is the part you can shop for. Supply represents the actual electricity or gas that gets consumed in your home or business. By giving consumers a choice, not only have supply prices been reduced through competition, but a variety of unique billing plans and green energy products have been developed.

Great! So where do you get started?

First, you should determine what’s most important to you. Would you rather get the lowest rates available right now and lock those in, or would you rather choose a variable rate plan that fluctuates with the market? Would you rather be able to budget long-term, or take advantage of price fluctuations? There are benefits and drawbacks to both fixed rates and variable rates, and depending on your personal preferences and goals, one or the other may be the right choice. More information is available both on our website and around the web on details of shopping the market.

We promise it’s not so complicated.

Shop around. Find the right company and switch over. Energy deregulation allows you the freedom to take control of your energy expenses, why not take advantage of that?