Energy Deregulation

What is it?

Energy Deregulation is the opposite of Energy Regulation, which is the act of regulating the cost of all processes that provide energy. In some areas in the United States, energy prices remain regulated. This regulation is controlled by a regulatory, or governing, body and the energy provided in these situations is mandated to be provided by the local utility company and sold directly to consumers. In these areas, consumers do not have a choice as to who provides their electricity and if they want electricity there is only one source through which they must obtain it.

Deregulation has now taken place in many states thoughout America. This really means that instead of the power plants providing the commodity to the local utility company who then in turn provides the commodity direct to the consumer, now the power plant provides the commodity to a variety of suppliers who then in turn provide it to the local utility company who then send it on to the consumer.

Deregulation Structure

Deregulation means that consumers now can pick their energy supplier in much the same manner as they select their television or phone service providers. This opens up a variety of options for the consumer. In areas that have electrical or gas service deregulated, the long term effects are getting attention. From lower prices and improved customer service to new service options and features, the end result of deregulation is a host of positive benefits for the consumer.


The Importance of Deregulation

Why is it important?

Deregulation creates choice giving the consumer the ability to choose which provider they want to give their business to. This creates an environment where the utility service providers must strive to stand out amoung other companies and offer features, pricing plans, and rates in order to incentivize consumers to choose to use their service.

This also creates an atmosphere that encourages the service providers to strive for customer satisfaction and improve aspects of their business such as customer service. This eliminates the "If they want it they will deal with it and pay for it" approach that so many consumers have endured throughout the years and facilitates companies that provide higher quality service, more diverse product options, and a larger portfolio of features to consumers.


What does it mean to me?

The utility company is still responsible for distributing the source commodity to your place of business, however if you live in a deregulated area you will now be able to choose the supplier that you would like based upon their rates, features, and quality of service. The supplier not the utility company sets the supply price that you are responsible to pay each month. You will still receive your bill through the utility company as you normally do, but the rate used to calculate the amount you owe will be the rate set by your supplier.


So, what are the actual benefits?

Competitive Prices

Competitive Rates

Since companies must adjust their rates in order to stay competitive and keep your business, this means in the end you pay less each month.

More Features & Options

Innovative Features & Products

With increased competition, companies typically leverage new service features and product options to stay competitive and keep their customer base. This equates into a variety of options that otherwise may never have been available to you.

Higher Quality of Service

Higher Quality of Service

A competitive market mandates a need for the highest quality of service in all aspects of opertion to ensure the consumer does not choose to take their business elsewhere. This leads to a better quality of all aspects of service and product quality in order to keep the consumer happy.


Is energy deregulated in my area?

No state (as of the last update to this page) is fully deregulated. Many areas are partially deregulated in one manner or another and most have specific criteria regarding their deregulation guidelines. Please note that this page is updated as frequently as possible and applicable, however deregulation changes are enacted frequently and you should check in the area of interest to find the latest information as it applies to that area.

Energy Deregulation by US State
State Gas Year Electric Year Note
Alabama No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Alaska No N/A No N/A No Comments
Arizona No N/A Yes** N/A In 2004 energy regulation was placed on hold due to various regulatory orders.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Arkansas No N/A Yes** N/A In 2003 Bill 1114 was signed to reverse energy deregulation laws.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
California Yes 1995 Yes* N/A *California's electric choice works on a very limited lottery system called DirectAcccess.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Colorado Yes 1999 Yes** N/A Colorado is Natural Gas Deregulated, however no utilities currently offer choice programs.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Connecticut Yes* 1996 Yes 1998 *Gas choice is partial and very limited.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Delaware No* N/A Yes 1999 *Gas choice was trialed and discontinued.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Florida Yes 2002 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Georgia Yes 1998 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Hawaii No N/A No N/A No Comments
Idaho No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Illinois Yes 2002 Yes 1997 Approximately 75% of the state of Illinois is eligible for Natural Gas Choice.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Indiana Yes 1998 Yes** N/A Natural Gas Choice is only available for NIPSCO customers.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Iowa Yes* 1997 Yes** N/A *Natural Gas Choice is only available to a small number of consumers.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Kansas No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Kentucky Yes 2000 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Louisiana No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Maine Yes* 1998 Yes 2000 *Natural Gas Choice underwent more of a ‘restructuring’ process. It is only available to Industrial and Commercial consumers.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Maryland Yes* 1995 Yes 1999 *Some residential, commercial and industrial customers in some areas of Maryland are not eligible for Natural Gas Choice.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Massachusetts Yes 1998 Yes 1998 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Michigan Yes 2008 Yes 1998 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Minnesota No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Mississippi No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Missouri No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Montana Yes 1986 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Nebraska Yes 1998 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Nevada No N/A Yes** N/A Nevada is currently campaigning to adopt energy deregulation. The status of this state could change in the near future.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
New Hampshire Yes* 1998 Yes 1998 *New Hampshire does not offer Natural Gas Choice to residential customers at this time.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
New Jersey Yes 1999 Yes 1999 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
New Mexico Yes 1980s Yes** N/A Natural Gas Choice is available however, participation is very limited.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
New York Yes 1999 Yes 1997 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
North Carolina No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
North Dakota No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Ohio Yes 1997 Yes** 1996 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Oklahoma No N/A Yes** N/A In 2001 Senate Bill 440 was signed for further investigation and study of the impacts of energy deregulation.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Oregon No N/A Yes 1997 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Pennsylvania Yes 1999 Yes 1996 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Rhode Island Yes 1996 Yes 1996 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
South Carolina No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
South Dakota Yes 2005 Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Tennessee No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Texas Yes* N/A Yes 2002 Electricity deregulation is available to 85% of Texans. *Gas choice is available to commercial customers who consumer 3,650 MCF/annually.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Utah No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Vermont No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Virginia Yes 2001 Yes 2007 Both Natural Gas and Electric Choice programs are limited for residential consumers.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Washington No N/A Yes** N/A **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Washington DC Yes 1999 Yes 2001 **Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
West Virginia Yes 2010 Yes** N/A Natural Gas Choice is available but participation is very limited.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Wisconsin No* N/A Yes** N/A *Wisconsin's Natural Gas Choice program was discontinued in 2001.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.
Wyoming Yes* 1996 Yes** N/A *Very limited program, only one utility offers a choice program.
**Electric choice available through MicroGrid Energy Systems.

This page will be updated as frequently as necessary.