Shopping for Electricity or Gas: Expectations vs Reality

When it comes to having a service provider for natural gas to your home, you may be faced with many decisions. You face many decisions because, in 2001, Senate Bill 3 went into effect, which changed the industry tremendously. Below we will take a look at how the industry is run and what it means for consumers.

 

Expectation:

 

The industry in Ohio is regulated; meaning everyone has the same electricity or gas provider.

 

Reality:

 

In 2001 everything changed for Ohio residents. An outline of the deregulation process was established, which allowed for the market to determine the cost of energy using supplier competition. Prior to deregulation, the cost of electricity was based on a process that was dependent on the power companies’ cost to produce electricity, which in turn resulted in a rate cap. Deregulation removed the rate cap and allowed for market competition. Now consumers would be able to shop around and get the cheapest gas in Columbus Ohio.

 

Expectation:

 

You have to use the major utility company

 

Reality:

 

The passing of Senate Bill 3 allows Ohio consumers to compare electricity and gas providers and choose a plan from a set of utility providers. With energy deregulation, you’ll still receive your electricity and gas through your local utility’s infrastructure, but you’ll be able to choose your own energy provider. Consumers were now able to choose to buy energy from Certified Retail Electric Suppliers, AKA CRES, instead of automatically having to use the large utility company in their area.

 

Expectation:

 

Everyone is Fair

 

Reality:

 

When a monopoly is involved, everything seems to be streamlined. Fewer people or businesses involved than the more stable things tend to be. Once the competition is introduced is when things can get crazy and can send ripples through the market. Having more people involved and giving more people access to the industry also gives way to bad business. The wrong people can get involved and give people bad service or even cause you to lose money. It is important to do your due diligence through the proper channels to be sure you are getting trustworthy service.

 

Expectation:

 

It will be hard to decide on the right provider.

 

Reality:

 

 

Finding a natural gas or electric provider has gotten easier with the creation of research websites that help find the best Ohio electricity rates.  These comparison sites give you all the information you need to make an informed decision, so you can shop smart. On these sites, you learn important terms and lingo as well as the availability to compare providers with a side by side comparison to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck