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What is electricity deregulation?

Electricity deregulation separates electricity production from its storage and transmission. In a deregulated electric market, different businesses can handle electricity generation, storage and transmission. In regulated markets, one utility generates or buys electricity, stores it and transmits it to customers.

How deregulated electricity markets work

In a deregulated market, electricity providers generate electricity or buy it from companies that generate it. Having multiple electricity providers available gives customers options such as competitive pricing, renewable energy choices and different term lengths.

What customers in deregulated markets should know

In some deregulated states, local utilities also generate and sell electricity, but customers aren’t required to buy electricity from the utility company. Customers can choose from either their local utility or available electricity providers.

Before signing up for electricity service, we recommend checking the local utility’s electricity supply rate by checking their rates online or contacting them directly.

Deregulation — the power to choose your rate

The electricity supply rate is how much a customer pays per kilowatt hour of electricity used at home. With a deregulated market, multiple electricity providers generate electricity and compete to sell you electricity, which means you get the ability to choose which supply rate and provider you want.

A local utility still charges for costs such as transmission and power grid maintenance, but you may be able to lower monthly electricity costs by shopping for a provider with a lower electricity supply rate.

Which states have deregulated electricity?

The states above all have electricity deregulation. Some states have partial deregulation, though. For example, portions of Ohio and Texas are not deregulated.

Additionally, in a deregulated electricity market, a local utility still handles how electricity is transmitted and distributed, and no one can choose their local utility.

What does your local electric utility do?

The utility company transmits your chosen electricity, maintains and repairs the power grid and usually bills for electricity usage and transmission.

In some states, utilities can also generate and sell electricity, but you aren’t required to buy electricity from the utility. You may choose to buy electric service from either your local utility or available electricity providers.

Compare electric provider rates to your utility rates

Before signing up for electricity service, we recommend checking the local utility’s electricity supply rate by checking their rates online or contacting them directly.

To make sure you’re getting the best deal, enter your ZIP code at the top of the page to find local utility companies partnered with Choose Energy and Save On Energy.

Average residential electric rates in deregulated states

StateAugust 2019 cents per KWAugust 2018 cents per KW
California19.8619.85
Connecticut21.2921.27
Delaware12.2412.21
Illinois12.5112.52
Maine17.9016.91
Maryland12.4613.05
Massachusetts24.5420.80
Michigan16.5315.40
New Hampshire19.4719.32
New Jersey15.7915.25
New York18.3919.02
Ohio12.4512.90
Pennsylvania13.8313.95
Texas11.8011.27
Virginia12.3612.27

What’s a cheap electric rate?

As you can see, electricity rates vary a lot by state. Right now, cheap electricity ranges from 10 to 11 cents per kilowatt hour.

Electricity rates are subject to change based on region, market factors and electric providers. If you live in a state with a deregulated market, we can help you compare electric rates and providers in your area.

Enter your ZIP code in the field provided at the top of the page to find electricity rates and providers near you.

Electricity & power providers in Texas

Around 85% of Texas residents live in deregulated regions, and they must choose their electricity provider. Exceptions include Austin and San Antonio.

If you are a resident in a deregulated part of Texas, instead of signing up for power with a utility company, you can get electricity from companies known as Retail Electric Providers.

Who are major electricity providers in Texas?

Some major electricity providers in Texas include:

Retail Electric Providers in Texas do not actually generate electricity. Instead, they purchase electricity from power generators and sell electricity to consumers. Texas is home to more than 40 electricity providers, and some specialize in selling electricity they purchase from renewable energy generators.

Shop electricity providers by ZIP code

If you live in a deregulated energy market, shopping for the best rates and plans could help you reduce your monthly utility bill. We help you find your local electric companies by partnering with Choose Energy and Save on Energy.

Tips for choosing an electricity company near you

As you look for a power company to service your home, you may want to consider:

  • Price per kilowatt hour
  • Type of rate (fixed or variable)
  • Length of available plans
  • Early termination fees
  • Reputation of energy provider

Electricity service frequently asked questions

Does switching power companies interrupt your service?

No. Switching electricity providers should not interrupt your electricity service at home.

Does switching providers cost money?

Depending on your current power company’s terms, it can cost you money if you switch before the end of your electricity plan contract.

How do you find your provider in a regulated state?

If you live in a regulated state, your local utility determines who generates your electricity and controls your electricity transmission and distribution. You can usually find your utility company by visiting your city government website, contacting your local government office or by contacting your landlord if you are a renter.

What are fixed and variable electric rates?

A fixed rate plan is an electricity plan charging the same price per kWh from month to month. In addition, a flat rate plan is an electricity plan that charges the same price per kWh no matter how much you choose. Variable electric rate plans allow your price per kWh to vary from month to month.

How do you save money on your electric bill?

In addition to shopping for a lower electricity rate, you can use some of these tips to save money on electricity.

How does a state decide to deregulate?

Utilities are regulated and deregulated at the state level, where public service commissions are responsible for overseeing and authorizing investment decisions, operations and customer rates.



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