Deregulation: Discover the difference between a utility and supplier
While the difference between a utility and a retail energy supplier may seem confusing, both can be assets to consumers. Deregulation opened up the energy market to competition and divided the energy process into different parts, including separating supply and delivery.
A retail energy supplier purchases energy wholesale from a generation company, such as a power plant or wind farm, and then sells energy plans directly to consumers. Because so many retail energy suppliers are looking for customers in deregulated areas, consumers can benefit from competitive pricing and plan options. With a retail energy supplier, you may find green energy, fixed-rate plans and even reward programs!
The utility in your area is in charge of energy delivery. It owns the infrastructure of pipes and power lines needed to transport natural gas and electricity to your home. When you purchase an energy supply, it is sent to your utility, which delivers energy each time you turn on a light or flip on the TV. Your local utility is also responsible for maintaining the energy infrastructure. It is staffed with crews to make repairs, handle power outages and collect meter information. In many cases, your utility can still operate as your supplier, but not exploring your options could cost you. Many suppliers may offer lower rates and better plan options than local utility companies can provide.
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