New Jersey businesses are seeing significant savings from choosing a competing natural gas and electric supplier, and more and more customers are making the switch to lower their energy bills, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

The Star-Ledger notes the case of Seashore Surgical, a small business owned by 10 physicians who perform 4,000 procedures a year with an annual electric bill of about $60,000.

Seashore Surgical switched from its utility, Jersey Central Power & Light, to a competing energy supplier and saved $7,500 in one year.

The Star-Ledger also noted that even as customers save thousands of dollars on their power bills, their local utility still responds to all outages and other emergencies, and the customer's reliability and delivery of energy isn't affected.  The only thing that changes when a customer shops for their energy provider is that they pay a lower rate for their energy supply.

While more and more New Jersey customers are shopping for an energy supplier, most customers still buy their power or gas supply from the utility, the Star-Ledger notes, even though significant savings are available from competing energy providers.

Most shopping to date has been among larger businesses -- those with the largest utility bills -- even though small and medium businesses (and residential customers) can also save big by shopping, like Seashore Surgical.

The Star-Ledger reports that there are about 70 competing energy suppliers in New Jersey, and it can be a daunting task for small business owners to evaluate each and choose the best energy supplier for them.