What is "Deregulated Energy"?

Deregulated Energy (or "Retail Energy") refers to energy markets that have been opened up as competitive marketplaces, compared to the model of a utility company being a regulated monopoly. In a deregulated market, consumers can shop around between competitive energy "Suppliers" to purchase their energy, and the utility company will just transport and deliver the energy.

Is Energy Deregulation available everywhere?

No. About half of US states have some form of natural gas deregulation, and about one-third of states have a form of electricity deregulation. Many other countries throughout the world also have competitive energy markets.

Can anyone in deregulated markets participate?

It is common for markets to restrict who is eligible to participate in the program. For example, many markets have deregulated for commercial and industrial scale companies, but not for individual residential customers.

Are Energy Suppliers the same thing as Utilities?

No. In a deregulated market, Energy Supplier is the company that buys and sells the commodity, while the Utility owns and operates the distribution and delivery system.

Are Energy Suppliers known by other names?

Many markets have unique names to refer to Energy Suppliers. Some of these include: Energy Service Provider, Retail Energy Provider, Energy Service Company, Energy Marketer, etc.

How can I become an Energy Supplier?

Rules, Regulations, and Processes to sign up as an Energy Supplier can be obtained for each market from the Regulatory Authority or Public Utilities Commission.

What is EDI?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. Many different industries use EDI to electronically exchange business information in a standard format.

How does the Energy Industry use EDI?

Many Utilities require the use of EDI for conduct data transactions in order to be an Energy Supplier. These transactions often include Enrollments, Meter Reads, Invoices, and Customer Account Updates.

What is "Consolidated Billing"?

Many Utilities offer a program where the Energy Supplier and Utility can incorporate their charges onto a single bill for the customer, rather than have the customer receive 2 individual bills. Most often this program has the Utility consolidate and send the bill, but some markets allow the Supplier to send the consolidated bill.

What does "Purchase of Receivables" mean?

Purchase of Receivables refers to a program by which, on a Consolidated Bill, the Utility will pay the Supplier a fixed percentage of what is due to the Supplier, regardless of what the customer pays. The Utility is therefore assuming the credit risk associated with serving the customer.