It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the federal government decided to end monopolies and pave way for a competitive marketplace in the energy industry. A competitive market was believed to offer more discipline in determining business practices and pricing than regulation. Energy deregulation happened in a phased manner across different states and Ohio too was set to witness a change in the energy scenario.
Natural Gas Deregulation in Ohio
The natural gas market in Ohio was regulated until 1997. At that time, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission took up a pilot program in Columbia to begin “unbundling” natural gas service. This process included the separation of natural gas delivery charges from the cost of the actual gas itself, thus empowering customers to get their gas from one of the alternative suppliers known as Energy Service Companies.
Electricity deregulation in Ohio
In 1999, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3, which set up an outline to “deregulate” the price of energy by permitting the market to determine the cost based on supplier competition. The price of electricity under the old system was based on a formula that depended heavily on the power company’s cost to produce electricity, which in turn established a rate cap. Deregulation sought to remove this rate cap as a competitive market was allowed to establish prices, which would have a nominal relation to cost.
On Jan. 1, 2001, Ohio consumers were finally provided with direct retail access to competitive electricity suppliers. Within the first month, nearly 100,000 customers in First Energy territories, including Ohio Edison, Cleveland Illuminating, and Toledo Edison switched suppliers. As energy markets began offering competitive rates, the number of consumers who have switched to service providers offering better rates has grown exponentially.
Despite electricity deregulation in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio still regulates the delivery of electricity and supervises the reliability and safety of electric service. You won’t have any problem finding a competitive electricity supplier with a rate lower than what you are currently paying. And it’s easy to make the switch, too.
In Ohio, switching gas providers is also an easy task. Once your account has been established with the utility natural gas company operating in your region, you can switch to an alternative supplier offering a better rate freely. Thus, it can be said that energy deregulation in Ohio has empowered the consumer.
About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting www.GlacialEnergy.com