Published on: January 25, 2013
The power market in the U.S. has always been slow to change, which probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given the massive scale of the industry. As more states are starting to adopt or loosen the rules that the market operates under, more services are starting up to help people switch electricity providers.
One of the biggest and most successful of these services, the Plano, Texas-based ChooseEnergy.com, recently announced plans to expand its services to include New York energy providers.
New York electricity deregulation started more than a decade-and-a-half ago in 1996, when the state’s Public Service Commission forced utilities to “unbundle” their services, splitting up the production, transmission and ultimate sale.
Despite being one of the earliest to take advantage of this new approach to power, though, people in the state had been a bit slower to make the switch to a new provider. Part of this, no doubt, is just unfamiliarity with the idea of shopping around for electricity – it comes out of the wall, it just seems like a fact of life – but another part of it was likely the relatively modest New York electricity prices at the time.
With the state suffering through the third-highest electricity prices in the country, and rates continuing to rise, interest in switching has grown as well and the market has been happy to oblige. Just at the end of the year, a report on the deregulated power markets ranked New York’s the second-best in the country, behind only Texas.
“New York was the obvious new market for us because it’s one of the largest and most competitive areas in the United States,” Jerry Dyess, founder and CEO of ChooseEnergy.com, said in a statement. “New York is a vibrant and forward looking market and with the launch of our New York platform, consumers can now get access to real-time pricing and the ability to switch providers from one website – making the process very simple.”
The Empire State has more electricity providers offering services than almost any other state, and the variety of new services are helping to make the choices easier.
New York is not alone either, as the Baltimore Business Journal reports that Maryland’s Point Click Switch has seen rising interest in the past few years on the back of rising electricity rates and a growing variety of service options. Other sites, both for-profit and government-sponsored, serve each of the deregulated states from Pennsylvania to the booming market of Illinois.