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UniGrid specializes in helping business and real estate owners take advantage of energy deregulation to get the best energy rates for their business.
Your energy service is broken into 3 distinctive parts.
Historically the utility was your mandatory supplier for energy. Energy deregulation now gives you the power to choose.
Transmission and Distribution
The utility company still delivers the electricity to your business with the same quality of service. They maintain the lines, gauge your energy usage, and quickly respond to emergencies and outages.
What is energy deregulation?
Energy deregulation means consumers are allowed by state law to buy their energy from the supplier of their choice, instead of having to deal exclusively with their local utility company. Deregulation has only been around for 2 decades and currently 24 states participate in some form of deregulation. Deregulation allows individuals and companies to choose their energy supplier from a variety of energy supply sources. The competition leads to more consumer choice and ultimately lower electricity rates.
Your local utility company is still responsible for delivering the electricity to your business. They maintain the lines, gauge your energy usage, and quickly respond to emergencies and outages no matter what supplier you decide to use as your energy supplier.
Why was energy historically regulated?
Electric lighting and usable electric power were first invented in the 1890’s. New companies sprang up in many towns to supply electricity and gas to the local homes and businesses. Often these companies provided spotty or just plain poor service, charged high prices, ignored areas that were less profitable, competed with existing companies even where it made a mess of the local infrastructure, and generally did whatever they wanted.
The government soon realized they had to regulate and oversee the energy industry in order to protect consumers and ensure they received proper and reliable service. The government contracted with utility companies to be the sole providers of energy in each region, and made laws to ensure that the utilities provided that energy safely, reliably, and for a fair price.
Why was energy deregulated?
While regulation of the industry made sense for consumers in the early years of the industry, this created a monopoly in the energy industry. Even though the government was supervising the prices and service, many people thought consumers would get an even better deal if there was competition. The idea grew that competition could be introduced in the generation (supply) of electricity and gas, even if its transmission and delivery would remain the job of the utility. This would prevent the utilities from having a monopoly in the generation of energy, while maintaining government supervision of the rest of the process, and thus avoid a return to the anarchy of the early 1900’s.
When and how was it deregulated?
On a national level in 1992, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 636, known as the Restructuring Rule, which mandated unbundling of sales from transportation services. This enabled customers to choose their energy provider and helped introduce competition in the market.
In the state of New Jersey, on February 1999 the state Legislature passed a bill allowing retail electric choice for all customers by August 1 of that year. However it did not actually begin until November of 1999.
In the state of Texas, electricity deregulation was approved by Texas Senate Bill 7 on January 1st, 2002.
Are there any risks?
As in any industry, there are some risks but those risks can be foreseen and properly managed. The industry has seen an influx of suppliers which creates a spectrum of quality and integrity, making it important to deal with the highest quality suppliers. The risk with dealing with a lower quality supplier is potentially unfavorable contract terms that may result in higher prices in the future. UniGrid mitigates your risk by working with top suppliers and advising on contract types and terms. Helping you navigate the energy marketplace to get the best deal for your business.