Understanding Your Energy Options

What is an Energy Supply Company?

Learn how energy deregulation offers consumers and businesses a choice – and ability to save money.

Use Your Power to Choose

In New York’s competitive energy market, you can choose your supplier of electricity and natural gas instead of buying energy supply from your utility. You can switch to an Energy Service Company (ESCO) or continue getting your energy supply from your utility. This important change should bring efficiencies and innovations that will give you better value for your energy dollar. Customer education is an integral part of the transition to a competitive environment. And, we are pleased to provide you with this informational guide to competition.

– Patricia L. Acampora • Chairwoman, Public Service Commission

How it Works

Electric generating companies and gas producers compete against one another to sell electricity and gas in New York.

Your UTILITY company is responsible for the delivery of electricity and gas safely and reliably to your home or business, using existing wires and pipes. They also fix power lines and gas pipes if there is an outage or a storm, regardless of your energy supplier.

ENERGY SERVICE COMPANIES (ESCOs) compete to sell you electricity, gas, or both, as well as other related services such as energy efficiency programs, appliance maintenance and repair, and providing Green Power. ESCOs arrange with your utility for delivery of electricity and gas to your home or business through the utility’s existing wires and pipes.

CUSTOMERS HAVE A CHOICE. You can buy your electricity or gas supply from competing ESCOs, or continue to buy from your UTILITY.


You Can Choose Where Your Energy Comes From?

Energy Competition: What it Means for You

New York State’s electric and natural gas utilities once operated as regulated monopolies, supplying and delivering such energy to you. Well, things have changed.

The combined services that were offered by your utility company have been split into two parts — supply and delivery, with the supply portion open to competition. You no longer have to buy your electricity or gas only from your local utility. Instead, you can shop among Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) that are competing for your business. This change in the energy market has brought about new products and services, and should give you better value for your energy dollar. Each utility service territory has at least three ESCOs serving electric customers and three ESCOs serving gas. Most territories have many more. Utilities are still responsible for delivering electricity and gas to your home or business using their existing wires and pipes and responding to electric or gas emergencies. The safety and reliability you’ve come to depend on won’t change.

Reliability Remains the Same

Switching to an ESCO will not change the reliability of your energy supply. Your local utility will continue to deliver and maintain the electric and gas distribution system. Electricity and gas will continue to be delivered through utility owned wires and pipes, and the Public Service Commission will continue to oversee the safety and reliability of the delivery system.

Your utility is required to continue supplying your electricity and gas without any interruptions if your ESCO cannot provide service for any reason.

Your electricity and gas service can be shut off only by a representative of your utility. However, an ESCO may request that the utility suspend delivery service due to unpaid bills.

For any electric or gas emergency, continue to call your utility even if an ESCO supplies your electricity or gas.

No matter who supplies your electricity or gas, you remain a customer of the utility for your delivery services.


How You Can Save Money