For a long time, only one company provided all aspects of energy services to our homes – our electric utility companies. You call them for power outages and are just as likely to call them for billing inquiries.
But in more recent years, states across the country have developed competitive markets for electric services, providing the opportunity for electric suppliers to compete with each other over the price of electricity to power your home or business. Where this competition exists, there is potential opportunity for electric savings for you, the consumer.
So what value do an electric supplier and an electric utility provide to our quality of life? I’ve outlined their distinctions below.
What an electric supplier does:
- A supplier can produce electricity, if they own generation power plants.
- In a competitive market, an electric supplier can provide you with pricing options, which more closely reflect the current market. Competitive supply is still in its early stages, yet customers are already realizing its benefits, which include improved customer service and technological and product innovations.
- An electric supplier can work with you to find electric solutions that work for your home, like offering green options.
What an electric utility does:
- The utility owns and operates the way electricity is transmitted and distributed to your home. So the next time you notice power lines in large open spaces or on the side of the road when you’re driving, keep in mind that the utility owns and operates them.
- In order to keep the infrastructure cost low and not having to maintain multiple distribution systems, the utility usually has a monopoly on delivering electricity to you via its distribution system, whether the electricity is sold to you by the utility or by another electric supplier.
- Utilities also handle emergency situations, so when your power goes out, be sure to have their numbers readily available.
- Your utility also reads your meter. The frequency of how often your meter is read depends on the utility that distributes electricity to your home.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment!
Constellation NewEnergy, Inc., a subsidiary of Constellation Energy Group, provides electric generation service to residential customers in the PSEG and JCPL service territories of New Jersey. For more information regarding price and environmental characteristics of our New Jersey residential service, click here and for our commercial and industrial service in New Jersey and throughout other markets, click here.