Energy Policy

What Has Energy Choice Done for Other States?

2 min read

Energy choice encourages competition between electricity and natural gas suppliers by providing consumers the right to purchase energy from a supplier of their choosing or from more than one supplier in their retail market. At one time, energy markets were monopolized by a single utility that controlled the generation, distribution and cost of the territory they supplied. Today, there’s greater flexibility and consumers can shop around for a provider that best meets their needs and budget.

Some businesses are looking for the cheapest option and energy choice enables them to select a supplier based on variable or fixed rates. Other businesses may be concerned with environmentally responsible practices, and having more options enables them to search for providers with renewable energy options.

Despite stories of some states (like California) experimenting with competitive energy markets and subsequently facing spikes in the cost of energy, many states have chosen to stick with restructuring efforts and their persistence is paying off. Here’s a look at what energy choice has done for other states.


Illinois achieved $19 billion in industrial, commercial, government and non-profit savings. The state also offers the lowest delivery price for electricity between the five Upper Midwest states. Additionally, Illinois is ranked among the ten lowest in terms of energy cost.


Texas also makes the top ten list of states with the lowest energy costs. Energy choice sparked an increase in energy production for the state, and since 1999, Texas has added 45,000 megawatts  of new electricity generation while simultaneously decommissioning 136 outdated plants with high carbon emissions. The state also began a $5 billion transmission expansion project for wind power generation.


Before restructuring, Pennsylvania customers paid 15 percent more than the national average for electricity. Today, the state’s energy market is considered one of the most vibrant in the nation. Competition helped Pennsylvania decrease its overall cost of electricity. Customers now pay about 9.53 cents per kilowatt hour, putting the state below the national average of 10.75 cents.


Similar to Texas, Ohio restructured its energy market in 1999 and has since experienced a growing demand for renewable energy generation. Prior to competition, most of the state was powered by coal and nuclear power plants. Between 2007 and 2010, Ohio’s employment rate dropped by 6.1 percent, but jobs related to renewable energy increased by 8.5 percent, which helped fortify the state’s economy. Today, the state holds the sixth highest number of green jobs in the country.

In looking at the overall advantages of choice, businesses in competitive states benefit from:

  • Fixed or variable rates programs
  • Greater retail market competition
  • Overall, reduced cost
  • Renewable energy options
  • Time-of-use rates (enabling customers to shift energy use depending on peak demand)
  • Energy efficiency audits
  • Standardization of smart meters
  • Consumer rewards
  • Value-added initiatives programs

Zoom out, and the larger benefits of competition and energy choice include:

  • Job creation
  • More vibrant and competitive national and global economies
  • Stronger national transmission grid that alleviates congestion
  • Decreased growth of energy demand

Located in a competitive state? We can help! To find out more, request a quote today

To learn more about energy choice and legislation that poses a threat to that choice in Michigan, join our webinar on Wednesday, October 14th from 10:30am – 11:30am CDT. Register today!

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