Until the 1990s, control of the energy industry rested with a large group of regional monopolies, so most businesses and organizations did not evaluate electricity consumption for their business because there was no opportunity to compare supply options. As regulated monopolies, the utilities handled all aspects of electricity supply—from generation to transmission and distribution. In the mid-1990s, several states began deregulating their natural gas and electricity markets, which marked the opening of the energy industry to competition.
Deregulation has presented businesses with the opportunity to control energy costs by choosing a competitive supplier (i.e. retail supplier) instead of staying with the local utility. By choosing a supplier, businesses have the ability to manage the way they purchase power and the flexibility to choose products that meet their unique needs.
For additional energy purchasing tools and information, visit the Direct Energy Educational Resources Center.