The Ultimate Guide to Energy Options in Your State: A State-by-State Guide to Third-Party Energy Suppliers
It’s great to have options. Whether you’re picking a new pair of shoes, a new car, or a new house, you probably want to be able to decide which one you like best out of a number of choices. It’s the same with your electricity supplier.
Most states in the nation still operate under utility monopolies. In these states, residents must purchase their electricity from the utility that has jurisdiction in their area—they don’t have any options. However, in many other states, residents are able to choose their electricity supplier from other companies, known as third-party energy suppliers. These third-party energy suppliers offer a free market alternative to utilities, spurring the market towards efficiency through competition.
If you live in a state that allows third-party energy suppliers to compete for residential business, you may be able to get a better deal on your electricity. Each state has resources available to help you find the electricity provider that’s right for you. We’ve collected these resources in one place to help you find the best energy plan possible. You’ll also find information about the energy mix in your area to help you better understand where your energy is coming from.
To find out what your options are, just click on your state.
- Connecticut residents in the Eversource and United Illuminating utility territories have the right to choose their energy suppliers. Click here to search through a list of Connecticut energy suppliers. You’ll want to scroll down to “Compare Generation Offers on Connecticut’s Rate Board.”
- Electricity suppliers in Connecticut are regulated by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
- The largest producer of energy in Connecticut is the Millstone Nuclear station, which contributed 45% of the state’s electrical generation in 2016. In addition to nuclear energy, Connecticut is powered by various natural gas plants and small amounts of hydroelectric and other renewable power sources.
- Before switching your energy supplier, it’s a good idea to inform yourself by reading the advice offered by the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel on electricity choice.
- Residential consumers in the Delmarva service territory have the right to choose their electricity supplier. Members of the Delaware Electric Cooperative have a choice of suppliers as well.
- Delaware’s primary source of electricity is natural gas. However, Delaware is looking towards including a greater amount of renewable energy in its mix. A 600 megawatt offshore wind installation is planned for the coming years. Also, third-party energy suppliers in the state will be required to generate 25% of their power from renewable sources by 2026, including at least 3.5% from solar.
- Follow these links to review consumer information on electric choice and a list of certified electric suppliers, as well as energy brokers and consultants. You can also find information on electricity choice from the Delaware Public Service Commission.
- Illinois residents in the Ameren and ComEd utility territories may choose their electricity supplier.
- Illinois is a major producer of nuclear power, ranking first in the nation in both net electricity generated and generating capacity in 2016. All told, Illinois accounts for 12% of the United States’ nuclear power generation. Illinois’ four nuclear power plants are augmented mostly by coal power plants, but also natural gas and renewable energy.
- To find an electricity supplier in your area of Illinois, browse through Plug In Illinois where you can also see comparison rates. Important consumer protection information is available from the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois Citizen Utility Board.
- Maine residents in the Emera and Central Maine Power utility territories have the ability to choose their electric supplier.
- Maine has some of the cleanest power sources in the country. Because over 90% of the state is forested, Maine is able to use sustainable logging practices to produce a large amount of biomass energy. The state makes great use of its wind and water resources as well, generating 25% of its electricity from hydropower and 14% of its electricity from wind power. The remaining energy is generated from natural gas plants.
- To view your electricity options, browse through Electricity Supply, a comparison website. Before signing up with a new supplier, it’s a good idea to read through the information provided by the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Maine Office of Public Advocate.
- Residential consumers in the Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Delmarva Power and Light, Potomac Edison, and Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) territories can pick their own electricity suppliers. Certain areas, such as Choptank Electric Cooperative and SEMCO offer a choice of suppliers under a cooperative program. Residents must be members of the cooperative to participate.
- Maryland’s power primarily comes from the Calvert Cliffs nuclear facility, which provides about 40% of the state’s yearly energy. To a lesser extent, Maryland gets its power from coal and natural gas. About 7% of Maryland’s energy is generated from renewable sources, including hydroelectric and solar.
- To find energy suppliers in your utility territory, search through the Maryland Electric Choice website. To make sure you’re making a smart choice, take a second to review the information provided by the Maryland Public Service Commission and the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel.
- Massachusetts residents in the Eversource, Unitil, and National Grid territories have the right to choose their electricity supplier.
- Massachusetts currently generates two-thirds of its electricity from natural gas, compared with 5.8% from coal. This seems likely to change, however, as 88% of Massachusetts’ new utility-scale generating capacity in 2016 was in the form of solar arrays. Large amounts of solar capacity have been installed in other recent years as well. Massachusetts also generates a portion of its electricity with nuclear and hydroelectric plants.
- To find an electricity provider in Massachusetts, take a look through this site: Let’s Go Shopping – For Electric Supply. Before making the switch, it may be wise to review the information provided by the state government, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Division.
- Michigan residents in the Consumers Energy and DTE Energy utility territories have the right to choose their electricity supplier. However, due to state regulations, no more than 10% of the utility’s previous year’s sales may be provided by third-party energy suppliers. There is currently a waiting list for consumers who want to switch suppliers.
- Michigan is powered by a robust mix of energy sources. Coal provides the largest amount of electricity in Michigan, followed closely by nuclear, then natural gas. Non-hydroelectric renewables provide a modest amount of the state’s electricity, and hydroelectricity provides the smallest portion.
- If you’re considering signing up to switch your electric supplier when the option becomes available, see the information provided by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
- In keeping with the state’s motto, “Live free or die,” New Hampshire residents in the Eversource, Liberty, Unitil Energy Systems, and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative utility territories have the right to freely choose their electricity supplier.
- New Hampshire generates significantly more renewable energy, via wind, solar, and hydroelectric, than it does coal. The combined output of New Hampshire’s renewable sources is roughly equivalent to its natural gas generation. All of these sources are dwarfed, however, by New Hampshire’s nuclear generation. The state’s Seabrook Nuclear Facility generated 56% of the state’s energy in 2016.
- To learn more about energy choice in New Hampshire, review the information available from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission.
- New Jersey consumers in the Atlantic City Electric, Jersey Central Power & Light, PSEG, and Rockland Electric utility territories may select their own electricity provider.
- About 95% of New Jersey’s electricity comes from nuclear and natural gas. Other sources include a small amount of coal power and renewable energy, including wind and solar. However, New Jersey’s Oyster Creek nuclear facility is scheduled to be shut down in 2019, which will alter the state’s energy mix.
- To find the electricity supplier that meets your needs, check out the list of certified energy suppliers by utility territory. Before switching to a new supplier, inform yourself on the industry’s best practices with information from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
- New Yorkers in the Central Hudson, ConEd, NYSEG, National Grid, Orange & Rockland, and RG&E utility territories have the power to choose their own energy supplier.
- New York is one of the nation’s leading producers of hydroelectricity. In combination with wind and solar, these renewables provided 24% of the state’s electricity in 2016. New York has ambitious plans and intends to raise the renewable energy contribution to 50% of the state’s usage by 2030. New York also generates large amounts of energy from natural gas and nuclear power plants.
- To find an energy supplier in New York, shop around on the Power to Choose website. Before switching your supplier, review the ESCO Consumer Bill of Rights, as well as information from the New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection.
- Ohioans in the AEP Ohio, Dayton Power & Light, Duke Energy Ohio, and FirstEnergy utility territories have the right to choose their energy supplier.
- The bulk of Ohio’s electricity is produced by coal. In lesser amounts, Ohio generates electricity from natural gas and nuclear power. Renewable energy contributes a small sliver of Ohio’s energy mix, with the Bowling Green wind farm providing most of it.
- To find an electricity supplier in Ohio, compare providers on the Energy Choice Ohio website. To make an informed choice, it’s a good idea to review information available via the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.
- Pennsylvania residents in the Citizens’ Electric, Duquesne Light, Met-Ed, PECO Energy, Penelec, Penn Power, PPL Electric Utilities, UGI, and West Penn Power utility areas can choose their own electricity suppliers.
- Pennsylvania generates its electricity from an array of sources. Nuclear power plants provide the most energy, followed closely by natural gas and coal. Renewable energy, including hydroelectric, provides a small portion of the state’s electricity as well.
- To compare the energy suppliers you can choose from, click on PAPowerSwitch. Before switching to a new supplier, look through information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate.
- Rhode Islanders in the National Grid utility territory have the right to choose their electricity supplier.
- Our nation’s smallest state is powered almost entirely by natural gas and is one of two states with zero electricity produced by coal. Rhode Island is home to the nation’s first offshore wind production facility, located off of Block Island.
- Rhode Island consumers can compare electric suppliers on the Empower RI website. Before choosing a new supplier, it’s smart to review the information on electric choice provided by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.
- Texans living in the AEP Central, AEP North, CenterPoint, Oncor, and Texas-New Mexico Power utility territories have the right to choose their own power supplier.
- Texas has the largest amount of wind capacity in the nation and in 2014 and 2015 its wind farms produced more energy than the state’s two nuclear power plants. Currently, Texas produces most of its electricity with natural gas, followed by coal, renewables, and nuclear.
- Texans can shop for energy suppliers on the Power to Choose website. To make an informed choice, check out the information available via the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel.
- Washington D.C. residents are in the PEPCO-DC service territory and have the right to choose their own electricity supplier.
- Even though D.C. is not a state, it still uses more electric power than the state of Vermont. Most of D.C.’s electricity comes from natural gas, although the city’s solar installation atop a Department of Energy building produces about 230,000 kilowatt hour of electricity per year.
- D.C. residents seeking a different energy supplier can find information from the District of Columbia Public Service Commission and the District of Columbia Office of People’s Counsel.
The Liberty Power Option
Now that you know which states offer electricity choice and what options are available in your utility territory, you’re ready to choose your own energy supplier.
As the nation’s largest independent owner-operated retail electricity supplier, Liberty Power provides reliable service and competitive rates in nearly every state offering residential energy choice. For customers who wish to power their homes with renewable energy, we also offer green energy plans that include Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). With a green energy plan, every megawatt of power you consume is matched with a megawatt of power generated by a renewable energy source, including wind and solar. This helps you and consumers across the country support the renewable energy industry.
At Liberty Power, we believe in the power of choice. That’s why we work hard to offer consumers an alternative to the utility company throughout the U.S. where electric choice is available. Our fixed-rate energy plans provide consumers with budget stability, while our Liberty Green plans give customers an easy way to go green. Click here to see which options are available in your area and make the switch today.
Photo Credit: Dave Winer