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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Liberty Power Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at Liberty Power is a swashbuckling group of passionate and creative Energy experts bringing you the hottest topics on exciting market trends, booming products and services, and the latest news in the industry.

January 2, 2018