Ohio is one of the states that has deregulated its energy market allowing consumers to choose where their electricity comes from outside their local utility company. This has been shown to save consumers an average of $3 billion a year. This type of deregulation has allowed for competitive prices and a variety of plans from a wide range of energy suppliers, including green options. These alternative energy suppliers can offer cheapest electricity rates and terms for customers than what their local utility company is offering, resulting in significant savings.
To help with the shopping process, the state has a website called “Apples to Apples” that allows residents to compare offers from energy providers. The site is simple to use, allowing customers to compare rates and contract details for different providers. It also includes information on how Ohio generates its electricity, where it comes from and how it gets to the consumer. This helps consumers understand what they are paying for, and why it may be best to switch to an alternate energy supplier.
When comparing ohio electricity rates, it is important to keep in mind that the customer’s local utility will still deliver the energy supply and maintain the infrastructure for local poles and wires. This is why it is important to find out if there are any additional charges beyond the price of the energy supply. A good rule of thumb is to check the current SSO (standard service offer) rate on your utility bill, which will give you a clear idea of what you are currently paying for.
The SSO rate is the price per kilowatt hour that your local utility will charge for their delivery of energy to your home or business. Typically, this is a flat rate that will not change over time. However, the SSO rate is subject to changes based on wholesale energy market conditions, the overall cost of energy and other expenses that the local utility company incurs. This is why it is so important to monitor the SSO rate on your bill each month.
Besides the SSO rate, other factors to consider when choosing an ohio electricity supplier include the type of renewable content (Ohioans have access to nuclear, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and solar energy) offered in each plan, term lengths and fees. Wattbuy, a free tool from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, provides an apples-to-apples comparison of energy rates and plans in Ohio and many other states. This tool can be used to quickly and easily compare rates, plan details and perks to determine the best option for each individual customer.
It is also helpful to know that in a deregulated energy market like Ohio, the PUCO regulates the regulated rates for both natural gas and electricity. The PUCO ensures that the system is safe and reliable for all consumers by reviewing and approving rates for utilities. Additionally, the PUCO regulates aggregation programs where Ohio citizens shop together as a group, as opposed to individually, for their energy supplies through an aggregator. This can help consumers get better rates by leveraging the buying power of their entire community.