What is Energy Deregulation

In 1999, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)-the governing body for electric, oil and natural gas services-introduced a bill to deregulate the state's energy industry for residential customers. (New Jersey's commercial energy market had been opened up earlier in what some say was an attempt to keep local corporations happy and committed to staying put.)

The goal of the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA) was to enable New Jersey energy consumers to shop around and chose the energy provider that best suited their budget and service requirements.

There was a time when electricity and natural gas were supplied to your neighborhood by just one utility company. Prices were set with a state government's regulatory approval. Consumers had no choice of provider and, therefore, no way to shop around for the best price.

What does this mean for consumers? It means you now have a choice. Several different energy companies can now compete to supply electricity and/or natural gas to your home or business. This translates into lower prices for the very same electricity and/or natural gas - delivered, maintained and serviced in the very same way - as you currently receive. The only difference: it is supplied by an independent energy company at a potentially lower cost.

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