U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I choose the electricity supplier where I live?
Some electric utility customers have the option to choose an alternate supplier of electricity. This consumer option is often called retail choice. The alternate supplier is the company that generates and/or markets electricity, often referred to as a retail electricity marketer. The alternate supplier may not be the same company that owns the power lines that deliver electricity to your meter distribution utility, or it may be an affiliate of the distribution utility. Some suppliers offer electricity generated from “clean” or “green” energy sources.
Regardless of the supplier, the distribution utility delivers the contracted electricity to a customer's meter and charges for that service. Services may be billed in a consolidated bill where electricity and other costs are itemized separately, or billed separately by the two companies (called dual billing). Some utility customers may have the option to choose their billing preferences.
In general, retail choice is available only for utility customers served by Investor Owned Utilities (IOU). There are a few electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, or government operated utilities that offer retail choice. You may contact your distribution utility or the utility regulatory commission in your state to see if retail choice is an option for you.
Last reviewed: August 27, 2013
Other FAQs about Electricity
- Can I choose the electricity supplier where I live?
- Can I generate and sell electricity to an electric utility?
- Does EIA have city or county-level energy consumption and price data?
- Does EIA have county-level energy production data?
- Does EIA have data on each power plant in the United States?
- Does EIA have data on the costs for electricity transmission and distribution?
- Does EIA have electricity prices by state?
- Does EIA have information on the service territories of U.S. electric utilities?
- Does EIA have maps or information on the location of electric power plants and transmission lines in the United States?
- Does EIA have projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA publish data on peak or hourly electricity generation, demand, and prices?
- Does EIA publish electric utility rate, tariff, and demand charge data?
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- How many and what kind of power plants are there in the United States?
- How many nuclear power plants are in the U.S. and where are they located?
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