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

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