In 1999, Ohio deregulated the state’s electricity market giving Ohio based businesses energy choice – also known as the ability to choose their electricity provider. The deregulated market forced energy suppliers to be more efficient and to compete for customers – offering an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the best available rates.
In most cases, Ohio businesses that take advantage of the competitive market can more effectively manage their monthly electricity costs by switching energy providers, plans and rates, at the end of their respective contracts.
In most cases, businesses will be able to effectively manage and/or reduce their monthly electricity costs by switching energy plans and providers every year.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utilities in Ohio are Cleveland Illuminating Company, AEP Energy, Dayton Power and Light, Duke Energy, Ohio Edison, and Toledo Edison. Each utility is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in their specific region of Ohio.
Energy providers in Ohio, including Public Power, Entrust, and Direct Energy to name a few, are the competitive energy retailers. Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale energy market (the generators) and then re-sells it to energy customers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the customer (homeowner, renter, or business) signs a contract with an energy provider for a specific energy plan. The basic energy plan details the rate class, the energy rate per kWh, the contract term length (6, 12, 24, 36 months), and other contract terms like the cancellation fee policy.
In a competitive electricity market like Ohio, both commercial and residential customers are provided with energy choice – meaning all customers get to choose their specific energy supplier, plan and rate, and then switch – based on any existing contract terms, renewal dates and fees.
As an Ohio electricity customer, it’s important to track your contract renewal date. When your energy plan is due to renew, it’s a good time to compare electricity rates and then switch to the best rate for your home or business. When switching energy plans, keep these 5 easy steps in mind:
This is the easy part and it starts online. Today, businesses have a variety of online websites and tools to research and compare energy providers, plans, and rates. The best way to compare providers is to use a simple website like EnergyBot. In less than 5 minutes, you can enter basic information about your business, like your zip code and monthly electricity bill, and then compare dozens of top energy suppliers in Ohio to find the lowest energy rate.
When you are comparing electricity plans, it will pay – literally – to take time to review the plan details, contract terms, and legal copy. Energy companies may entice you with a low rate, yet the fine print may reveal that it is a variable rate – which is only applicable if you stay in a specific range of energy (kWh) usage each month. It’s also important to review the contract term, cancellation fees, and out clauses before signing up for a new plan.
It’s important to do your research and if you’re short on time, EnergyBot makes it simple. Check out this article to learn more about the different types of energy plans and rates.
In many cases, the energy supplier, broker or website that you are using to find a new electricity plan will ask you to upload your most recent electricity bill. Although this may feel a bit intrusive, it provides pertinent account information and it’s important to securing the best energy rate available for your business. Your energy bill has your business information as well as the data that outlines your monthly energy usage.
To add, your new energy supplier will require proof of your energy usage before you can switch and your electricity bill is the easiest way to meet the requirement.
If you own or manage a larger business with high energy usage (and higher monthly bill), then it may be beneficial to request a custom pricing quote. As a larger business may have much higher monthly energy usage or inconsistent energy usage, energy suppliers require a comprehensive review of your business’ energy usage to provide a custom quote on a new plan and rate. At EnergyBot, you can get a custom quote for free.
After authorizing a switch to a new energy provider, you will receive a confirmation email with the plan details and start date. It’s very important to review the plan you authorized and confirm the new start date. The transition to a new supplier will be seamless…you won’t even notice until you get the electricity bill the next month.
Energy suppliers offer two different types of plans for residential and business customers: a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan.
Each type of plan has its respective pros and cons. As an Ohio customer, it’s important to understand the two types of plans before signing up for an electricity plan for your home or business.
The simple definition of a fixed-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a fixed-rate – meaning that the rate will remain constant for the term of the contract. Regardless of weather, natural events like tornados, or market volatility, your rate will not change. In most cases, fixed-rate plans have a term length of 6, 12, 24, or 36 months.
The simple definition of a variable-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a variable-rate – meaning that the rate may change on a monthly basis based on market factors. Variable-rate plans offer more flexibility but also present more volatility in pricing which may impact your monthly electricity bill.
It is important to audit your energy usage and then select the right plan – a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan – before signing a contract with an energy supplier.
In 2019 Ohio passed House Bill 6 that set standards for the states renewable energy generation. The bill requires that 8.5% of electricity sold by Ohio utilities must be generated by renewable energy sources by 2026.
This bill lowered the required renewable energy generation from 12.5% by 2026, and removed the requirement for the renewable energy standard to continue after 2026.
If you want to choose green energy for your home or business there are several options. You can search renewable energy plans here from various suppliers around Ohio.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, known as PUCO, is the public utilities commission of the U.S. state of Ohio, charged with the regulation of utility service providers, including electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications. PUCO was created to assure that all Ohio residents and businesses have adequate, safe and reliable public utility services at a fair price.
In doing so, PUCO impacts every business in Ohio – as it regulates all retail providers of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long-distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, rail and trucking companies. Recently, the PUCO gained responsibility for facilitating competitive utility choices for Ohio consumers.
As a Ohio business owner, it is important to understand that PUCO is also synonymous with the “Apples-to-Apples” energy comparison charts.
Energy choice, also known as energy market deregulation, gives Ohio business owners the opportunity to select their energy supplier. Ohio has been a deregulated market since Senate Bill 3 passed in July 1999 with the law taking effect in Ohio on January 1, 2001.
Best known as the Buckeye State, with the nickname derived from the state’s official tree, Ohio became an official state in 1953. It’s actually named for the Ohio River, meaning great river, the state of Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the U.S. with a population of nearly 12 million people, according to the latest U.S Census data. This Midwestern state is also the 34th largest state in the nation stretching from Lake Erie on the southern border to the Ohio River on its southern border. Ohio is a manufacturing epicenter and ranks as the 8th most industrial state and 3rd largest for manufacturing.
Ohio small businesses employed 2.1 million people and grew by 11,689 net jobs in the latest U.S Census. The 2.1 million employees represent 46.2% of the total employees in Ohio. In total, the 927,691 small businesses in Ohio make up 97.9% of the total businesses in the state.
According to the SBA, there are over 928,000 small businesses in the state of Oho employing 2.1 million workers. Small businesses make up a staggering 98% of all Ohio based businesses yet employ less than half of all private employees at 46%. Companies based in the service, professional and retail industries continue to be the dominant employers in Ohio. More specifically, health care and manufacturing are the leading Ohio based sectors with nearly 2 million workers on their rosters.
Ohio’s economy has continued to outpace the overall U.S. economy growing over 2.3% with a continuing decline in unemployment – currently below 4.8%.