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New York energy deregulation began in 1999 with the founding of the New York Independent System Operator, NYISO. This organization is responsible for managing New York’s electric grid as well as the competitive marketplace. NYISO provides data and analysis pertaining to New York’s power system to ensure reliability and transparency.
The deregulated market opened energy supplier up to competition- forcing them to be more efficient as it relates to both service and price. Buffalo businesses of all sizes can compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the lowest energy rates, taking advantage of the competitive market and managing their monthly electricity costs.
The PSC, or Public Service Commission of New York State, provides a variety of services to protect and assist utility customers. This includes service quality, competition, and metering for electricity. The PSC was created to assure the residents of New York State have adequate, efficient, reliable, and safe public utility services at a fair price.
In doing so, the PSC impacts every business in Buffalo – as it regulates all providers of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long-distance telephone companies, water companies, and steam generators. The PSC is responsible for ensuring that the utility companies regulated by the PSC are responsive to the needs and concerns of individual consumers and to the public.
As a Buffalo business owner, it is important to understand that the PSC is also synonymous with the “NYS Power to Choose” energy comparison charts.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utility in Buffalo is North American Power and is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in New York, like Constellation and Direct Energy are the competitive energy retailers. Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale market (the generators) and then re-sells it to consumers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the consumer, the 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 cancellation fee policy.
Energy choice, also known as energy market deregulation, allows Buffalo business owners to select their energy supplier. Mount Vernon has been a deregulated market since May 1999.
Buffalo is New York state’s second largest city. The city is located on the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It was inhabited in the 17th century by the Native American Iroquios tribe and later by French settlers. Buffalo is nicknamed “The City of Light” due to its early embrace of electric power.
The city is known for its urban planning and layout, inclusive of a system of parks and architectural works. The Albany culture is a blend of Northeastern and Midwestern traditions with annual festivals and a music and arts scene.
New York state small business employed 4 million people and grew by 113,528 net new jobs according to the latest SBA Small Business Profile. The 4 million employees represent 50.2% of the total employees in New York state. In total 2.1 million small businesses in New York make up 99.8% of the total businesses in the state.
Industrial, light manufacturing, technology, and professional services are the primary sectors in Albany that are helping drive the economy. The city’s largest employer is The State of New York, with over 15,000 employees. A shift in traditional manufacturing jobs caused an economic decline, which has improved as a result of new construction and increased economic development.
Buffalo has been the source of major leaps in research and development in the life sciences field. The city continues to diversify its economy in financial services (three major banks are headquartered there), as well as tech with the development of the “Byte Belt’ which includes 700 high-tech companies.
See today's electricity rates for cities in New York.