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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. Rochester businesses of all sizes can compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the lowest electricity 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 Rochester – 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 Rochester 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 Rochester is Rochester Gas and Electric and is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Rochester, like Constellation and North American Power 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 Rochester business owners to select their energy supplier. Rochester has been a deregulated market since May 1999.
Rochester is the third-most populous city in New York, with an estimated population of 210,545 people. Known as the “Flour City”, Rochester was one of America’s first cities to undergo rapid economical growth due to its numerous flour mills. Rochester is the home to many innovative consumer products including Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox.
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.
Home to several Fortune 1000 and international businesses, Rochester’s economy is primarily dominated by the health care industry followed by wholesale and retail trade. Rochester was rated by Inc. Magazine as one of the top entrepreneurial cities in the country. Manufacturing and agriculture still play an important role in Rochester’s economy with food processing and dairy production.
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