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In 1999, Ohio deregulated the state’s electricity market giving Columbus based businesses the power 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 lowest energy rates.
In most cases, Cincinnati businesses that take advantage of the competitive market can more effectively manage their monthly electricity costs by switching energy providers, plans and rates, as needed.
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 Ohioans adequate, safe and reliable public utility services at a fair price.
In doing so, PUCO impacts every business in Cincinnati – as it regulates all 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 Cincinnati business owner, it is important to understand that PUCO is also synonymous with the “Apples to Apples” 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 Cincinnati, AEP Ohio, is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Ohio, like Direct Energy and Constellation 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 Cincinnati business owners to select their energy supplier. Ohio has been a deregulated market since January 1, 2001.
Cincinnati is located in southwestern Ohio along the Ohio River. The city was founded in 1788, named after the Society of the Cincinnati, honoring George Washington. As of 2017, Cincinnati became a major shipping center due to its location on the Ohio River, specifically for pork processing. Winston Churchill once called Cincinnati “the most beautiful of America’s inland cities.”
Today, Cincinnati is home to major corporations including Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and Macy’s. It is currently one of the fastest-growing Midwestern economies and best described as a “midwestern industrial city with a southern country feel”.
Ohio small businesses employed 2.1 million people and grew by 11,689 net jobs in the latest SUSB census in 2013. The 2.1 million employees represent 46.2% of the total employees in Ohio. In total there 927,691 small businesses in Ohio making up 97.9% of the total businesses in the state.
In Cincinnati, a wide variety of industries drive the local economy. These industries include manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, insurance and finance, education and health services, government and transportation.
The city’s largest employer, The University of Cincinnati, has an economic impact of more than $3 billion.
See today's electricity rates for cities in Ohio.