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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 best available rates.
In most cases, Columbus 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 Columbus – 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 an Columbus 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 Columbus, AEP, is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Ohio, like AEP 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 Columbus business owners to select their energy supplier. Ohio has been a deregulated market since January 1, 2001.
Energy spend can be a significant line item on your businesses operating budget. In addition to investing in energy efficiency you can save money on your energy bills by shopping business energy suppliers and finding the lowest rate possible.
Energy pricing vary greatly based on how much energy your business uses, market conditions, and numerous other factors. It can get complex quickly.
You can quickly search energy rates for your business here. Our system combines market data and your business energy usage to find you the lowest rate possible.
As of 2017, Columbus, Ohio ranked as the 14th largest city in the United States with a population of 879,170. With an open attitude and admired quality of life Columbus was recently ranked as one of the best U.S. cities to raise children (Business Week), one of the best places to retire (Forbes), and a best city for business (Market Watch).
The City of Columbus has committed a sizable investment to revitalize Downtown Columbus, the region’s biggest job center, offering growth incentives, property improvements, as well as incentives, loans, and grants to support growing businesses. For small businesses, the Mayor and the City of Columbus have created economic development tools (in the form of loans and grants) to help local businesses grow and thrive.
With a wide variety of industries operating in Columbus, the local economy is not dominated by a single industry. As a result, the regional economy is well balanced – with major employers in education, technology, government, research, insurance and health care – including five Fortune 500 companies (including Nationwide Insurance) as well as The Ohio State University.
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.
See today's electricity rates for cities in Ohio.