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In 1999, Ohio deregulated the state’s electricity market giving Toledo 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, Toledo 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 Toledo – 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 a Toledo 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 Toledo, Toledo Edison Company, 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 Toledo business owners to select their energy supplier. Ohio has been a deregulated market since January 1, 2001.
Toledo is located in northwestern Ohio just south of the Michigan border with a population of 279,455 – as of 2017. The name ‘Toledo’ originated from the consolidation of two Indian tribes, Port Lawrence and Vistula. Toledo was incorporated in 1837, known at the time as the “Glass City” due to its innovation in the glass industry, including windows, bottles, windshields, and glass art.
Another prominent industry in Toledo is automobile parts. The well-known Jeep brand has been manufactured in the city since 1941. The Toledo metro area is also home to four Fortune 500 companies.
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.
Manufacturing makes up about one-fifth of Toledo’s economic base with nearly 1,000 manufacturing facilities located in the metropolitan area. With 10 major financial institutions, Toledo is also a banking and finance center for the state of Ohio.
Medical and technology-based business are prominent to the local economy; Lucas County in Toledo ranks among 50 counties in the United States that account for 50% of the medical industry production. The University of Toledo contributes to the prominence of healthcare as the city’s largest employer.
See today's electricity rates for cities in Ohio.