New York State opened the State’s electric and natural gas industries to competition in the 1990s. Changes in the markets provided an opportunity for consumers to choose who provides their energy supply – either their utility or a third-party supplier known as an Energy Services Company (ESCO).
How You Benefit from the Availability of ESCOs in New York?
ESCOs are competing for your business. As a result, there may be a wide variety of products and price options available to customers shopping for energy supply.
Supply service may be offered as a variable or fixed rate. With a variable rate, the cost of electricity and natural gas can change monthly based on market conditions, similar to the energy service offered by your utility. A fixed-rate is one that remains the same for some specified amount of time regardless of changes in market prices. Fixed rates may be offered for up to three months, six months, one year, or longer. Some customers may prefer fixed rates because they can anticipate their monthly supply costs. On the other hand, others like the possibility that a variable rate will result in lower payments when market conditions are favorable.
Some ESCOs offer additional products and services for their customers. ESCOs may offer the opportunity to purchase your electricity from a renewable energy source such as hydro, solar, and wind. Others may provide furnace repair or maintenance service. ESCOs may also provide tools to help manage your energy use. Most of these additional services are not available from your utility.
To Switch or Not to Switch to an ESCO?
There is no requirement that customers switch to an ESCO. If you decide not to switch, your utility will continue to provide you with electricity or natural gas.
Switching to an ESCO begins by comparing prices and services offered by ESCOs in your area.