Changes to industry

Change is under way in the electric and natural gas industries.

Across the nation, a competitive marketplace is replacing the traditional system of regulated monopolies as a way of supplying electricity and natural gas. Virginia is no exception. The General Assembly has passed laws that will allow Virginians the right to shop for their own energy services.

For Virginia consumers, change means choice. Several companies may compete to supply electricity or natural gas. And customers will be able to choose from among these suppliers after comparing the prices, services and other factors that are important to you. The change will be phased in gradually between now and Jan. 1, 2004.

The new law means change for the energy industry, too. The new system will replace the current system of regulated monopolies, under which the State Corporation Commission (SCC) set rates that electric and natural gas companies could charge. As competition develops over the next several years, the SCC will still regulate the local distribution company responsible for delivering energy to homes and businesses. But the suppliers of electricity and natural gas will become part of a competitive marketplace.

For additional information, please call Virginia Energy Choice toll-free at 1-877-YES2004, e-mail Virginia Energy Choice, or write Virginia Energy Choice c/o State Corporation Commission, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, Virginia 23218.