Expected changes in the energy industry

Arranging utility service for your home or business will be different in the future. Under the system being replaced, you called the utility company that held the exclusive right to provide service in your geographic area. You then paid the rate set by the State Corporation Commission.

With energy choice, Virginians will have the opportunity to buy electricity and natural gas from someone other than their traditional utility company. While the local distribution company will continue to deliver service, customers will choose the supplier of the energy.

This change in the marketplace will cause several changes in the energy industry.

  • Utility companies will change. Traditional local utility companies will continue to be assigned geographic service areas for the distribution of energy. However, affiliated companies of utilities may have the ability to serve customers in broader and different service areas in the Commonwealth, thereby allowing consumers to shop among a number of companies.

    Some utility companies will offer complete energy service packages. Others will offer customized services. In many cases, competition between electric and natural gas companies will blur the lines between the two industries. Gas companies may sell electricity-and electric companies may sell natural gas.
  • New companies will enter the industry. In addition, competition is creating power marketers, a type of company that acts as an independent broker in the marketplace. These companies buy and sell wholesale electricity or natural gas that has been produced by others.

    Aggregators will form, too. They are marketers who collect a large number of small consumers, seeking to match their energy needs with suppliers.

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.