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Top FAQs About The PUC and The Deregulation of Energy

February 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 112

1. Who is the Public Utility Commission?

Each state has its own Public Utility Commission (PUC). Also known as Utility Regulatory Commission (URC), or Public Service Commission (PSC). This governing body oversees utility companies, in any given state, to ensure public safety. Reasonable rates, Public safety, Adequate distribution, and Health concerns are some of the issues your local PUC inspects. Members of the PUC get elected or are appointed by the governor. A quick check with your individual state will confirm which process is used and how many members are seated. The PUC regulates rates and service in many public servicing areas. These are but not limited to Electricity, Natural gas, Potable and waste water, Communication and cable TV, and Railroads and interstate commerce. The PUC is an important and vital system to protect the public.

2. What is deregulation and why is it happening?

Deregulation of energy is changing the way retail prices are configured. Rates will now be determined by an open market. You as a consumer will now have the freedom to choose which electrical supplier you want. This decision can be based on usage rate and/or marketing strategies. There are over sixty companies available to choose from. Previously a consumer didn't have a choice. The rate charge was determined by the PUC members balancing the needs of consumers vs. utilities to set retail prices. This process could be easily influenced by politics. This brought about a change in the policy. Before deregulation the PUC instilled a rate cap on utility companies to prevent from raising their rates. The utilities side stepped this rate cap by adding a Competitive Transition Charge (CTC) to the consumer's bill. This offset any rate difference with competitors and provided consumers with an artificially low rate. Recently the rate cap has been lifted and open market is again now available to the educated consumer.

3. Will it affect my service? Or change my rate?

No, the Deregulation of Energy only affects the sales portion of the process to get electricity to the consumer. There are three steps involved in this process. First Generation is the making of electricity. Second is to have customers, which is sales. Third is delivery, gets the electricity to the consumer. To maintain safe and reliable service, generation and delivery will continue to be handled by the incumbent utility company.

Yes, your rate can change. Electricity is a commodity. The price fluctuates with the market. You are now allowed to shop around for the best rate. Companies offer many different plans. Adjustable rates follow the market on a month to month basis. Fixed rates offer a stable locked-in rate for a period of time. Renewable energy rates use alternative energy sources, such as wind, and solar generation.

4. Are there more benefits then just rate?

Yes, now with open market competition many different benefits are available. With over sixty companies vying for customers competition is high. While the rates are an obvious way to lure customers in, there are other tactics available. The traditional way to market with billboards and passing out flyers, has minimum effect on the average electrical consumer. Some companies have taken a different approach. The use of network marketing to pay their customers for word of mouth advertising. This innovative idea has revolutionized the industry and will produce many examples of the customer actually making money from their energy bills.

5. Will my local utility still deliver my energy?

Yes. Delivery and the maintenance of all the wires and poles will remain the responsibility of the local utility company. Your electricity will remain as safe and reliable as before. All the systems designed to keep the public safe will stay in place.

6. Will it hurt my local utility company?

No. The incumbent utility company will still receive revenue from the consumer. As long as people use electricity and pay their bills they will stay in business. Your electric bill has charges other than usage that will pay for delivery and maintenance. Also, not everyone is educated on the benefits of deregulation. This lack of knowledge instills fear and they will not switch their bill.

An educated consumer is our best customer.

Curtis Muska is a part-time entrepreneur, with 25 plus years in the construction field. here I have always kept an ear to the ground when it comes to business. Doing so, also makes me an opportunist. I will drink the water while you are deciding if its half full or half empty. Its gone. I have drunken it. I will sit down and listen to anyone with good ideas. Then take action to implement these plans. Get Started Introduce yourself and we will set sights towards our future goals.

Source: EzineArticles
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