Spark Energy recently launched natural gas service in the Dominion East Ohio and Columbia Gas areas of Ohio, and is naturally interested in the health of both natural gas and electricity competition in the state.
In October, testimony sponsored by FirstEnergy was received by members of the Ohio House of Representatives Public Utility Committee showing that the deregulation of electricity markets in Ohio was a success and that customers have been able to reduce monthly utility bill costs as a result of competition among electricity suppliers.
According to the testimony, when the state deregulated electricity and established competitive electricity markets under Senate Bill 3 a decade ago, it created an effective structure for ensuring customers have access to lower electricity prices.
The testimony also concluded that, Competitive markets deliver the lowest prices over the long term to customers, and the proof is undeniable. Right now, more than 2.3 million Ohioans including more than 200,000 businesses are reducing costs as a result of competition in the wholesale and retail markets.
Given the advantages of energy competition already realized by residents and businesses, the Committee was urged to keep competition fair and open, and cautioned against adopting measures that would restrict customers power to choose electricity suppliers, subsidize preferred electricity generators, or unfairly favor one electricity provider over another. Such changes could undo the benefits competition has created and drive electricity prices higher for certain customers.
As an Ohioan, what has your experience been with energy competition electricity or natural gas? Have you switched to an alternative supplier why or why not?
FirstEnergy Executive Testifies on Success of Competitive Electricity Markets Before Ohio House Committee, Alaska Dispatch, Oct. 19, 2011.