FAQ

If you do not see your question listed, submit it to us by e-mail or call us to speak to a Choice! Energy Specialist.


What are energy consultants?

As energy consultants, Choice! Energy operates as an agent in a deregulated energy market and acts as an intermediary between the energy suppliers and business energy end users. Choice!’s role and scope of responsibilities in commercial energy sales are similar to that of an estate agent’s role in home sales.

Unlike the suppliers/REPs, consultants never actually own the electricity or gas traded between the parties, or the means of producing or consuming that commodity. Choice sits on the same side of the table as its clients and act on behalf of one or both parties in the transaction.


What is the difference between regulated and deregulated energy markets?

In states where electric power is regulated, utility regulators set power rates for each class of service (residential, commercial, industrial) based upon actual cost of service (operating costs, expenses, etc.) plus a fair rate of return for the utility. Rates can vary greatly from utility to utility, state to state and between customer classes.

In states that have “de-regulated” electric power service, the generation component (power supply) is NOT regulated but the transmission and distribution components (power delivery) remain regulated. In these states, regulators set rates for the delivery of power (transmission and distribution) based upon their cost plus a fair rate of return to the “wires” utility. But customers can choose from whom they purchase power (generation component). The pricing of this power supply is market-based and not regulated.


Which are the deregulated energy markets?

 

 

  • AESO (Alberta Electric System Operator)
  • CAISO (California Independent System Operator)
  • ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas)
  • IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator)
  • ISO-NE (Independent System Operator New England)
  • MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator)
  • NY ISO (New York Independent System Operators)
  • PJM (Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland Interconnection)

How does deregulation work for my business?

Your energy service is divided into three distinctive parts.

  1. Suppliers – the energy companies responsible for selling you, the customer, the energy product.
  2. Transportation and Distribution Centers – the companies that are responsible for transporting the energy supply from its source to the receiving station of the utilities.
  3. Local Distribution Center – the utility that delivers the electricity by wires and natural gas via pipes to your home or business.

We work with these suppliers and simplify the entire process.


What is EnergyStar?

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Interested in EnergyStar for your business? Ask us about our software platform, CESConnect, that automates the EnergyStar process.


What charges are on my business electricity and gas bill?

Unit Price Rate: Amount charged for each unit of electricity that you have used during the bill period. This is always expressed as price per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh).

Kilowatt Hour (KWh): A unit of electricity. One kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts. So, for example, a heater rated at 1,000 watts left on for one hour will use one kilowatt hour (KWh) of energy. Thus, a 40-watt light bulb operating for 25 hours will also use one KWh. Prices per KWh vary across the U.S.

Basic Energy Usage – The base charge for the actual energy you will use. It will look something like, “Energy (kWh) Charge”. It may be broken down further into “distribution” and “energy” charges, so you can see what you’re paying for creating and for distributing electricity, separately.


The rate(s) and standing charges only make up part of the total bill. What other information should I expect?

While each retail electric provider (REP) may display billing information slightly differently, your electricity bill should contain the following items:

  • Your account information (your name, address, account number, meter number, etc)
  • The contact information for your local utility and for your retail electricity provider
  • Supply charges (billed to your REP)
  • Delivery charges – Only in ERCOT (which are billed by your REP on behalf of your local utility)
  • State surcharges (renewable energy programs, etc.) and taxes
  • The total amount due and deadline for payment