Energy: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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What is Energy Deregulation?

Energy deregulation expands the choices of energy consumers in the marketplace.  Unlike the utility company monopolies of the past, deregulation allows you to shop for a lower rate and save money on your gas and electric bills. Your local utility company still delivers the energy; there are only two primary changes:

  1. A lower rate
  2. Your energy supplier

More competition in the energy sector leads to a lower price for the end consumer.  Since there are now many energy providers to choose from, however, finding who to switch to can be a hassle—and that’s why we do the work for you.

How do I get a free energy quote?

The owner of IMS Group Insurance is also an independent energy agent.

You can reach him at 315-427-7696. Or you can send an email: eric@imsgroupinsurance.com Fax a copy of your current energy bill to: 315-488-5800.

What is the difference between an energy producer and energy supplier?

An energy producer is typically a utility company that owns the means of producing gas or electric power as well as the infrastructure to distribute it.

Competitive energy suppliers are known as ESCOs, or Energy Service Companies. While some ESCOs may own power generation plants, they do not have a monopoly of the markets in which they do business.

When producers and suppliers are different, no single company controls the energy market. This means more choice and more savings for the end consumer.

What happens when I switch suppliers?

Right after you switch suppliers, your utility company will usually call you or send you a verification letter to confirm that you authorize this choice.

You will still receive your bill from the utility company, but there will be a few changes. The name of your supplier will change, appearing as a “line item” on your energy bill. Your utility company will still charge you for delivering gas or electric, but the overall cost will be more competitively-priced since you now have a lower-cost energy supplier.

I don’t have time to shop for the least-expensive supplier. Once I switch, how do I know that I’ve made the best choice?

Fortunately, the owner of IMS Group Insurance is also an independent energy agent. Eric essentially does the work for you, searching for the energy provider with the lowest rate in your area.

You can contact Eric directly at 315-427-7696 or by calling the IMS Group office at 315-488-4800.

How are you able to get me a lower energy rate?

In this newly-competitive, deregulated energy market, energy providers are constantly looking for new sources of customers. The energy brokers we work with are a major source of customers for these providers—allowing them to negotiate a lower rate with energy suppliers than you would be able to do on your own.

Who will read my meter?

Your local utility company will still handle meter reading and maintenance.

What should I do if there is a power failure?

Just the same as you did before—contact your utility company. Power failures are often the result of a problem with the energy infrastructure, such as above-ground power lines failing due to high winds or a thunderstorm.

With deregulation, your local utility company still owns the energy infrastructure—the only thing that has changed is who supplies the energy.

Are there any consumer protection safeguards in place?

Yes. You are still protected by the New York State Public Service Commission, which has been ensuring that customers of water, gas and electric companies receive reliable service at fair market prices since 1907.

Although energy supply is deregulated, energy delivery—which your local utility still controls—has remained under government regulations to ensure reasonable rates and reliable service.

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