What Is the Difference Between Energy Suppliers & Utilities?

November 13th, 2017

Most states still operate with a regulated energy market, which means residents and businesses have only one choice when buying electricity and natural gas. Fortunately, many states have switched to a deregulated energy market, including Pennsylvania and most other states in the Mid-Atlantic. Deregulation creates competition, which leads to better pricing options and greater savings.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the deregulated energy market in Pennsylvania or the surrounding states, you may come across some confusing information. You’re probably familiar with the term “utility company,” but what does this actually mean? And what role does an energy supplier play in a deregulated energy market? Find the answers to your questions here.

What Is a Utility Company?

Assuming your home or business is tied to the power grid and hooked up to natural gas lines, you receive these energy sources from a utility company. This is true regardless of whether you live in a regulated or deregulated market.

The utility company owns, operates, and maintains the wires and pipes that bring electricity and natural gas to your home. The utility charges you for the energy you consume each billing period based on your gas and electric meter readings. If you have a power outage, suspect a natural gas leak, or experience another energy-related emergency, the utility company is the one to call.

In a regulated market, the rates you pay to power your home or business with electricity and natural gas are set by a regulatory or government body. You have no choice but to pay this rate, whether high or low, or risk having your utilities shut off.

What Is an Energy Supplier?

In a deregulated market, you have a choice of where your energy comes from and how much you pay for it. The terms “energy supplier,” “retail energy company,” “energy servicer,” and “energy provider” are all interchangeable. These terms refer to the company that sets your utility rate. Your provider may offer various payment options, including predictable fixed pricing with the same rate every month, or varying index pricing based on market rate fluctuations.

In addition to setting the rate, your supplier also sources electricity and natural gas from a variety of power plants. This is one reason for varying rates between different providers.

UGI EnergyLink is an energy supplier. We provide affordable, reliable natural gas and electricity to more than 43,000 homes and businesses throughout the Mid-Atlantic. But we don’t just buy and sell energy—we also own key generation facilities that are part of the PJM Power Pool.  As one of the largest and most well-established energy suppliers in the region, we’re confident we can work with your utility company to ensure the highest-quality energy at the lowest prices.

Why Switch Energy Suppliers?

If you suspect your energy rates are higher than they should be, switching to a different energy supplier is the key to saving money. The process is so effortless that even a savings of just two cents per kWh is worth making the switch. After all, if your business consumes 5,000 kWh per month, your two-cent savings would add up to $100 per month, or $1,200 per year! Clearly, it pays to shop for the most affordable energy supplier.

Make UGI EnergyLink Your PA Energy Supplier

UGI EnergyLink makes it easy to lock in the lowest rate possible for electricity and natural gas. We ensure your transition will be interruption-free and that you won’t experience a decrease in quality or reliability, even as your bills go down.

Are you ready to start saving money? Call us at 800-797-0712 or enroll online to make the switch today!