Learn About Deregulated Electricity & Energy
If you live in a deregulated state and need help choosing an electricity provider, EcoWatch is your source for all things energy.
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What You Need To Know About Energy Rates
The current U.S. average electricity cost is 14.29 cents per kilowatt-hour, but rates can vary greatly depending on where you live.1 Hawaii residents see the highest electricity rates, with an average rate of 37.44 cents/kWh. Nebraska residents pay the least at 9.43 cents/kWh.
There are currently 29 states with deregulated energy markets. Of these, 15 states have deregulated electricity and natural gas, 12 only have natural gas and two only have electric. Also, some states are only partially deregulated. For example, in Texas, Houston and Dallas residents can choose their energy suppliers, but Austin and San Antonio residents are not. The map to the right shows the states with electricity deregulation sectors.
In states with deregulated electricity, customers are often able to choose between a few types of power plans. These typically include:
- Fixed-rate plans: With this type of plan, you sign a contract with an energy provider and your rates are locked in for the duration of your contract.
- Variable-rate plans: These plans don’t have length-based contracts, but rates change based on fluctuations in the energy market. The price per kWh will increase or decrease depending on supply and demand.
- Prepaid plans: With this type of plan, you pay in advance for a certain amount of electricity. Then, you can track your energy usage and reload your account when it runs low. If you aren’t enrolled in an auto-pay plan and you don’t reload your account, your power will be shut off.
- Green energy plans: These plans supply electricity from renewable energy sources, like wind, hydro or solar energy. They cost about 1 cent per kWh more than non-renewable plans, but we recommend them if feasible.
Use the resources on this page to learn more about finding the best energy rates in your area.
Karsten Neumeister, EcoWatch Energy Editor
Karsten is a solar energy specialist passionate about sustainable development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology.
Kristina Zagame, EcoWatch Energy Writer
Kristina is a writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts.
Dan Simms, EcoWatch Energy Writer
Dan is an experienced writer and a solar and EV advocate. Much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics like real estate and economics.
Melissa Smith, EcoWatch Executive Editor
Melissa is an editor who has worked on content pertaining to electricity and renewable energy sources for the past several years. Her background spans both eco news outlets and environmental nonprofits.
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