According to the Wall Street Journal, government policies and utility companies play “a major role” is stopping energy waste. It’s reported that although consumers trust the energy-saving abilities of their utility companies, “the best managed utility efficiency programs typically see less than 5 percent customer participation.” Because individuals make the most impact on energy reduction, people are urged to look at what their communities are offering in terms of reducing their bills by reducing their consumption.
The following information showcases how some states are going above and beyond to stop energy waste in its tracks.
Americans are Taking Advantage of Deregulated Markets
Not all communities have deregulated their markets to allow for more competition in retail electricity supply or alternative gas supply. Illinois is a great example of a state willing to allow for more competition, which results in more savings and less energy consumption, both of which are great for the consumer.
Electricity companies in deregulated communities can offer “competitive rates and the most attractive supply plans.” An Illinois electricity comparison tool shows that “energy supply plans have grown to more than 50 and, as of 2013, nearly 80 percent of all electricity consumed in Illinois is provided by an ARES.” (ARES = area retail electricity supply)
The Greenest States are those With Energy Efficiency Programs
Some states, such as Massachusetts, offer more energy efficiency programs. Massachusetts is the most efficient state in the United States with California, Oregon, and Rhode Island rounding out the top four. Each of these states offers more in terms of programs, with policies and incentives for utilities, building codes, government initiatives, and transportation policies.
Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick told US News that energy programs have created 65,000 in-state jobs. “Energy efficiency is the cheapest and cleanest energy resource…We can have both a clean-energy future and robust economic growth.”
Push for Change If Your State Doesn’t Offer a Deregulated Market
If you’re living in one of the few states that don’t offer a deregulated energy market, you can write to your state’s government officials requesting the change. Point out the energy savings deregulated markets are experiencing, and how this savings can benefit the community and the entire world. Market competition benefits consumers, and offers them so many more incentives to reduce their energy consumption.
Consumers should be able to choose the source of their energy. If you had the choice between something less efficient and more efficient, and it wouldn’t effect pricing in a negative way, wouldn’t you choose the more sustainable option? Everyone would, but many utility providers don’t want the competition from sustainable providers. They simply don’t want to lose their monopoly over pricing.
Deregulation does not mean your current local utility providers would go out of business. Job creation is the result of a deregulated market (not job loss). Your local utility provider would still deliver your energy, service your lines, and perform their duties. The only difference would be the source of the energy you’re receiving, and what a huge difference it makes. You’ll experience clean energy, lower bills, and the positive feelings that come from being part of a global initiative to improve energy efficiency.