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Deregulation of Electricity in New Jersey





Effective August 1, 1999, New Jersey electricity customers are able to choose a company that will supply them with electric power. This choice is available due to the enactment of the "Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act", which among other things, allows competition in the power generation portion of the electric industry.




The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' Office of Clean Energy has developed the CleanPower Choice Program, a statewide program that allows you to support the development of clean, renewable sources of energy. By choosing CleanPower, you're choosing to support the generation of renewable energy sources that diversify our energy supply and help create a healthier environment. Solar power. Wind power. Low-impact or small hydro power. Landfill gas power. Clean power, that's good for New Jersey and will always be there for us.


Before Deregulation

Prior to this change in the law, one of the four local utility companies was responsible for generating electricity and transmitting the power to all regions of their service territory and, finally, distributing the power to the individual homes and businesses. The utilities were also responsible for billing and service issues and repairs to the electric lines and equipment.


After Deregulation

As a result of the new state law, the different responsibilities of the utilities were "unbundled" and the power industry was separated into four divisions: generation, transmission, and distribution, and energy services. The generation sector has been deregulated and, as a result, utilities are no longer the sole producers of electricity. The transmission and distribution sectors remain subject to regulation - either by the federal government or the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Finally, competition is allowed between companies to provide power and other energy services directly to customers. Several companies have been licensed to sell electricity in New Jersey.


Reasons to Choose

As such, customers can buy service from the company that best meets their needs and requirements. Selecting a company can be based on a variety of criteria, for example:

  • price
  • environmental impact of the generation process
  • name recognition
  • no selection is made and a company is assigned

If no choice is made, the customer stays with the former utility, which takes on a role as the provider of last resort. Also, if for any reason a customer chooses a company and they are no longer able to provide service, the provider of last resort will be the electricity provider so no customer is without electric service.



Illustration used with permission of Nexus Energy Software.
Copyright ©2002 ENERGYguide.com. All Rights Reserved.


Using the Power Scorecard to Choose an Electricity Supplier

The Power Scorecard provides information on the electricity service choices available to residential consumers in New Jersey. For each major service territory, the Power Scorecard provides a list of the electricity product choices, environmental ratings for each product, the price of the product, and information on how to contact the product supplier to arrange to purchase that product.

The Power Scorecard was designed to help consumers see how the environmental quality of different electricity products compare and to see how each product is rated against nine separate quality ratings, eight environmental quality measures and one measure of the product's use of new renewable energy supplies. The Power Scorecard enables you first to see how the environmental ratings of available choices compare and then to "drill down" to learn more about the details of the environmental ratings. The Power Scorecard recognizes that people vary in the way they judge environmental quality and provides the details of environmental ratings so people may choose products that best match what they care most about.

Here are the key steps to using the Power Scorecard:

Step One:
At the Power Scorecard HOME page, select the state and service territory you want to know about. This opens the ALL PRODUCTS page for that service territory.

Step Two:
At the ALL PRODUCTS page, examine the list of currently available product choices - reviewing the NEW RENEWABLES rating, the ENVIRONMENTAL RATING, and the price for each product.

Step Three:
Select up to three of the products listed for a detailed comparison of the environmental ratings of each product by putting a check in the column on the left of each product you want to investigate further. Then click on the COMPARE button at the top of the column. This opens the COMPARE PRODUCTS page with detailed information on the three products you selected.

Step Four:
Now you may either go back to the ALL PRODUCTS page to change the selection of products for detailed comparison OR you may "drill down" for information you need to contact the product supplier:
  • to arrange to purchase the product or
  • to obtain additional information from the product supplier
The PRODUCT page provides supplier name, address, customer service telephone information and Internet web site link to the product supplier. It also summarizes all the information on product ratings and price.

You may obtain a full explanation of the methods used by the Power Scorecard to assign environmental ratings at About the Power Scorecard.

Retail choice offers you the POWER to commit the money you spend on electricity to choosing the products that:
  • contribute the least to GLOBAL CLIMATE change
  • cause the fewest air pollution related HEALTH problems
  • make the smallest contribution to ACID RAIN
  • use the least amount of WATER, or
  • have the smallest LAND impacts.
The Power Scorecard helps you judge which products represent the balance between economic cost and environmental quality you want to purchase.

We urge that you try out the Power Scorecard tool, pick the product you like best, and make a decision today to buy the electricity product you want!


More Information

For more information about the power of choice and retail electricity competition in New Jersey see:




©2000 Pace University, White Plains, New York
Design ©2000 Baseline Institute, Lafayette, Colorado