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Electricity Market
Competition in
New York

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Electricity Market Competition in New York

Consumers in New York should now shop for electricity the way they shop for other products and services: the price matters, but so does the quality and the source of power.

The generation of electricity CAN BE very damaging to the environment. The electricity you use in your home comes from a wide variety of generating sources such as coal, hydropower, wind power, and more. The source of the electricity, location of the power source, and other factors have a huge impact on how much environmental impact is produced.

The Power Scorecard is designed to help consumers understand the environmental quality differences among the electricity service choices available to consumers. With competition, you the consumer have the opportunity to choose cleaner, greener electricity from among the choices offered.

The following explains how competition works for buying electricity in New York and then explains how you can choose the electricity service option that matches best with your environmental values.

How Electricity Competition Works

In the past, one company, a local utility, provided all parts of your electric service (power generation, transmission, and distribution, along with retail marketing/sales).

Now those once combined services have been split into two parts - supply and delivery. You no longer have to buy your electricity supply from your local utility. Instead you can shop among competing Energy Service Company businesses. The delivery of the supply you purchase remains the responsibility of the local utility - using their existing system of electricity transmission and distribution wires to deliver electricity to your home or business.

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 York. For each major service territory open to retail competition (almost all areas of New York except Long Island), 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 York State see:

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