Deregulation creates choice. Customers in the electric and natural gas markets now have the ability to choose the supplier of natural gas and electricity for their business. Prior to deregulation you only had one choice and no competition. The monopoly on energy made for poor service and high cost.
Following deregulation of the airline and telephone industries, the focus moved to natural gas and electric utilities. Consumers are now able to choose who supplies their natural gas and/or electricity. The utility delivers the energy regardless of who supplies the natural gas or electricity through their distribution system. Additionally, the utility is still responsible for maintenance of the distribution system, billing, meter reading and responding to outages.
Since deregulation came to the energy industry over 10 years ago, almost half of the states have passed major legislation and regulations to restructure their electric power, natural gas, or both.