green business

State by state, region by region, our nation’s energy markets are swiftly transitioning to a deregulated model. It’s an exciting economic prospect for members of the energy industry and then some; not since the deregulation of the banking and transportation sectors has such a massive, wealthy whole decided to split apart and open itself up for competition.

The concept of energy deregulation is simple: up until the 1990s, commercial and residential energy service was handled exclusively by local utility companies, who were responsible for both transmitting and selling electricity and/or natural gas. Now, in deregulated areas, utility companies still handle your energy’s transmission, but consumers have the ability to purchase the actual commodity from an independent supplier. In short, the utility company still moves your electricity from A to B, but there are a number of suppliers from which you can buy it.

For businesses of all types, deregulation has opened up a new subset of cost-cutting opportunities. Since there are so many suppliers to choose from, it only makes sense that commercial consumers will shop around a bit to compare prices rather than staying glued to their utility’s standard rate as in years past. But what’s even more interesting is what deregulation has done for a business’s capacity to go green.

Nearly every supplier out there has some sort of green energy plan you can choose from once you sign up for their service. Some suppliers may even have multiple plans to choose from. Whether it’s related to wind power, solar power or biomass, energy suppliers are readily equipped to help businesses go green in a variety of ways.

Most of the time, these suppliers aren’t necessarily pumping clean energy directly into your business. Instead, they’ll assist you in supplying it for the regional grid. Lots of suppliers have plans which will inject as much clean energy into the grid as you need to compensate for your overall power usage. Others will assist you in purchasing carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. While neither of these options is exactly identical to affixing solar panels to your building, both are simple, no-hassle ways to establish a more Eco-friendly business model.

If you do business in an area that’s been deregulated, it’s not a bad idea to take a look around at the suppliers and see who’s offering what. If you’re still in a regulated area, keep an eye on local legislature and news stories. Many markets are in the process of deregulating, and you won’t want to miss out on the environmental benefits that could be in store!