It’s Time To Take A Fresh Look At How Deregulation Can Save Your Restaurant Money On Energy Costs


Whether you look at the glass as “half empty” or half full” as business owners we are always looking to make our business model more efficient.  I am always asked, “What is the low hanging fruit in your market?” and “How can we save money?”  

In past articles we have tried to share with you some of the low hanging fruit in regards to bringing our electric and natural gas usage down to a more nominal level.  In this article we thought it would be prudent to share with you, “the low hanging” fruit by purchasing your energy supply from a deregulated Energy Company properly.  When done correctly, this can save your business thousands of dollars, and really have an impact on your bottom-line.  

Throughout the years, public utilities have been operated as regulated monopolies. These utilities were heavily regulated by the government because of how important their function is to the public as a whole. It was not long ago, when people were still using candlelight, and wood burning stoves for heat.  With the advances in energy supply came changes in the way a restaurateur/business owner could choose who supplies us our power. This was known as deregulation and it created a more effective way to shop for energy rather than being bound by our utilities and whatever they decide to charge us.

Over the last several years, a number of states and provinces have deregulated their electricity markets to enhance competition between energy providers.  Prior to deregulation, our utility company provided all aspects of your electric service–generation, sales, delivery, billing, and support.  Post deregulation, some of these components were separated. Each of the Public Utilities Commission in the nation’s deregulated states opened up generation to companies other than utilities. The result was to create a competitive environment where the business owner could actually shop out their energy supply like any other line item they purchase.

There is different status of the deregulation of energy per state. Some are fully deregulated for electricity and natural gas, while others have gas only and some have electric only while others have not deregulated at all.  As business owners in the northeast we are, in that gas and electric are both deregulated in most states in the Northeast. Each of the four states that TFS covers: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are in fact deregulated. 

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There are a number of benefits from the deregulation of energy. At its core, Energy Deregulation provides you the right to choose who you purchase your energy from.  Again, this creates competition in the marketplace and drives pricing down due to heavy competition. The benefits of choosing your own supply company are, price protection (guaranteeing budget certainty with a pre determined fixed price), saving money versus what you would have paid the utility, and also being taken out of the volatility in the utility markets.  

I like the fact that no matter which company you select the utility still delivers your energy into your business.  You just get the added benefit of choosing exactly how you want to purchase your supply.  You can shop for the best prices available in the energy market and start saving money on your energy bills.  

My advice is to find a good consultant that can help you decide what type of deregulated supply rate works for you. That consultant will enable you to quickly sort out which energy supplier is right for you. They also will enable you to read the seasonal and marketplace fluctuations in pricing. 

The key thing to remember is that this change will be completely transparent. You may see a new name on the bill but you will be saving money and rest assured there will be no interruption of services.

Peter Kaplan has served as Chief Operating Officer and President of United Energy Consultants since 2005. Behind his leadership and 20+ years of de-regulated energy and risk management experience, United Energy Consultants has developed several proprietary procurement and software systems that are a bench-mark in the industry. Email him at