About deregulated retail natural gas markets:
In regulated retail energy markets, retail natural gas service consumers were relegated to being served by designated, monopolistic, full-service utility companies. Consumers were under the protection and advocacy of a state utility commission that provided regulatory oversight of the utilities’ products, terms of service and prices.
Upon moving to deregulation of the natural gas industry, all of the decisions regarding these vital elements of natural gas service (price, terms, and services) became the sole responsibility of the consumer themselves. Deregulation was about giving consumers the ability to manage one of their major costs. Now the consumer has the ability to control one of your expenses in a way that wasn’t always available previously. Of course, with this opportunity comes the daunting task of navigating through a complex industry. In addition, the protection and advocacy of state utility commissions became lessened for commercial/industrial consumers, replaced by the terms and conditions of a contract between the supplier and customer. These contracts must be negotiated to protect the consumer against unfavorable outcomes, which could include: excess and deficiency charges, regulatory changes, early termination clauses, fair market prices and multitudes of consumer pitfalls.
The current market environment is positioned extremely advantageous for energy consumers with products having open procurement needs. For those that are locked in to full hedge positions, other avenues for opportunity benefit are available:
Energy contracting is fundamentally about risk allocation between a consumer (you) and a supplier (your energy service company). This may sound simple, but with the deregulation of the industry, there are many risks that you as a consumer must evaluate before entering a retail contract. We recognize that each of your facilities may operate in a different environment with varying requirements and demands. ProStar values discussion and listening to your risk profile in addition to the goals of our clients and will recommend strategies for selecting an energy supplier that fits your company’s specific needs, particular product structure or a specific billing and customer service requirement. We are independent of every supplier across the country in constructing the overall strategy, product and contract terms for your situation and risk profile.