What is electricity or natural gas deregulation?

Deregulation gives consumers the opportunity to purchase electricity and natural gas from competing suppliers. The local utility no longer has a monopoly covering a geographic territory. Consumers in the utility’s service territory can choose to purchase electricity and/or natural gas from other sources, but do not have to do so. The local utility will still deliver the electricity to you, service the lines, and render the bills. The local utility will continue to be paid by all customers in its service territory a monthly fee (tariff) for the delivery, servicing, and billing functions.