The New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) has launched a special buyer’s guide for energy consumers that will be updated monthly with gas and electricity services and prices offered by the state’s utilities and retail marketing companies. Consumers in other states with competitive retail markets, including Georgia and Ohio, have found the comparative listings useful in selecting energy providers.

The New York buyer’s guide is based on information collected by the commission’s staff from electric and natural gas marketers that agreed to participate in its creation and from the local utilities that provide gas and/or electricity supplies in addition to their delivery services. For residential buyers, the guide covers 12 utility service areas and more than 40 retail energy suppliers.

However, the NYPSC noted that the guide should be only the first step in the selection process. “The commission’s staff has developed information that can help guide consumers as they consider choices for their electricity and natural gas supplies,” said NYPSC Chairman William M. Flynn. “Consumers should regard the information as a starting point and realize that prices can change. They should call [energy service companies] ESCOs to learn more about the different supply offerings, including value-added packaging of energy supplies and services, and current prices.

“While prices are important, price alone is not the only factor that consumers should consider,” Flynn noted. “Therefore, to the extent possible, the guide includes other helpful information about ESCO and utility energy supply offerings. For instance, many New Yorkers seek electricity supplies that are generated from renewable resources, and such information is noted in the guide.”

The supply guide is available on the commission’s website at The guide and energy competition information, including new residential consumer protections, also can be obtained by mail through the commission’s toll-free consumer information line at (888) 275-7721.

The NYPSC also has scheduled nine consumer information forums for electric customers of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. (RG&E) to assist them in making a decision about their energy supplier under RG&E’s new “Voice Your Choice” program. RG&E customers will be able to obtain printed information at the forums about competitive energy supply choices in New York State, ask questions about specific choices available under RG&E’s new “Voice Your Choice” program and obtain information about energy competition in general.

In addition to staff from the PSC, representatives from RG&E will be present to explain the program and answer questions. The RG&E choice program begins in Jan. 1. Call the commission’s toll-free consumer information line (888) 275-7721 for details.

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