Energy Service Company

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An Energy Service Company (aka ESCO) is a company other than the local utility company (RG&E in the case of Rochester) which produces and sells energy to consumers. RG&E continues to provide the infrastructure for power distribution according to terms set by the New York State Public Service Commission.

Starting in 2007, Rochester consumers were given the opportunity to choose independent ESCOs rather than RG&E. To help clarify the changeover, the Chairwomen of the NYS Public Service Commission, Patricia L. Acampora, issued the following statement:

Variable or Fixed Rates

You can choose to pay either a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour over the year or a variable market rate.

The fixed-rate option means that if your energy consumption doesn't change, your bill won't either. If market rates go above your fixed rate, you will not be impacted and you will effectively save money. But if the market rates go down, you will still pay the higher fixed rate.

The variable-rate option means that your energy price will fluctuate with the market. If market rates stay below the fixed rate, you will effectively save money. But if they go above the fixed rate you will pay more, even if your energy consumption doesn't change.

You may only make this choice during the open enrollment period (or when starting new service). You are then generally locked in until the next open enrollment period.

An Itemized Bill

For most consumers of gas and electricity, this is where things get confusing.

Regardless of your ESCO, you will see the following line items:

RG&E also has a "Customer charge" and a "Bill issuance charge", both flat fees. Depending on your choice of energy provider, some of these charges may be negative and reduce your bill. ESCO's may also offer promotional rates on these charges.

You can change your ESCO, depending on your selected ESCO's "minimum period" contract - to find it go to [WWW]NY Power to Choose and enter your zip code

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