On February 9, 1999, N.J.S.A. 48:3-49, et seq, the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act, (EDECA) was signed into law. EDECA seperated the supply portion of the electric or natural gas rate from the delivery portion. With the supply portion now open to competition, the consumer has the option to shop for the best price on energy supplies from companies other than electric or gas utilities, i.e. from a Third Party Supplier licensed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”). The electric and natural gas distribution utility will continue to deliver electricity and/or natural gas through the utility’s wires and pipes which continues to be regulated by the BPU. Your utility will also respond to emergencies, should they arise, regardless of where those supplies are purchased. Therefore, purchasing your energy supplies from a company other than your electric or gas utility, i.e. from a Third Party Supplier, is purely an economic decision; it has no impact on the reliability or safety of your service.
Choosing to purchase energy supplies from companies other than the electric or gas utility, affords basic consumer protection safeguards, but the rates charged by these companies are not regulated by the BPU. You should be familiar with provisions set forth in your contract with your Third Party Supplier addressing contract termination. The electric utility is required to provide electric supplies to you under Basic Generation Service (“BGS”), and the gas utility is required to provide gas supplies to you under Basic Gas Supply Service (“BGSS”) if you choose not to shop. The electric utility’s BGS and gas utility’s BGSS rates are regulated by the BPU.