Growing up we had two grocery stores in the area. You had to drive about 10 miles to get to another one. There were no convenience stores, and the town had one bank. Everyone in the entire region got their gas and electric utilities from the same provider as well. There were not a lot of choices for some things if you wanted to price shop. Now there is. Stores will even match the prices of other stores. That is kind of how shopping for a lower electricity rate is. There are details online at a site that has the different electricity rates for Illinois.
If you go to a store and have them match a price, they are the ones who stocked the product, provided you the product and will accept a return if there is a problem. They just provided it at a lower price. Your electricity can be delivered the same way. Electricity is generated and put into a national grid to meet highly variable demands from day to day. Local power companies fix wires and transformers and stuff like that. They maintain the responsibility to provide you with the power, and they respond to problems when they occur. Continue reading How Electricity Deregulation Works Today