Energy Supplier Licensing Guide
Electricity Supplier Licensing
Businesses that provide electricity supplier services are generally required to register with the state public utilities commission. There are currently 18 states that have licensing requirements.
Electricity suppliers must register with the secretary of state prior to applying for a license. Along with the license application, suppliers should register with the public utilities located in the supplier’s service area. Additional steps are often needed to apply for a license, but these requirements vary by state. A dedicated compliance expert can help you keep track of varying jurisdiction requirements and updated laws.
Firms that provide electric supply services in a competitive energy state are generally required to hold a license before offering their services. The term electric supplier broadly includes firms acting as electric brokers, aggregators, and marketers.
Electric suppliers are typically regulated by state level public utility commissions and federally by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Application requirements vary by state, but common requirements include:
- Charter and incorporation documents
- Partner and officer information
- Bonding requirements
- Financial statements
- List of other states where licensed to operate
- Proof of experience
States often require foreign entities to submit a certificate of good standing from their home state and state of application. Electric marketers may also be required to comply with certain FERC regulations before applying for a state-level license.
In addition to state utility commission requirements, suppliers are usually required to register with the electric utility that generates electricity in the supplier’s proposed area of service. Depending on where a supplier wants to provide service, multiple utility company registrations may be needed.
There are also ongoing compliance considerations for electric suppliers. Almost all states require electric supplier licenses to be renewed annually. Arizona does not require renewal, while New Hampshire has a biennial renewal period. In some cases, suppliers must also provide disclosures to consumers and report to the public utility commission periodically.
Overview By State
Looking for electricity supplier licensing requirements in a particular jurisdiction? The following table summarizes firm licensing requirements across the United States.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Aggregator - Agents acting as brokers on behalf of a group or groups of customers.
Broker - An agent acting as a middleman between energy suppliers and customers. Brokers can be affiliated with a single energy supplier or may have several supplier affiliations.
Competitive Energy States - States that allow consumers to choose the supplier of their energy source.
Energy Supplier - Narrowly defined, a supplier is a company that owns rights to a supply of energy or owns means of producing energy and then sells that energy to customers. The broad definition of energy supplier also includes aggregators, brokers, and marketers.
Franchise Agreement - A contract between municipal governments and utility companies that sets a franchise fee and conditions for the use of public rights of way.
Power Marketer - Act as intermediary between utilities and customers. Marketers do not own any assets related to power generation, they simply find price discrepancies between utility companies and offer savings to customers.
ACCES: American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers
Consumer outreach organization that educates the public on energy choice.
FERC: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Independent agency charged with oversight of electric, oil, natural gas, and hydropower transmissions.
RESA: Retail Energy Supply Association
National association of energy suppliers that encourages competition in energy markets.