If your business falls within a deregulated state, you have the power to choose your electric and natural gas providers. To some extent, this allows you to pick your rates.
Fearing change, however, many of us stick with our current suppliers, and weather increasing prices or variable rates. In other words, we miss out on the savings we'd get by switching to a different provider.
Utilities would like us to switch to retail electric providers (REPs) - companies that buy power from them, and then sell it to the end consumer - so they can focus on things like maintaining the grid and delivering electricity. While it seems like this model would drive up the cost of power, it doesn't.
That's because you can choose from several REPs. Consumer choice encourages competition and efficiency, leading to lower prices. REPs also handle bill pay and any service issues (save the power going out) related to your energy bills, freeing up your local utility's resources.