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Missouri town illustrates the importance of comparing electricity providers

Electricity has become a substantially more complicated service in the past two decades than it ever was in the century before that.

The introduction of electricity deregulation, allowing customers to choose their electricity providers based on cost and other services, as well as the developing interest in renewable electricity has forced more customers to consider their options.

Recently, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports the city of Columbia, Missouri, has looked into adopting more renewable electricity. Missouri does not have electricity deregulation, so residents there at least cannot make any such choices, but the Tribune notes that the situation illustrates the potential for measured choices between electricity companies.

One firm, Free Power Co. offered to set up solar power installations at a remarkably low price. But as a young company without many resources, it had no website and had little to sell itself on. Though that project has at least progressed slowly, the city stands to gain far more reliable service from a partnership with publicly-traded electricity provider NextEra Energy, Inc.

Like the town, residents can benefit from comparing electricity providers in depth. While stories of fraud and improper practices still float around the internet, customers who look into the background of companies making them offers are only likely to see lower electricity rates.