A system under which more than one electric or natural gas provider can sell to retail customers, and retail customers are allowed to buy from more than one provider. See Direct Access.
The ability of small business and residential customers to choose an ESP or ESCO. By selecting a new supplier you are participating in retail competition. Deregulation aims at creating competition amongst suppliers by allowing the consumer to choose the lowest cost, best service supplier. This competition in the generation section of the electricity market will, over time, drive down costs.
Permitting end-use customers to contract directly with suppliers for their electric or gas service, while transmission and distribution companies provide for delivery of the service.