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How to Spot a Bad AppleThe Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) requires Ohio energy marketers to list their electric and natural gas offers on its Energy Choice Ohio website, also known as "Apples to Apples." Some offers are good apples. But many offers are bad or even rotten apples.

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) wants the PUCO to remove all outrageously-priced energy offers from its Apples-to-Apples website. But, for now, some very rotten offers are still listed.

Why do I have to choose a supplier?

In Ohio, you generally don't get to choose your local utility, the company that delivers your energy through wires or pipes. But you can choose which company supplies the electricity or natural gas that runs through those wires or pipes. You can choose to get your energy supply through your utility. This is called the standard offer.

Or you can also choose to get your energy from a marketer or government aggregator. Learn more about the different types of offers and how to choose the right one for you with OCC’s “How to Make Wise Energy Choices” fact sheet.


Picking Natural Gas “Apples” from a Marketer

Dominion Energy’s Standard Offer (SCO)

$3.154 per Mcf

Bad Apple Example: Tomorrow Energy Corp.

$15.362 per Mcf

Good Apple Example: New Wave Energy

$4.750 per Mcf

What this means: A typical household would pay more than $1000 more per year at the Bad Apple rate compared to Dominion’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) rate!


Picking Electric “Apples” from a Marketer

AEP Ohio’s “Price to Compare”

$0.1091 per kWh

Bad Apple Example: Median Energy Corp.

$0.1300 per kWh

Good Apple Example: Better Buy Energy

$0.0609 per kWh

What this means: A typical household would pay almost $250 more per year at the Bad Apple rate compared to AEP’s Standard Service Offer (SSO) or “Price to Compare” rate!

*Price data above was found at in Fall 2023. Sample good apple rates are fixed priced rates. Consumers may prefer variable prices, however they should watch variable price agreements carefully for unexpected spikes.

The Bottom Line:

When considering a new electric or natural gas supplier, it's important to compare different offers. The PUCO’s "Apples to Apples" website can help you do this. You can also read OCC’s "How to Make Wise Energy Choices" fact sheet to learn more about different offers and how to choose the right one for you.

Switching to an energy marketer can be risky. Government aggregation can be a safer way to save money on your monthly energy bills. It's also historically been safe to choose your utility's standard offer. The natural gas Standard Choice Offer (SCO) prices are still a good option for consumers.

When selecting marketers, pay attention to any monthly fees and consider avoiding contracts with high termination fees. Offers for short periods of time such as one or two months may be teaser rates that will increase quickly.

A rare set of events caused electric utility Standard Service Offers (SSO) to go up significantly in the summer of 2023. However, recent auction results suggest that electricity Standard Service Offer (SSO) prices may return to their typical lower pricing over the next year.


  • Standard Choice Offer (SCO): The utility's price for natural gas for consumers who don't pick a different supplier. The SCO price is based on market rates and set by a competitive auction process.
  • Standard Service Offer (SSO): The utility's price for electricity for consumers who don't pick a different supplier. Listed as the Price to Compare on your bill. The SSO price is set by a competitive auction process.