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Shopping for an Electric Provider

As you begin to shop for a Competitive Service Provider (CSP), you'll hear some new terms and concepts that are used when participating in Customer Choice. Become familiar with these terms and concepts as you evaluate offers from providers.

Questions to Ask CSP

Terms & Definitions

The arrival of competition to Virginia's electric utility industry brings with it a new vocabulary.


A person, local government or organization licensed by the SCC that brings together a group of customers and negotiates the price and other details for electric supply service on their behalf.

Competitive Service Provider (CSP)

A person or company licensed by the SCC to sell competitive energy services in Virginia. Aggregators are Competitive Service Providers.

Distribution service

The delivery of electricity to your home or business over distribution lines; this service must be purchased from Appalachian Power Company Virginia at regulated rates.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

EDI functionality is not available for Virginia at this time, so enrollment and switching activities remain a manual process.

Energy Service Provider

A CSP that supplies generation services, or when provided together, generation services and its transmission to the distribution facilities of the Company to an eligible retail customer.

Electricity supply service

Consists of the generation of electricity, or when provided together, the generation and transmission of electricity to the distribution facilities on behalf of a retail customer.

Local Distribution Company (LDC)

The regulated public utility that owns, maintains and operates the distribution lines and other equipment necessary to deliver electricity to you; LDCs are regulated by the SCC.

Local utility tax (local consumers tax)

A tax, imposed on electricity consumers by most localities of the Commonwealth based on kilowatt-hours (kWh) used by the consumer.

Price to compare

The price to compare appears on the monthly bill you receive from Appalachian Power Company Virginia and includes combined costs for generation and transmission services. Not all companies state price to compare in this same manner, or include both generation and transmission services. Please check to make sure you are comparing similar charges.

State and local consumption tax (VA Electric Consumption Tax)

A tax on electricity consumers in the Commonwealth based on kWh used by the consumer and delivered by Appalachian Power Company Virginia.

Transmission service

Consists of transmission service provided under the applicable Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) and retail transmission service.

Unbundled service

The separation of generation, open-access transmission, retail transmission and distribution services and possibly other related services into service offerings with separate prices for each.

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