It is actually quite common for utility companies to have to purchase - from other generation companies, producers, or marketers - the electricity or gas which they in turn sell to their customer base.
In our electricity and gas procurement service, we understand that deregulation allows the retail end-user to go to those same producers or marketers and structure their own deals; something that (in the case of natural gas) has always been allowed for the very large user.
With “bundled” service, a customer pays the utility company a single amount for the combined product of the commodity (electricity or gas) and the delivering of that commodity through the utility’s already established network of pipes or wires. The customer also enjoys the other benefits it has come to depend on from the utility: reliability, customer service, assistance during outages, meter-reading, rebates, etc.
A bundled bill has contained within it a line item for all of those services (although they may not be delineated on the bill). Our electricity and natural gas procurement service manages this bundling.
With deregulation, the utility continues to charge for everything except the commodity portion of the bill, but continues to provide – and charge for – all the previously mentioned services. The customer pays the producer or marketer for the commodity and the utility continues to deliver that commodity.