WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to rising interest among consumers and state regulators, the Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) has updated its Consumer Education Guide, designed to help customers make informed decisions when shopping for competitively priced electricity and natural gas. The revised guide was released at the winter meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in Washington, D.C. NARUC represents state public utility regulators, whose responsibilities include oversight of competitive retail electricity and natural gas markets in states that have restructured to promote competition and customer choice. "In many states you can choose a retail energy supplier just as you do for cell phone plans, cable television packages and internet access. Choosing an energy supplier is no different," said RESA President Melissa Lauderdale. "There are a wide variety of products and pricing options in the market to consider," Lauderdale noted. "But as with any purchasing decision, consumers should make the best informed choice they can. This guide aims to help them make that informed decision when choosing a retail electricity or natural gas supplier." Because some consumers may be unaware of their right to choose competitive retail energy products in many states, they might be wary of sales agents knocking on their door, calling on the phone, or making offers through the mail or online. As the leading national trade association for competitive retail energy suppliers, RESA is acting to help consumers obtain the information they need to become better informed as they shop for competitive electricity and natural gas products. "RESA members are dedicated to working with all stakeholders to promote vibrant competitive retail energy markets for residential, commercial and industrial consumers," said Jay Kooper, chairman of RESA's consumer education committee. "It is important to our rapidly growing industry that consumers have a positive experience when shopping for competitive energy products and services and to have at their fingertips the information they need." RESA members adhere to guiding principles outlining marketing practices designed to protect consumers. To further ensure consumers have a rewarding experience shopping for electricity and natural gas, RESA's guide aims to educate consumers about competitive energy suppliers, what it means for consumers to shop for their individual energy needs, and what questions they should ask before they enter into a contract.