Green retail energy provider Viridian Energy recently released a report on the power of energy deregulation, and how consumer choice has led to many changes in the way U.S. energy customers get their power.

The report suggests that if all customers who have already decided to receive their power from an alternative energy supplier also adopt a 20 percent green energy plan, 196 billion pounds of carbon emission could be eliminated – the same as removing 17.5 million cars from the nation's highways.

"Most people know that choosing greener energy has a positive impact on the environment, but they do not realize the significance of these decisions on a large, collective scale," said Michael Fallquist, Viridian CEO. "We could accomplish so much more as a country if more people made more environmentally responsible choices. The visual representations in our report help tell the story of consumer choice in a deregulated market."

The Connecticut-based company says it believes switching energy providers can have a substantial impact on lowering harmful emissions. In Connecticut, energy buyers can benefit by choosing a supplier from one of several retail energy providers that can potentially supply cheaper electricity than utilities