In recent years, multiple state governments in the United States have begun an initiative to bring about change in how energy is regulated in order to enhance the competition between suppliers. These efforts to change up the regulations have divided the monopolies of utility companies by separating energy production from energy distribution. This separation will allow alternative suppliers to finally compete for pieces of the pie in areas that were traditionally ruled by one or a few utility giants. Prior to this new initiative, both electricity and natural gas were often supplied by regional monopolies that controlled the generation of power, as well as the distribution channels used for delivery. |
Many suppliers that work with Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) now have the power to offer a multitude of choices for services and rates. The main goal is to allow customers to decide who they purchase their power from, much like how they can decide on which long distance phone carrier to do business with. It should be noted that the local utility companies would still be in charge of the energy distribution, though. The poles and power lines that are connected to several existing buildings still belong to them, after all. In the end, not much will change from the customer's perspective. There won't be any interruptions of service, and the customer's current utility company will still bill the customer’s account. The only major change is the fact that customers now have more choice than ever before, and they'll usually save more money on power than they could in the past.
Saving money by reducing power bills is a wonderful thing, but there are still many people out there who are unaware of the options that are potentially available to them. Educating other people about energy distribution, efficiency, and choices can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Also, there is a high chance that the economy will be bolstered by this education. The businesses that use energy wisely are usually the businesses that succeed tremendously. Furthermore, a ripple effect of adoption might occur. Other states could possibly adopt full deregulation as they see the positive results coming out of states that have already done so.
Speaking of full deregulation, some states have chosen to only partially deregulate the way power is supplied. For example, only electricity is deregulated in the state of Maine, while only natural gas is deregulated in the state of Florida. The examples go on and on, because only a handful of states have adopted full deregulation as of this time. Over half of the nation is still either partially or fully regulated. The United States still has a long way to go if it wishes to transform the utility market into a free one, but it has definitely taken the right steps toward that goal as of late. Hopefully, the state governments that have yet to approve will eventually join their neighbors in embracing a future of choice.
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