Utility Deregulation

January 14, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 1
Can the power industry be opened to competition?
By Adriel Bettelheim


r20000114-cover.jpg (Photo Credit: Digital Stock)
(Photo Credit: Digital Stock)

The $220 billion U.S. electricity market - sometimes dubbed the last great government-sanctioned monopoly - is slowly being opened to competition. A total of 24 states have passed deregulation plans that allow residential and commercial consumers to choose their electricity supplier, and at least as many other states are studying free-market proposals. Already, several deregulated states have delivered lower electric rates, particularly to large industrial power users, as well as giving consumers the option to support the production of non-polluting “green power.” But the federal government hasn't developed an overall strategy for deregulating the nation's retail power market. Serious questions remain about the future of the nation's power grid, the potential for discriminatory pricing and contingencies to avoid regional blackouts.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Public Utilities and Electricity
Feb. 19, 2010  Modernizing the Grid
Jan. 14, 2000  Utility Deregulation
Jan. 17, 1997  Restructuring the Electric Industry
Nov. 20, 1987  Deregulating Electric Power
Aug. 23, 1985  Electricity Supply: Surplus or Shortage?
Mar. 14, 1975  Future of Utilities
Dec. 17, 1969  Electric Power Problems
Jul. 15, 1953  Power Policy
Aug. 04, 1948  Power Shortage
Aug. 04, 1930  Publicly-Owned Power Plants
Jun. 28, 1928  Public Utilities' Propaganda in the Schools
Nov. 12, 1927  Power and Public Utility Issues
Aug. 30, 1926  Rural Electrification in the United States
Jan. 09, 1926  Public Regulation of Electrical Utilities
Antitrust and Monopolies
Electric Power