Comprehensive analysis finds consumers in competitive electricity markets fare better than ratepayers served by monopoly utilities

May 18, 2017

Federal

Prices in states with competitive retail markets have trended downward while prices under monopoly regulation have risen ‘inexorably’

Harrisburg, PA - Over the past two decades consumers have fared demonstrably better in the 14 U.S. jurisdictions with competitive retail electricity markets offering consumers a choice among retail energy suppliers, a new white paper concludes.

Employing data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the paper provides a comprehensive historical analysis of the performance of retail electricity choice versus monopoly regulation to conclude that consumers with choice have disproportionately benefited in terms of price, investment and efficiency. The paper also finds that monopoly regulation is “inherently inhospitable” to the pending wave of innovation that promises to empower consumers and propel the U.S. electricity sector into a 21st century clean energy future.

The white paper, RESTRUCTURING RECHARGED – The Superior Performance of Competitive Electricity Markets 2008-2016, was prepared by Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D., former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, on behalf of the Retail Energy Supply Association.

“Weighted average prices in the group of 35 monopoly states have risen inexorably. By contrast, in the 14 competitive markets, commercial and industrial weighted average prices have trended significantly downward as residential prices have flattened,” said O’Connor. “Given the demonstrably superior performance of retail choice markets, a coming second wave of retail electricity market restructuring has begun, as evidenced by ongoing debates in Nevada, California, Nebraska, Michigan and elsewhere.”

ALL-SECTOR WEIGHTED AVERAGE PRICE TRENDS DIVERGE 2008-16
CHOICE STATE PRICES TREND DOWN – MONOPOLY PRICES TREND UP

“Consumers want and expect choices,” said RESA President Darrin Pfannenstiel. “It makes little sense to cling to a monopoly regulatory model for electricity that is a vestige of 19th century economic thinking and a barrier to the efficient clean-energy economy that consumers and policymakers seek to embrace.”

The full report can be accessed on RESA’s website here.

Dr. O’Connor will be available to speak with news media representatives about the white paper and answer questions in a conference call at 1 pm Eastern today.

The Retail Energy Supply Association is a broad and diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail energy markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than the regulated utility structure. For more information, visit www.resausa.org.

Media contact: Bryan Lee, bryan9lee@gmail.com, 301-717-2988

# # #

Media Inquiries

For all media inquires, please contact:
Bryan Lee
301-717-2988

Send an e-mail

 

About RESA

Together with our members, we play a critical role in educating key stakeholders and are active in support of or opposition to bills that affect competitive electricity markets, consumers, and RESA initiated legislation.

Read more about RESA