What is Electric Restructuring/Deregulation?
Electric restructuring, also referred to as deregulation, retail competition, and retail choice, is a model under which some or all power customers can opt out of having their local utility provide electricity. Power customers who opt out of local service receive energy from an alternative energy supplier, however, the local utility is still responsible for delivering this power and servicing the customer.
Under a deregulated market, retail energy marketers are able to pick and choose which customers they want to serve. Unlike regulated utilities, they are not required to provide service to all power customers. Unregulated energy marketers often only offer the best deals to high volume customers, shifting costs onto lower volume electricity users, which includes households, farms, and small businesses. Of the 28 states that enacted electric deregulation in the early 2000s, 14 have either suspended their efforts, repealed and re-regulated, or have limited participation.