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Inside E Street

Power Play

A look at the impact of energy deregulation on consumers, and its consequent results on the market

The deregulation of electric utilities became a hot-button issue in the late ’90s, with many states allowing companies to operate in the open market. In theory, this move would foster an environment of competitive pricing and better customer service.

See also: 18 ways to save on your utility costs.


Power lines in the desert - deregulation of electric utilities

A look at the impact on consumers of deregulation of electric utilities in Texas, on the 10th anniversary of restructuring. — Photo: EschCollection/Getty Images

The reality, however, has allowed for significant price increases, as well as a negative impact on some states’ economies and on consumer use.

This Inside E Street takes a look at consumer advocates who claim residential prices have skyrocketed, as well as electric company representatives who support this deregulation. So just how broken is the electric utility industry, and what does it mean for you, the consumer? Hear from Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen Energy Program, and Ken Malloy, executive director of the policy group CRISIS & Energy Markets.

You may also like: How to read your utility bill in deregulated states.

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