Deregulation

Among some of the constant things in the US was the electricity generation policy – at least this is how things appeared till the end of the 20th century. The regular norms involved a local or federal government agency owning, operating and maintaining the electric utility company. Even in cases where the utility company was owned by an investor, the government still had a degree of control over the operations of the company. It can be stated that the investors who owned the electric company had a monopoly over the utility and could set the prices as they desired.

As more and more states became urbanized, the need for electric power became more and the centralized power of the regulated utility system became more. The need for deregulation was imminent and the late 20th century witnessed private companies entering the arena for production of electricity. This was introduced in 1992 with the passing of the Energy Policy Act which ordered the utilities to allow private electricity providers to produce and sell power. By the end of the year 2000, almost half the states in the US and District Columbia had participated in the electric deregulation system.

With most states leaning towards deregulation, the electricity providers across the length and breadth of the company were stripped of their monopoly; several new players entered the market with their own power plants and electricity generators. The main reasons for the deregulation legislation was claimed to be national savings of $30 billion annually, but the initial phase of the process was marked by a decline of reliable power and frequent blackouts.

The people were divided into two sectors – those who welcomed the legislation and those who opposed it; there was a third set of people who were confused about the implications of the changed system. To the people, deregulation meant the ability to choose the best provider and the best plan to suit their requirements. A common realization that electricity is not going to be expensive anymore impelled them further to welcome this proposal. Deregulation had rendered the field open for choosing, and electricity came as cheap as the customer wanted it to be.

Deregulation also introduced the concept of green power with alternative energy providers that generated electricity in a clean and reliable way without harming the environment. The increased competitiveness not only witnessed increased reliability and effective service to customers, but also the increase in the number of players in the market provided for more job openings in the country.