REPORT: Deregulation Helps Renewables

A report released by PennFuture, “Electricity Competition: The Story Behind the Headlines – A 50-State Report,” reveals that restructured states lead the way with lower prices, and clean energy policies including policies that encourage development and use of Renewable Energy.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – August 26, 2002 [] “This report clearly shows that eliminating the monopoly that utilities have held over electricity customers results in both lower prices and more clean energy,” stated John Hanger, President and CEO of PennFuture and former member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. “And best of all, it is the little guys – the residential customers – that are getting the biggest cuts in their electricity bills. Despite all the hype from ideologues of both the left and the right, the facts prove that electricity restructuring when done right- introducing competition with smart rules and protections – is very good public policy.” Key findings of the report, “Electricity Competition: The Story Behind the Headlines – A 50-State Report,” include: · Residential electricity prices since 1996 are down nationwide except in Vermont and Hawaii, with an average drop (adjusted for inflation) of 15.4 percent. The 22 states and the District of Columbia with restructured markets lead the price cut, with rates in restructured states averaging a 15.9 percent drop and monopoly states declining by 11.6 percent. · Surprisingly, electricity restructuring has helped residential customers most of all. For commercial customers, rate cuts in restructured states average 13.7 percent and industrial customers rates are down 4.5 percent. In retail monopoly states, industrial rates are down even further, at 4.8 percent. · Clean energy policies are in place in 17 restructured states and only 2 monopoly states. These policies, which include creating state funds for Renewable Energy development and requirements that electricity companies produce increasing ratios of clean energy, are driving a burgeoning Renewable Energy market. Since pollution from the electric industry is the leading cause of smog that sickens and kills humans, acid rain that is damaging forests and streams, toxic pollution that contaminates the food chain and global warming, increasing clean energy sources will result in huge benefits for the health and welfare of the public. “It is clear that electricity restructuring is an evolving process,” said Hanger. “But evidence -not hype – shows that it should and can continue, when done right with smart rules. Making electricity cleaner, more efficient, and more affordable is not only possible, but is in every consumer’s best interest.” The PennFuture report is based on electricity pricing data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Information Administration, restructuring information from the National Conference of State Legislators and clean energy research from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
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