The number of states with electric deregulation initiatives under way has more than doubled during the past two years, with most of the restructuring momentum coming from states with high electricity rates, according to a new Gas Research Institute (GRI) (Chicago) study.
The study, “Update-Summary of Electric Utility Regulatory Developments through October 1999 (GRI-99/0240),” found that 24 states have enacted legislation or issued regulatory orders on electric industry restructuring, up from 10 states in 1997. The 24 states represent more than 73 million consumers and account for 60% of electricity customers in the United States. Despite this flurry of activity, electric restructuring remains a “work in progress,” said Paul Holtberg, GRI project manager. “The industry is sailing into uncharted waters and has probably reached the point of no return. While some major issues and roadblocks have been addressed, other problems have yet to be resolved. Thus, the final framework of the competitive U.S. electric industry remains highly uncertain at this point.”