Off Peak

Deck: 
Why do U.S. electric bills continue to climb, when other liberalized Western countries are seeing reductions?
Fortnightly Magazine - October 1 2000
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Off Peak

October 1, 2000

Dereg Dilemma

Why do U.S. electric bills continue to climb, when other liberalized Western countries are seeing reductions?

Electric deregulation in the United States isn't slashing consumer bills the way it has in other countries. Despite continuing restructuring, the price of U.S. electricity ranked second-highest in an April survey of 14 major Western economies.

"What we notice is that when [other countries polled] deregulate, prices tend to drop," says David Brown, vice president of National Utility Service Inc., the utility cost-management firm that conducted the annual survey. "In the United States, if there's been a drop, it's because they've mandated tariff reductions. However, when full market-based pricing comes online-and so far the only area in the States that's done that is San Diego-prices increase."

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