Glacial Energy Blog

What is Deregulation, and how did it come about?

Today, energy in many states is deregulated, with many options for businesses and consumers. This provides healthy competition within the energy industry among suppliers like Glacial Energy. For the first 100 years of Energy commercialization, the landscape was vastly different.   The energy industry was a monopoly controlled by utilities that supplied consumers with power at whatever price they wanted to charge.

The natural gas market saw competition introduced into the market in the late 1970s with the advent of deregulation. Consumers were now able to decide who they would buy their natural gas from, giving them the freedom of choice. The electricity market followed suit a decade later. Competition became possible largely when utilities were required to give third parties non-discriminatory access to their transmission lines.

Not all parts of the country have an open, competitive free market that allows businesses and institutions to choose their energy provider. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, only 15 states plus Washington, D.C. have active electricity restructuring as of September, 2010. More than 20 states now have natural gas deregulation programs.

What does deregulation mean for the energy industry, and your ability to shop for the rates you want? We’ll explain further in our next blog, “Deregulation: before and after, and why choice matters.”

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