Connecticut ratified legislation in the 1990s to deregulate the energy markets' monopoly so that customers could choose their own way to create or purchase energy, especially for those in the retail or residential sector. Energy deregulation is often referred to as energy choice, allowing customers and consumers to choose the company they wish to supply their energy requirements.
While this may seem like an obvious solution, there are specific differences between energy suppliers and providers of other utilities. For example, utility providers often deliver power that is needed to both homes and businesses that are within their defined service area. Energy suppliers, on the other hand, deliver energy that their consumers use. In regulated systems, these providers are the same, where the utility supplier has a monopoly on its defined area.
In practice, most choose to have their utilities and energy provided by the same utility company, even in a deregulated system, as the supply chain or distribution network can make it much more expensive or even experience service interruptions when choosing an alternative solution. Connecticut has one of the highest adoption rates in the country where consumers are choosing competitive suppliers, which has created a large energy market. In Connecticut, natural gas is only available for those who are categorized in the commercial or industrial sector.
Illinois took a more tiered approach to the deregulation of its market. In 1993, Illinois decided to deregulate its natural gas supply so that competitors could start to offer more competitive markets on the market. Due to the quick success, the electricity market was deregulated in 1997. Of course, both are still deregulated today and available for all sectors, whether they are retail, residential, commercial, or industrial. Illinois is an interesting case study, as it allows consumers to freely choose their supplier within their region, or even through other utility and alternative gas suppliers.
Illinois allows its residential consumers to purchase natural gas supplies from an energy supplier, unlike Connecticut. Of course, many retail and residential consumers still opt for the choice of electrical needs as they must install specialized systems that are used to properly burn and use natural gas.
Maine is a state that needed to implement deregulation of its energy supply market out of necessity. Beginning in the 1980s, the state experienced one of the worst escalations in energy supply costs for its consumers, which garnered quick support in favor of legislation that would deregulate the energy markets in the state and the subsequent regions. The battle between legislators and the needs of their constituents made Maine one of the most deregulated states in terms of energy choice. Natural gas was finally deregulated in 1998 with a proposal to do so first appearing in 1995.
Energy by electricity supply followed in 2000, finally giving full autonomy to residential and commercial customers. Although residents are free to choose their energy and utility providers, natural gas is still only an option for industrial or commercial properties or consumers.
|District of Columbia||Yes||2001|