Michigan, Indiana warm to the idea of expanding consumer utility choice

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A surplus of electric power in the Midwest, low wholesale power prices, a jump in retail rates, and the dramatic growth in customer choice participation in Illinois and Ohio are prompting at least two states in the Midwest to look again at the merits of letting retail customers pick their electric supplier.

On April 30 in Indiana, Governor Mike Pence signed into law a bill that among other things requires a state legislative committee to perform a study on the merits of retail electric customer choice.

Meanwhile in Michigan, which has the highest electric rates in the region, lawmakers are hearing testimony on whether to lift that state’s choice cap of 10 percent of total retail load.

Energy Information Administration data [PDF] shows that fully restructured states in the Midwest now actually have lower industrial rates than do some traditionally regulated states – a dramatic reversal of rankings for states like Wisconsin and Indiana which have historically enjoyed much lower electric rates than their neighbors for 30 years. Deregulated states like Ohio and Illinois are seeing dramatic growth in retail choice participation as a result.

The full article from Midwest Energy News includes: Dueling PSC commissioners, Is deregulation really ‘competition’?, and New Indiana law mandates choice study

View this News Release (external link)

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