Academic study finds Tennessee lacking key tenants of a competitive electric market
The University of Texas has released a national “Electric Competition Scorecard” in conjunction with the release of “The State of Electric Competition in the United States of America,” an academic paper authored by Joshua D. Rhodes, PhD., Aaron Nisman, William Wade, and Michael E. Webber, PhD. from the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas. The study awarded Tennessee an “F” rating for electric competition.
“This study seeks to assess the existing principles of competition in each state’s electricity sectors, it is not a commentary on former or current public officials,” explained Joshua Rhodes, PhD. “Competition is often introduced into systems to nudge them towards higher levels of efficiency.”
Tennessee, a fully regulated electric utility state, received one of the possible 13 points it could score based on the study’s criteria. The extent of electric market deregulation and competition is far from uniform from state to state.
The Conservative Energy Network (CEN) will host a webinar on Wednesday, October 27 at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the study’s findings with Dr. Rhodes. CEN believes that today’s economy calls for a rethinking of the role of utility providers. Policies should be enacted to encourage competition in the marketplace and recognize the rights of individuals to choose how they purchase and consume electricity. You can register for the webinar at https://conservativeenergynetwork-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wGRkDNsHSJiip9QZsE05OQ
“States that are part of a broader, wholesale electricity market while offering retail choice for customers tended to score the highest on the study’s scorecard,” concluded Landon Stevens, CEN director of policy and advocacy. “Fully-regulated states tended to not fare as well.”
“Competition is paramount to forging a cleaner energy future,” added Mark Pischea, CEN president and CEO. “Unfortunately, it is difficult to capture how states enforce the policies, laws, and regulations that lead to higher scores. CEN is working hard to ensure that all ratepayers can benefit from an electric market that is truly competitive in practice, not just on paper.”
Polling by CEN has consistently found that three quarters of Americans favor a new electricity system that benefits the environment, accelerates the availability of new technology, and creates more choices by opening markets to competition. Consumers want the ability to choose an electricity provider that best meets their needs, rather than relying on a single monopoly utility.
For more information, and to access the entire report including scores for all 50 states, visit www.competitionscorecard.org.