Historically, the energy market in the U.S. was regulated and this lead to monopolies controlling the industry. The problem with monopolies is that they become complacent. They believe that you need them, as opposed to them needing you. Their customer service is quite often bad and lack of competition invariably means increased prices.
In 1988 deregulation was approved at a national level. Since then, numerous states have elected to deregulate their energy and this has spawned a host of new retail electric providers.
With deregulation comes competition, and with competition comes better pricing and improved customer service. Competing energy providers are forced to re-evaluate their customer retention strategies, and end up being more customer-centric. The customer is once again king, and treated like one. Loyalty programs are established and the customer gets their money’s worth.
In the past, how often did you get a “thank you” gift from your electricity provider when you signed up with them? And in the past, how often did you earn reward points for every kilowatt hour of electricity that you used? Probably never, but these sort of tactics will become the norm as competition increases between retail electric providers.
With energy deregulation the power is in your hands – you have the power to choose and you can base your decision on information such as cost and the source of energy. With regulated energy markets, your choice is limited and customers very often end up being gouged when it comes to price.
Energy deregulation has also seen the emergence of more “green” energy resources that are much safer for our planet. Once again, electricity consumers now have more options, especially those concerned about the pollution of our environment.
The spin-off for entrepreneurs is also enormous. Energy deregulation made it easier for entrepreneurs to support or own an energy-related business, and will result in the greatest transfer of wealth that the U.S. has ever seen as the $500 billion a year industry is deregulated over time. Deregulation also creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to become involved in the marketing of gas and electricity.
More states are expected to deregulate gas and electricity. It’s a pity that the process cannot be expedited. Deregulation will help stimulate the national economy by creating more jobs, and will result in cheaper gas and electricity. And this is precisely what battered U.S. consumers need with the economy teetering on the brink of a double-dip recession.