When independent power producers can compete, new energy sources create savings for businesses and residential customers – putting more hard-earned money back into the hands of ratepayers – while generating billions in new private investment. Energy costs are one of the biggest challenges faced by North Carolina’s industries, and adding cheaper, more reliable energy can help stabilize rising electricity bills.
Being a part of an electricity wholesale market means electricity will be there when you need it: Ratepayers aren’t depending on just one utility to get things right – they can count on dozens of utilities. When monopoly utilities ‘island themselves,’ they put residents, businesses and even our military bases in danger of losing power at critical times.
Basic economics shows that a competitive market benefits businesses and consumers alike. Competition drives innovation, lowers the cost of goods and services, and saves money. Since the dissolution of many monopoly markets in the 1980s, industries such as telecommunications have reaped the benefits of a competitive structure. But in the Southeastern United States, electricity utilities are still clinging to an antiquated, vertically-integrated monopoly system.
In the early days of the energy supply chain, a vertically-integrated monopoly framework made sense. There weren’t enough utility providers to allow competitive generation and rural electrification was necessary. Today, however, there are plenty of companies to diversify the market. In the past couple of decades, some states have joined regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and operate in a wholesale electricity structure. Well-designed markets encourage both competition to drive down costs and the deployment of more cost-effective technologies.
Private property rights have not only made America great – they are the basis of our future energy security too. Rural property owners can not only diversify their income with independent power and energy storage projects on their land, but also create better reliability in their communities when equipment malfunction or extreme weather knock centralized utility power offline.
The Alliance for Energy Security supports competition to drive down electricity costs for ratepayers through competition at all levels. New technologies are now the most competitive energy sources on the market — but regulations promoted by special interests prohibit consumers from benefiting from these savings.