If you live in the Southeast United States, you are probably paying too much for electricity that is less reliable than it should be. Worse: Your kids and grandkids could be paying more than their fair share for decades to come.
Electric utilities in most of the Southeast don’t have to compete to produce the least expensive power or to transmit it cost-effectively. In most areas, they are government regulated monopolies. When they want to increase the cost of your electric bill, they get permission from the government, elected officials, regulators or both. They are paid a return set by the government, and the more they spend, the bigger their profit.
Imagine if state law said only you were allowed to sell something every single person needs. Imagine that you were also the only person allowed to buy that product from those who produce it. That’s what residents and businesses face when they’re stuck in government regulated electric monopolies.
Almost two-thirds of the United States have competition, not a government regulated monopoly, to provide electricity from different sources. What’s more, when there’s a storm or another kind of disaster, residents and businesses don’t have to count on a single utility: they get back up from various electric utilities in their region. This is why blackouts were so much worse for people in monopoly electric companies last year.