ABSTRACT

For its almost 100 years as a major U.S. industry, the electricity industry hashad prices set by regulators rather than the market. The primary justificationhas been that customers for electricity were unlikely to have the option to choose from competing suppliers in an open market. Most fundamentally, one set of lines suffices to deliver power within a city or town; having multiple providers would be wasteful. The prevailing large size of generators and the belief that generation and distribution were efficiently provided within the same utility led to the belief that the power side of the business was inherently monopolistic as well.