Kiesling/smith Commentary In San Diego Union Tribune

Lynne Kiesling

On Friday Vernon Smith and I had commentary on the importance of customer choice in electric power markets in the San Diego Union Tribune. Here’s a teaser:

Some California utilities are working to turn the clock back to the “good ol’ days” of regulation and guaranteed profits. A bill currently before the Legislature would take hard-won economic power from consumers and return it to monopoly utilities, in the name of increasing investment in the electric power system. This should cause all ratepayers concern. …

California can better meet its goal of attracting capital investment by empowering consumers. While utilities have sought rate increases through the regulatory process, entrepreneurs have risked their own capital to create innovative solutions that provide a portfolio of choices to consumers, increasing economic and grid flexibility at the same time. However these innovations remain shackled by regulatory fiat, and blocked by utilities’ control of access.