What does a PUC do?
Oversees energy market competition
Regulates utility delivery rates
Ensures price protection for consumers
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A public utilities commission (PUC) or utility regulatory commission (URC) is a governing body that oversees and regulates utility rates and services.
Websites operated by public utility commissions in deregulated energy markets
Why deregulate energy?
In the early days of electricity, private companies competed with public municipal companies to attract new customers. Some argued that the states should grant monopolies to private utility companies but regulate them to ensure the customers best interest remained.
As the regulated private power companies grew, they became increasingly consolidated as they continued to buy competitors and grow market share.
Congress passed the Public Utilities Holding Company Act (PUHCA) in 1935 to limit the scope of holding companies. The PUHCA was weakened in the 1980s and 1990s and ultimately repealed in 2005.
Deregulation of the electrical industry refers to breaking up utility companies into separate generation, transmission, and distribution companies. The distribution companies, which deliver power directly to customers, would continue to be regulated. But the generation companies would compete to see who could sell power for the lowest price or with additional benefits.
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The deregulated energy industry that now exists in 30 states and the District of Columbia has provided a somewhat mixed blessing for consumers. On the one hand, more energy rate-payers…