Retail competition in electricity supply—Survey results in North Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter Groothuis Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Residential retail competition in electricity supply was introduced in many countries and some US states as part of electricity industry deregulation. Following problems in the electricity market in California in 2000/2001 many US states, including North Carolina, suspended their deregulation agenda. Recent technological advances have made competition more viable, so we ask if NC should reconsider deregulation and retail competition. The welfare benefits will depend on consumers’ willingness to switch suppliers and the potential for value added innovations. In electricity and industries such as pay-tv and telecommunications consumers are ‘sticky’, remaining with their current supplier even though rivals offer savings. Moreover, some analysts question the likelihood of significant welfare improvements from retail competition. We survey residents in two NC counties focusing on: (i) households’ knowledge of and interest in retail competition, (ii) factors that would encourage them to switch suppliers and (iii) the required savings to encourage switching. About 50–65% of respondents would favor retail competition in NC. Demographic variables and experience switching in other industries affect opinions and the savings required to incent switching. We conclude the estimated rate reduction to encourage competitive switching will be hard to achieve in NC as long as rates remain below the national average.

Additional Information

McDaniel, T. M. & Groothuis, P. A. (2012). Retail competition in electricity supply – Survey results in North Carolina. Energy Policy, 48, 315-321. ISSN: 0301-4215. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.028
Language: English
Date: 2012
Electricity supply, Retail competition, Switching

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