A new report from market research firm Pike Research suggests that the competitive electricity industry stands to grow substantially over the coming decade.
The move toward deregulation among electricity providers began largely in the 1990s and appeared poised to sweep across the country. As a result 20 different states and smaller regions offer competing electricity rates.
Since deregulation was initiated the competitive market had grown to reach around $29.4 billion as of 2009, slightly more than 8 percent of the $360 billion electricity industry. By 2020, however, Pike projects competitive electricity providers will account for around $55.9 billion, roughly 90 percent growth over a span of 11 years.
"The single biggest factor that will impact competitive procurement is the continued belief by customers that they can realize cost savings and improved services from providers other than their local utility," Clint Wheelock, president of Pike Research, said in a statement.
The shift to deregulated markets has also spurred investment in smaller-scale renewable energy projects, such as solar power installations, which look to continue as that market matures and more markets open.