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Despite entering the political scene roughly two decades ago, the pace of electricity deregulation has been slow on the whole, with many customers wary of making the switch. However, the Hartford Business Journal Online reports that as of 2011 a substantial majority of Connecticut's power comes from alternate electricity providers.
The data comes from the 5th Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States, released at the end of November. All told, more than 65 percent of all the state's electricity came from competitive third parties.
Businesses were quick to jump on the benefits of competition, with 80 percent of small businesses and 90 percent of larger companies making use of alternate electricity providers as of this year. Residential customers were slower, but the industry has seen an explosion of interest in the past three years. In 2008 more than 94 percent of residential consumers relied on their utility companies for power, but by 2011 that number had shrunk to less than 60 percent.
Connecticut's growing interest in deregulation is not surprising, given that the state saw the second-highest average retail electricity prices in 2009, behind only Hawaii, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Part of the congested Northeast, residential customers in particular paid an average of more than 20 cents per kilowatt-hour.