Electricity deregulation still has yet to reach the majority of the country, but some states could consider moving to greater competition. Laurence Reisman writes for TCPalm.com suggesting that the choice in electricity providers could solve the problems roiling Vero Beach's utility.
Vero Beach, on the eastern coast of Florida, has maintained a public utility company for years, but could soon be forced to sell it to another electricity company such as Florida Power & Light because of poor service and high electricity prices.
However, Reisman notes that while Vero Beach suffers from higher electricity rates than many areas it actually boasts surprisingly lower transmission costs, the price to support the utility company and the maintenance of the local grid. In Allentown, where Reisman had worked previously and electricity deregulation has come on strong since recent policy changes this year, transmission accounts for around one-third of most electricity bills.
With these low costs, a well-developed market for electricity providers could have served to bring rates down to more reasonable levels and allowed the city to retain its utility.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration notes that Florida paid the 15th-highest electricity rates in 2009 at 11.49 cents per kilowatt-hour on average.