Bills and Rates
Electricity Markets

Retail Electric Rates in Regulated and Deregulated States, 2020 Update

According to this analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, increases in retail electric prices from 1997 to 2020 were about the same in states with deregulated electric markets and in regulated states, though regulated states had a slightly higher percentage increase in prices. Since 2012, residential rates in deregulated states increased
double the amount they increased in regulated states.

Other key points for this year:

  • From 2019 to 2020, rates in deregulated states rose an average of three-tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour, and by four-tenths of one cent for residential customers.
  • Average rates in regulated states did not change from 2019 to 2020.
  • Deregulated states in the Northeast and California have seen the highest rate increases since 1997.

The report reviews data on electric rates in 16 states plus the District of Columbia - those with "retail choice" in place - compared to states that have traditional rate regulation. The data show that after 23 years of deregulation, the original promise of reduced prices has not materialized.

Download the report