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 2021 were about half a cent more in states with deregulated electric markets than in regulated states, though regulated states had a slightly higher percentage increase in prices.
Other key points for this year:
- Rates increased significantly in all states from 2020 to 2021, largely attributable to a rise in natural gas prices. Average total rates increased by six-tenths of a cent, or 5.7%.
- Average rates in regulated states increased by 5.3% (from 9.5 cents to 10 cents), compared to a 6.7% increase in deregulated states (from 12 cents to 12.8 cents).
- Since 2012, residential rates in deregulated states have increased by 2.5 cents, compared to a 1.4 cent increase in regulated states.
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 24 years of deregulation, the original promise of reduced prices has not materialized.