Years ago, the federal government claimed to deregulate utilities. When they did this they created monopolies, this article will address how we can rectify that. The point is monopolies control utility markets for a vast majority of Americans, this is a fact. But not everywhere. I will use Texas as an example. Texas not only has an independent electric grid, they also have a Consumer Energy Choice marketplace for utilities. I’m sure some are asking what that is and how does it affect me. Well we will go over this. Consumer Energy Choice is simple. It allows you, the consumer, to purchase utilities like natural gas and more importantly electricity on the open market much like you would buy car insurance or long-distance phone service. This allows consumers to pick a power provider with the best KWH price and or best service. In most areas, consumers only have one choice of who they can purchase electricity from. Some areas have COOPs that work well, but most are independent utility companies. Utility costs have risen year after year because of rate hikes. These hikes are due to a number of reasons, most consumers believe these reasons are understandable and pay without question. What other choice do they have, right? That is wrong! They do have choices and recourse. Here are some examples of rate hike reasons: 1. Fuel delivery surcharge 2. Maintenance of plants or delivery systems 3. Upgrades 4. Forced outage(s) Here is the reality, that when the grid was built it was heavily subsidized by the federal government, most upgrades and major maintenance still are. Any fuel price increase is TAX DEDUCTABLE as are all of the other things listed above, so now their tax liability went down and they save a ton. Are your utility costs tax deductible? Most times they are not. Energy Choice helps alleviate that because consumers can say “I’m not paying for another rate hike I’m switching company’s.” Imagine that, an actual choice. So my point is the taxpayer and the consumer are the same people, so we are paying for the same thing twice. How many people know that the Federal Government knows exactly how much it costs to make and distribute electricity? And that it actually owns a utility company and has since 1933? TVA, a wholly owned government utility company that sold 152.3 BILLION kilowatt hours of electricity in 2017 and has a total capacity of 169,000 gigawatt hours. Yes the federal government sells you the taxpayers electricity at a time in our country when every penny counts in a household budget, and when people are forced between buying food or paying for electricity. All of this being said, we as libertarians need to work together to promote free market ideals. Consumer Energy Choice is just one of many we can come together with. We have market data, we have case studies and we have markets that have implemented it with great success. We The People have a right to purchase our goods and services where we choose, not where the government chooses we should.
Article written by, Joe Paschal.
Joe is a Construction manager in the heavy industrial sector and owns a small ranch in Montana.