The electricity market appears to have little regulation, low penalties and possibly higher rates for the consumer.
“Retail electric companies aren’t really power companies. Instead, they’re middlemen who buy power in the wholesale market, largely from the same power plants once owned and operated by the monopoly utilities that were broken apart in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Retail firms then sell the electricity to consumers, delivering it via the transmission lines still owned by traditional utilities….A traditional utility like Con Ed can’t raise electric rates without justifying the need to regulators and the public. Retail companies have no such requirement, meaning they can jack up prices at will. These companies have aggressively employed telemarketing, door-to-door visits, TV ads, and pamphlets, luring customers into restrictive contracts promising savings that did not materialize. “– Stephanie Mencimer