Utilities: Deregulation and the impact
Many states are deregulating the utilities industry with hopes to foster more compitition and lower pricing. Many think this has created more ways to scam the public with low priced rates with hidden monthly charges. Many consumers are surprised that energy rates are not what was promised. Thier is more to KWH rates then just per KWH charge. Many are finding out the hardway as consumers continue to switch, switch, switch to find the best rates.
Utlities companes are working harder to keep customers and offering cash and incintives to convert, now how does that lower rates? buying customers? They did not have that expense before, now they have to spend more money advertising and buy customers, how can that drive prices lower?
Time will tell, but many companies are reaching out to customers with better user interfaces and online solutions to keep customers from churning. Online solutions for bill presentment was the first wave to save paper but mostly to save postage and handling costs. The next wave will be to acutally offer energy consumption analysis to help customers lower their monthy consumption rates. Look for interactive calculators to assist customers in estimating kWH and areas to save in.