Groups Ranging From Public Citizen To R Street Ask Congress For Study Of RTO Impacts On Retail Customers
July 9, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Several groups ranging from Public Citizen to R Street Institute and the Energy Choice Coalition have requested that U.S. congressional leaders direct the Government
Accountability Office (GAO) or other
independent organization, "to examine the cost and reliability impacts of wholesale markets."
The letter cites wholesale and retail restructuring and states, "the impacts on customer
bills appear to have been mixed."
The letter states, "Retail competition policy is also in a state of limbo; however, the impacts of retail competition are not
the focus of this letter."
"The study we request should investigate the cost impacts of federal policy regarding market
structure, namely the net benefits to retail consumers resulting from the formation of
Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators
At minimum, it should examine how existing RTO market
structures have impacted the cost of electricity to retail consumers. We also ask that the
study explore the reliability impacts of wholesale market structure and, if resources allow,
develop a set of best practices regarding RTO expansion," the letter said
The groups in the letter alleged that, "When members of this group asked FERC for a meeting on this issue, FERC staff replied that 'the
Commission is not inclined at this time to commission that type of broader study.'"
The letter states, "More than two decades ago, FERC took ambitious steps to open competitive markets at the
wholesale level, with the promise that FERC’s promotion of competition would 'ensure
that electricity consumers pay the lowest price possible for reliable service.'
also expanded competition at the retail level in search of consumer savings. This was a
bold and unprecedented experiment in electricity regulation, but the impacts on customer
bills appear to have been mixed.
At the wholesale level, the electricity industry now finds
itself in a state of limbo -- about two-thirds of the country is served by competitive
wholesale markets and the rest by traditional, regulated utility monopolies."
"Regulators at FERC and the states cannot fulfill their statutory duties without
understanding the fundamental relationship between market structure and the cost and
reliability of electricity," the letter said
Signing the letter were the following groups:
Electricity Consumers Resource Council
Energy Choice Coalition
Association of Businesses Advocating for Tariff Equity
Carolina Utility Customers Association
Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions
Conservative Energy Network
Heritage Action for America
Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania
Louisiana Energy Users Group
R Street Institute