CA Group Blasts Competition's Progress
One year into electric deregulation, the benefits promised
consumers by the California legislature have failed to materialize,
making monopoly utilities the primary winners in the state's
deregulation game, according to San Francisco-based TURN, The
Utility Reform Network.
Small consumers scored zero on savings, despite the "legislated
10% rate reduction" appearing on their bills, the consumer advocacy
group said. The rate reduction, financed by consumers through a
TTA charge, is actually about 2%, far less than consumers would
have seen had generation regulation remained, TURN said. "And
consumers must pay inflated rates for 10 years to pay off the bonds
sold to pay for the minuscule reduction."
TURN maintains fewer than 1% of California's residential
customers have switched electric companies, despite the $80 million
the CPUC awarded to utilities to explain deregulation and millions
more spent by would-be competitors on sales and marketing. The
utilities have collected billions in accelerated recovery on
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