Maine's retail electricity rates - although (on average) the lowest in New England - were in 1997 (the year Maine passed its restructuring legislation) nearly 40 percent higher than the national average. Industrial customers paid rates 40.4 percent above the U.S. average; commercial 36.9 percent more, and residents (i.e., voters) a whopping 51.3 percent more than residential consumers across the country. Place the risks of investment decisions in the market, where they belong. Technological developments (paralleled by changes in national regulatory policy) have erased the natural monopoly nature of the general portion of the electricity industry. Since regulators are not uniquely qualified to make the best decision on generation investment, why not let the private sector do it? Ratepayers will no longer have to pay for the risk of inefficient decisions. Let investors take the risk - and reap the rewards, if done properly (or if they're lucky).
William M. Nugent,
Deregulation in Maine: The Why and How,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol7/iss2/10