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Utility regulation

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Utility regulation

Old 02-04-2002, 03:05 PM
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Location: High Sierra, Nevada
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Default Utility regulation

Now, this goes against my capitalistic nature, I do believe that in some cases, utilities should be regulated. In my home state of Nevada, here in the north we only have one power company. This company is regulated by the state utilities commission. When they want a rate hike, they have to ask for it. I feel that this is a good thing. This company has no competition, no reason to keep their rates low, they are a for profit corporation. Across border on granola land(calf), they have more than one power company in most places. These companies should be deregulated, so that competition for customers could take place. Unless there is some kind of illegal price fixing, the customer should win. What are your opinions on this?
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Old 02-04-2002, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: Utility regulation

Utility regulation is needed where monopolies exist. If it didn't, everyone would be paying through the nose for public utility services. Unfortunately, regulation is not perfect. Cost-based regulation ensures that utility companies recover their expenses, but there are gray areas as to what level of expenses are deemed "prudent." Companies often pad their expenses and don't trim fat, since there is no incentive to do so. Also, utility companies lobby regulatory agencies for gentler regulation and treatment. The result is that even with regulation, ratepayers often get hit with higher-than appropriate charges on their utility bills.

Where competition exists in its purest form, there should be no regulation. However, even here there may be a threat to ratepayer services. That is, the more one competes on price, the more likely they are to skimp on maintaining the grid, making repairs in a timely fashion, preempting costly repairs, etc. This can lead to greater chance of brown/black outs and shoddy service.

In the end, your conclusion is, for the most part, correct...

Edited by - DougMd on 02/04/2002 16:20:28
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