Consumer‐Focused Innovations in Electricity Markets

States that have opened their electricity markets to retail competition have seen a surge in consumer‐driven product and service innovation over the past few years. The Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS) was released today. According to the 2011 ABACCUS report, commercial and industrial customer choice is thriving and growing in many U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Well‐structured retail electric markets encourage the introduction of new products and services. In fact, in a highly competitive market, retail suppliers must develop new products and services in order to acquire and maintain C&I consumers.

In residential markets, competition has prompted retail electric suppliers to deliver a growing portfolio of innovative energy management solutions and energy transaction options. The result is greater control of energy usage by consumers. While not all options in the market today are designed to promote energy management, the sheer number of options available to residential consumers ensures that everyone can find a product that meets his/her needs. The number of residential products in states at this time is:

The ABACCUS report identifies Texas as the competitive retail market leader for the fifth consecutive year. New York also is cited for policies that have created an excellent competitive market. Illinois and Pennsylvania are highlighted as having made the most substantial progress with their competitive markets since the last year’s ABACCUS report. These markets have vibrant markets with numerous retail energy suppliers and numerous service choices for customers of all sizes.

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