Electric Utility Restructuring
Briefing Book
Congressional Research Service Library of Congress
Redistributed as a service of the National Library for the Environment

State Issues

Amy Abel

State regulatory commissions address intrastate utility activities, including wholesale and retail rate-making. State authority currently tends to be as broad and as varied as the states are diverse. At the least, a state Public Utilities Commission will have authority over retail rates, and often over investment and debt.

In the states, retail wheeling is the central issue in electricity restructuring debate. Retail wheeling would allow generating companies to sell directly to retail customers in a deregulated environment, while transmitting electricity over the regulated transmission and distribution lines. Retail wheeling also involves allowing retail customers to choose their electric generation from any source they want, having a local utility deliver it to them. Currently, retail choice is under state jurisdiction, and 25 states have moved toward retail wheeling (23 states and the District of Columbia have enacted restructuring legislation, and 1 state has issued a comprehensive regulatory). Some of the issues emerging at the state level from retail wheeling include:

Stranded Costs: costs that were legitimately and prudently incurred under the "old" regulatory regime that are not economically recoverable under the "new" competitive regime that is being entered.

Aggregation: the ability of one or more classes of electric consumers to combine their electric load.

Universal service: the supply of electricity to all consumers in a competitive market, whether or not the consumer chooses, or is able to find, an alternative electric supplier.

Public benefits: programs considered to be beneficial to a large group of electric consumers. Programs may include: low-income, renewables, conservation, and research and development.

For additional information on recent reliability and pricing issues at the state level see the Reliability page.

State Issue References/State Law Web Sites

CRS Report RL30405. State-by-State Comparison of Selected Electricity Restructuring Provisions.

Leap Letter: A newsletter on electric restructuring issues.

DOE: Updated information on state regulatory and legislative activities and pilot programs.

State Public Utility Commissions: Web sites for the state commissions.

National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/programs/esnr/restru.htm): Electric Restructuring Site

State Law Web Sites:

State Law or Rule Web Site/Link
AZ H.B. 2663 (1998)
ACC Rules (1999)
AR Act 1556 (1999) http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/ftproot/acts/1999/htm/act1556.htm
CA AB 1890 (1996) http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/electric_restructuring/er_home_page.htm
CT Public Act 98-28 (1998) http://www.dpuc.state.ct.us/electric.nsf/All?OpenView
DE HB 10 (1999) http://www.state.de.us/delpsc/major/erestructuring.html#hb10
IL P.A. 90-561 (1997) http://www.legis.state.il.us/publicacts/pubact90/acts/90-0561.html
ME LD 1804 (1997) http://janus.state.me.us/mpuc/er-page.htm
MD Senate Bill 300 (1999) http://mlis.state.md.us/1999rs/billfile/sb0300.htm
MA H.B. 5117 (1997) http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/dpu/restruct/competition/index.htm
MT Senate Bill 390 (1997) http://www.psc.state.mt.us/gaselec/elec.htm
NV AB 366 (1997) &
SB 438 (1999)

NH HB 1392 (1996) http://www.puc.state.nh.us/hb1392.html
NJ S-7 (1999) http://www.bpu.state.nj.us/wwwroot/energy/energy.htm
NM SB 428 (1999) http://legis.state.nm.us/scripts/FirstBillFinderForm.asp
type in bill no."428", click on Senate, change session to "99 regular"
OH SB3 (1999) http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/search.cfm
Search Senate bill 3 (123d General Assembly)
OK SB 500 (1997) &
SB 888 (1998)
OR SB 1149 (1999) http://www.puc.state.or.us
RI H-8124B (1996) http://www.ripuc.org/electric/electric
TX SB 7 (1999) http://www.puc.state.tx.us/electric/projects/20970/20970.cfm
VA SB 1269 (1999) http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?991+ful+CHAP0411


This site provides monthly updates on state retail wheeling initiatives.

This page (prepared by the consulting group LCG) provides summaries and the original proposed restructuring models and ideas.
http://www.energyonline.com /Restructuring/models/models.html

The Leap Letter is a newsletter on electric restructuring issues.

DOE provides updated information on state regulatory and legislative activities and pilot programs.

In addition, there are links to all of the state public utility commission Web sites.

This map helps organize state-by-state power and deregulation information.

Page last updated October 18, 2000.

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