Mergers and Monopoly: How Concentration Changes the Electricity Business

Date: 31 Oct 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A wave of consolidation has swept across the U.S. economy over the past decade, reshaping already-powerful corporations into financial and political powerhouses. The trend has taken particular hold among electric utilities, a sector where monopoly reigns virtually unchecked.

Consolidated, investor-owned utilities now have service territories that span several states and include millions of customers. They say gobbling competitors delivers operational efficiencies and cost savings. But who sees the benefits? And what are the unspoken costs?

This report explains how concentration of power in monopoly utilities delivers fewer customer benefits than alleged, and how the unmentioned costs of concentrating power in a few firms undermines protection of the public interest.… Read More

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

Date: 9 Jan 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control. Until recently, electricity service was similar to water or roads, where a natural monopoly was most efficient. Only a single, standardized electric grid was needed to connect each building. Technology options were limited to steam-powered … Read More

Petitioners Ask Feds to Investigate Utility Abuses of Monopoly Power — Episode 158 of Local Energy Rules

Date: 9 Jun 2022 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell and guests Howard Crystal and Liz Veazey discuss a recent petition to the Federal Trade Commission and why electric utility practices require federal investigation.… Read More

The Movement to Take Back Control From Monopoly Electric Utilities — Episode 154 of Local Energy Rules

Date: 13 Apr 2022 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, a rebroadcast from the Building Local Power Podcast, we share a recording of ILSR’s Democratizing Power event: a conversation with advocates about how communities have challenged monopoly power.… Read More

How Monopoly Energy Utilities Impede Innovation — Episode 146 of Building Local Power

Date: 10 Mar 2022 | posted in: Building Local Power | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On this episode of the Building Local Power Podcast, Jess Del Fiacco is joined by John Farrell and guest Ari Peskoe who is the director of the energy law initiative at Harvard Law School. They discuss the acts that Congress has passed to increase (but hasn’t) competition in electric utilities, the four orders the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled between 1996 and 2011, and the cost utility’s evading competitive processes has on consumers. … Read More

By Controlling Transmission, Utilities Corner the Electricity Market — Episode 149 of Local Energy Rules

Date: 2 Feb 2022 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell and guest Ari Peskoe discuss how utilities have gained outsized market power by owning transmission infrastructure and how federal regulators could reintroduce competition through targeted regulation.… Read More

The Movement to Take Back Control From Monopoly Electric Utilities — Episode 143 of Building Local Power

Date: 27 Jan 2022 | posted in: Building Local Power, Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this episode of Building Local Power, we share a recording of ILSR’s recent event Democratizing Power: New Citizen Initiatives Challenge Monopoly Electric Utilities. Across the country, powerful utilities are actively blocking decentralized solar energy, degrading the reliability of the power lines even as they raise prices, and failing to make the grid investments needed for a clean, carbon-free future. Listen to ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell and John Farrell facilitate conversations with the advocates who are leading the movement to take back control from electric utility monopolies. … Read More

California’s Regulators Come to Monopoly Utility’s Defense in Local Solar Smackdown

Date: 17 Dec 2021 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a proposed decision earlier this week, California’s Public Utilities Commission will dramatically reduce the viability of rooftop solar in the state that launched the U.S. solar market. You could spend hours trying to digest the 200-page decision, but the truth of how we got here isn’t in it. Rather, the decision is a culmination of years of work by the incumbent, monopoly electric utilities to hoodwink a critical mass of stakeholders that solar should be the target for the many ills of the state’s electricity markets, rather than the morally and financially bankrupt utilities.… Read More

New Mexico Co-op Dumps Monopoly Supplier to Offer More Solar — Episode 141 of Building Local Power

Date: 9 Dec 2021 | posted in: Building Local Power | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On this episode of the Building Local Power podcast, ILSR Co-Director John Farrell speaks with Luis Reyes, General Manager of the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico. John and Luis discuss the many benefits of distributing solar power through the community and Kit Carson’s plan to provide members 100% of their daytime electricity from local solar projects.… Read More

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