Regulators revisited the deregulation of electricity recently and concluded that deregulation, or electric competition, continues to face legal challenges from the previous attempt to open electric markets. Consequently, the commissioners pulled the plug on deregulation, closing the docket with a 4-1 vote and cancelling any future meetings. Chairman Bob Stump stated,
“the Constitutional impediments are simply too great with regard to electric retail competition in the state.”
Proponents of retail competition in Arizona, who may be disappointed by this decision, include large service providers that offer electricity to customers in deregulated states, utility companies hoping to expand their business in Arizona, and large electric users such as mines and retail chains that hoped a competitive market would provide them with better electricity policies. It seems now, the only hope for deregulation in the future would be to amend the Arizona Constitution either through referendum or initiative. We may see action on this issue in the upcoming legislative session. For now, however, the issue has been shelved.
Be sure to check back to the B3 Strategies blog for new developments and the latest legislative updates.