Principal Paul Hibbard Publishes Analysis of Impact of Retail Choice in the US Electricity Sector

August 30, 2023

A report authored by Analysis Group Principal Paul Hibbard addresses increasing questions around how successful retail choice has been in lowering costs and improving service for electricity consumers through competition. The report examines US electricity markets in relation to two inflection points: looking backward to the arrival of retail choice in selected states in the late 1990s, and looking forward to a potentially rapid period of change that began in the 2020s.

To ensure an “apples-to-apples” comparison across different retail products offered in different markets across different time periods, Mr. Hibbard highlights the range of metrics tied to social and consumer value that should be used when evaluating retail programs. Using these metrics, the report provides an assessment of retail choice to date, and its prospects going forward.

Mr. Hibbard finds that the failure to fully educate customers in many states about the options available to them remains a significant barrier to realizing the full benefits of competitive retail supply of electricity. Additionally, Mr. Hibbard concludes that, in states with retail choice, “state rules and regulations must evolve to better protect consumers against deceptive advertising and inappropriate marketing practices.”

The independent report, At the Crossroads: Improving Customer Choice for Products in the U.S. Electricity Sector, was commissioned by the Retail Energy Advancement League (REAL).

Read the report

Listen to Mr. Hibbard discuss the report on The Energy Markets Podcast