Rhode Island Electricity Deregulation

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  • On Tuesday, February 26, 2002, Rhode Island House Speaker John Harwood introduced a bill that would revamp Rhode Island's competitive electricity market. Speaker Harwood's bill aims to change the fact that 99% of the state's electricity customers continue to buy from the incumbent utility provider, despite the fact that restructuring legislation was passed in Rhode Island in 1996, a sure sign that competition is far from being alive and well in that market. The bill would allow Rhode Island municipalities to set up aggregations to help customers benefit from a large economy of scale, and (hopefully) purchase power at a lower rate.
  • Sep/99: As of June 1999, roughly about 2,000 customers out of the State's 456,000 have chosen alternative generation suppliers.
  • Jan/98: Retail access was implemented with 25 registered generation suppliers, but the standard offer interim rates (3.2 cents/kWh) offered by the State's investor-owned utilities are low enough that no real competition has occurred.