Currently 30 states in the country are electrically deregulated. It means that the citizens of these areas can select both their service provider and a plan according to their personal preference. While this does place quite a certain amount of decision making power in the hands of the subscribers, it also means that the service providers will have to take the initiative. As the subscribers can chose from a variety of service providers, the electric companies have to rely on heavy advertising and similar tactics to become noticed. The public utilities comission of the area is charged with the task of regulating the companies. Any subscribers who have to face problems due to their service provider, or who feel that they are getting unfairly large bills, can make a complaint with the comission. The comission does try upon receiving the complaint to insure that the subscribers issues are taken care of at the earliest.
All the subscribers of an are though are provided their distribution services by a single company. The subscribers also don’t get an option to choose any company for this service, the service provider is a default one. Deregulation benefits the subscribers because it causes the service providers to offer competitive rates.
Prepaid electricity service was first introduced in Texas in 2011. Since then, consumers have had more choices when it comes to selecting their electricity service provider, as well as in choosing their rates and plans. In the Dallas area, for example, there are more than 350 plans being offered by Retail Electric Providers (REPs), with 27 of them prepaid plans.