The prospect of electricity deregulation has already caused several mergers in the utility industry and may bring substantially lower costs to Fourth District consumers. On June 22, 1999, the Ohio Senate passed a bill allowing consumers to choose their power providers beginning in 2001. Distribution and billing would continue to be handled by the current provider, but customers could choose the company supplying their power, much as they choose their long-distance telephone service. The current bill, which was backed by the governor, followed several unsuccessful state deregulation efforts in Ohio. Pennsylvania enacted similar legislation in 1996; by January 2000, all Pennsylvanians will be able to choose their power source.
Suggested citation: "Electricity Deregulation," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 99-07, pp. 13-14, 07.01.1999.