All Issues

Retail Industry Structure

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have retail competition for electricity, commonly known as consumer choice programs. More states are looking at enacting these programs, which allow residential consumers to choose between buying electricity from their existing energy company or from alternative suppliers.

Media Inquiries:

Where we stand

Despite the goal of consumer choice programs to reduce costs, states that have enacted retail competition have experienced overall higher rates and increased price volatility, particularly for residential consumers. We are concerned that efforts to restructure the electric utility industry could end up hurting co-ops by weakening their ability to provide reliable, affordable service to their consumer-members.

Impact on

Cooperatives and Businesses

Because of the historical increase in electricity rates in states with competitive markets, NRECA continues to monitor the situation, including new trends in third-party sales and community choice aggregation programs.


Residential consumers could see their electric bills go up as more states look at enacting retail competition laws, which have resulted in higher rates overall in the places that have adopted them.