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 and is creating an updated report on the status of retail competition.


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.

Read More About Electric Co-ops and Retail Industry Structure:

RTO Insider: Little Love for PJM in Capacity Market Debate
NRECA voices concern about the impact of capacity markets on co-op consumer-members. EIA Report Says Fewer Consumers Partake in Electricity Retail Choice Programs
After hitting a high in 2014, the number of electricity consumers participating in residential retail choice programs has been declining.