RKS Research & Consulting recently weighed in on the deregulation debate by releasing the findings of a survey of more than 800 medium-to-large U.S. businesses that confirms what many have believed for almost a year: Deregulation isn’t working. The news comes only three weeks after utility consultant Cap Gemini Ernst & Young published a report that outlined several problems facing deregulation.
Over 50% of businesses surveyed in the RKS study want states with choice to revert to noncompetitive energy markets, and nearly two-thirds of those want deregulation postponed indefinitely. However, more than one-third of those surveyed believe deregulation should be adopted throughout the rest of the country.
However, the results are not completely conclusive. Business customers rate the performance of their current suppliers in the deregulated market significantly higher than that of their state regulatory commission. State regulators scored a 5.5 on a 0-10 performance scale, while independent energy suppliers received scores between 7 and 8.
The study attributes the mixed results to regional and operational variations. Businesses in the South, for example, are the most satisfied with their energy suppliers, while the West has supplanted the Northeast as the most negative part of the country with regards to deregulation. And businesses served by electric cooperatives register higher scores than customers of municipal or investor-owned utilities.