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comment by veen

    Shit, if I get to pick who I buy long distance service from, surely I should in theory be able to pick who I buy power from.

You can't? I'm surprised you guys don't have something similar over there.

Regardless, I got to pick my own energy supplier last week for my new apartment. The energy market is kinda weird - more than half of consumers buy green energy here, but what you're paying for is that your energy supplier buys energy rights to renewable energy sources. That renewable energy can come from various places in Europe - there have been cases where it was cheaper for biomass energy plants to import pellets from the U.S. and burn it up for the EU market, so it's not always so "green". In my case, I pay a few euros per month to force my energy supplier to buy local wind energy on the market whenever possible. Or is that similar to what you're paying extra for renewables?

kleinbl00  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·

    In the USA the traditional model of the vertically integrated electric utility with a transmission system designed to serve its own customers worked extremely well for decades. As dependence on a reliable supply of electricity grew and electricity was transported over increasingly greater distances, power pools were formed and interconnections developed. Transactions were relatively few and generally planned well in advance.

    However, in the last decade of the 20th century, some US policy makers and academics projected that the electrical power industry would ultimately experience deregulation and independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) were established. They were conceived as the way to handle the vastly increased number of transactions that take place in a competitive environment. About a dozen states decided to deregulate but some pulled back following the California electricity crisis of 2000 and 2001.

Short of hanging solar panels on my house, I have never had the opportunity to choose who provides my power. Most of us haven't. To no one's surprise, utilities regularly rank as the most-complained-against companies in the United States; Comcast is one thing but LADWP is a whole 'nuther monster.