Our daughter was moving into her first apartment. I reminded her of all the things we had been talking about for months including that she needed to decide about an electricity supplier. She thought that since she was moving to an apartment that she would just have to pay whatever the landlord said. I showed her all of the electricity meters on the apartment building explaining how every tenant gets billed for their usage separately. I gave her a website to Killeen energy companies to see how she could save money on electricity in her new apartment.
The utilities would be in her name. Therefore, she could pick who she wanted to be her electricity supplier. I told her how not every area of the country has this type of choice, and that only areas where utility deregulation has happened have it. She asked me about why we should have a choice in something as fundamental as electricity for where we live and work. I explained how if you let the companies compete for customers, you do not get a monopoly on pricing. It offers a chance for the market to promote lower electricity costs. If there was only one choice, they could gouge people over time making them pay higher prices than are necessary. A free market system promotes competition and savings for consumers.
However, just as in any other industry, you need to watch out for those who may abuse the system to take advantage of customers. You do not want to get involved in a variable rate electricity plan that can balloon costs very high by market fluctuations of electricity provider costs. A steady rate is often the best choice unless you really know what you are doing when it comes to buying electricity. It is not hard to make an informed choice. It just takes a little reading.