U.S. Electricity Industry - Statistics & Facts

U.S. Electricity Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and Facts about the U.S. Electricity Market

The electricity market in the United States includes industry players that provide a wide range of services both privately and publicly owned. Generally, in the Southeast, the Southwest, and the Northwest, electric utilities tend to be responsible for the operation and maintaining of the electricity system, providing retail customers with power . Most of these utilities are vertically integrated, where they own the systems responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The large majority of utilities are publicly owned, with about ten federal utilities. The U.S. electricity sector is regulated by various public institutions. In general, the federal and state governments establish policies through the Department of Energy. The National Energy Act of 1978 required utilities to provide customers with services to encourage energy conservation and renewable energy use.

In recent years, the proportion of renewables in the United States’ energy mix has increased. Nevertheless, fossil fuels - primarily petroleum, natural gas, and coal – are still predominant sources of energy consumption in the country. It is expected that renewable capacity will continue to increase under pressure from the public concerned with climate change and improvements in renewable technologies and costs.

In 1992, the Energy Policy Act prompted the beginning of the deregulation of the electricity sector, which was established primarily to increase clean energy use and energy efficiency. The deregulation of the electricity market still varies by state; one example being the deregulation of the market in Texas in 2002, which has allowed the majority of consumers to choose their service from several retail providers.

Photo: istockphoto.com / scorpp

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