Energy regulation by the U.S. Government has been in place since 1920 when Congress founded the Federal Power Commission (FPC). This federal organization had very little power, however as an independent agency, it did not have any commissioners. Throughout the 20′s the FPC was managed by five Secretaries of War, five Secretaries of Agriculture, and five Secretaries of Interior that were in place at the time. After a reform in 1930, the FPC had commissioners and a chairman that represented the group.
From the 1930′s to the 1970′s federal involvement continued as world events and environmental issues became bigger concerns. The debate between government involvement and government interference is a persistent topic, particularly in regard to energy regulation. Many believe government regulation of the energy industry is imperative to ensure that work sites and conditions are safe, oversee that the economy is secure by requiring taxes and license fees, and keeping industries competitive. Government regulations are also intended to keep environmental issues controlled and managed.
In 1977, Congress responded to an energy crisis passing the Department of Energy Organization Act and changing the name of the Federal Power Commission (FPC) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Currently the FERC is still an independent agency that functions within the US Department of Energy. It has been established that neither the Congress nor the President has any control over FERC decisions. Only the Federal Courts are allowed to review FERC decisions.
The purpose of the FERC is to regulate interstate circulation of natural gas, oil and electricity. It is an independent agency that functions within the Department of Energy. When Texas made a decision, and passed a law to deregulate in 2002, it was significant news. Texas is the largest electricity market in the United States and one of the highest for use of electricity in the world.
By deregulating, the Texas market can allow many utility companies to compete for business in the electric marketplace. The purpose of deregulation is intended to offer more competitive pricing to the customer. Through deregulation, the customer gets electric service from a Retail Electricity Provider (REP). This company then purchases services from a power plant and provides billing and customer assistance to the consumer. The electricity actually uses the same power lines and poles already in place so the customer is not bothered with details concerning how they get their electricity. The REP works with the power companies on service and price, and any renewable options that might be available.The objective is to give customers lower prices and more choices.
Why is Deregulation a Success in Texas?
Texas and those companies featured on www.electricitycompaniestexas.com/ have become the example for deregulating electrical utilities. It is a slow process, and more than ten years later 75 of the state is successfully deregulated. The citizens of Texas can now choose a service plan that fits within their lifestyle and a choice of service provider for their electricity. The success in Texas is attributed several factors. Most important is the fact that the flexibility of deregulation has allowed utility companies to meet the high demand with confidence and reliability. A competitive atmosphere improves quality while driving down pricing.
With so much talk going on about different types of environmentally friendly ways to produce electricity, clean coal is often mentioned as a viable alternative. While many people believe that it is, some people still remain skeptical about using it as a source for clean energy.
What is Clean Coal?
Clean coal is produced by removing a variety of different pollutants from coal products. The process is often lengthy and requires a decent amount of technology to complete.
Clean coal is currently being used as a source for the production of electricity. Many high (more…)
Wind power has the potential to offer a cleaner and more sustainable means of energy generation, and promises to play a more central role in meeting the needs of end-line consumers in the years to come. The issues and limitations of wind generated electricity are something that may need to be addressed in order to ensure this resource is able to be as effective and viable as possible. Addressing the current energy crisis may require a substantial investment into more sustainable resources and clean-energy alternatives in (more…)
When most people think about using solar energy to power a city, they think about giant solar arrays in the middle of the desert. While these are efficient at producing large quantities of energy, solar panels on individual houses are also an energy-efficient solution to electricity production. Having solar panels on the roof instead of in an array saves on electricity transmission losses and avoids having to set aside a large piece of land for a solar array.
While solar panels can be installed on the roof of any building to produce electricity, homes (more…)
Creating larger wind farms and installations can allow us to more effectively utilize a cleaner and more sustainable means of generating electrical power. Fossil fuels and other more conventional resources have a number of limitations and are responsible for creating a great deal of environmental harm. Investing in the wider development and implantation needed to ensure wind power can be a more viable alternative can be a crucial part of any effort aimed at surmounting the (more…)
The United States has tens of thousands of miles of power lines stretching across every corner of the nation. These power lines run in a network from California to Maine, Florida to Washington. This network of energy distribution relies on substations and relay points to transmit electricity into the homes of 312 million Americans every day.
What most people don’t realize is that between 20 and 50 percent of the power generated at the power plant is lost through the lines. The longer the distance, the more power that is leeched out through (more…)