ABACCUS 2015: Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States
Since 2007, the Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS) has scored the U.S. states and Canadian provinces with respect to their efforts and achievements in the promotion of a competitive retail electric sector. Texas is once again the leading jurisdiction.
One third of the states and provinces in North America have taken steps to allow the direct sale of electric power to retail energy consumers by non-utilities.
Eighteen jurisdictions in North America allow direct retail access to residential electricity consumers. Eligibility extends to more than 39.2 million residential accounts. Of these, 17.1 million (44%) receive comprehensive electric service or generation service (power only) from a competitive retail energy provider (REP) in 2014.
“A key feature of choice relates to electric price risk. Most consumers lock in a price that is not subject to market volatility or changes in regulatory decisions. Others prefer bargain shopping, and they willingly and frequently switch providers.” Nat Treadway
Nineteen jurisdictions in North America allow direct retail access to commercial and industrial customers. Large energy consumers are sophisticated and fully able to manage a power contract that best suits their operations. Most large business consumers (more than eighty percent of eligible consumption in most jurisdictions and close to one hundred percent in several) exercised their right to choose in 2014.