Electricity to California


The companies supplying electricity to California failed to provide enough affordable power to the state\'s utilities to meet the demands of customers. The reason for this is strongly disputed. One thing is certain, unscheduled outages at power plants supplying California\'s electricity has highly increased since deregulation. Owners of the plants now face allegations that they intentionally engineered shutdowns in order to squeeze the supply and drive up wholesale prices. State regulation of utilities has been in place since the early 20th century to protect consumers from the capital-intensive monopolies that owned power plants and transmission lines. Under the old system, still in effect in most states, regulation means guaranteed profits for utilities but also stable prices for consumers and a reliable supply of electricity. In exchange for allowing utilities to operate as monopolies, states set the price they can charge consumers. Beginning in the early 1990s, large industrial users of electricity began clamoring for deregulation so they could shop for cheaper prices outside their own utility\'s coverage area.