CO-OPCOMPETITION

Competition

Energy Supply Choice

Historically, utilities have had exclusive rights to serve an area in return for meeting an obligation to provide energy to all consumers in that service territory. They were responsible for building and operating generating stations or contracting with wholesale suppliers to provide enough power to meet the changing needs of their customers, constructing and maintaining transmission and distribution lines to deliver energy from the generating stations and installing and reading meters.

Most people recognized that a regulated utility monopoly could build and operate an electric power system more efficiently. If many electric companies had built their own competing power systems, services would have been unnecessarily duplicated. Our streets and highways, for example, would have become clogged with power lines built by different electric companies. Allowing regulated monopolies to serve the public also helped the United States build the world’s most advanced and reliable electric system. In part, this is because electric utility monopolies have been required by law to maintain the capability to provide power to all of their customers at any time at the flick of a switch.

All utility costs were included in the state-approved rate charged by the utility company. Customers received one bill for the entire package of services. However, changes are occurring in how electricity will be sold.

Since many other monopolies have been deregulated over the past decades, various parties felt it was time for change in the electricity business. Healthy competition among power suppliers may result in lower prices and new, innovative services for many businesses and residences. However, it is important that all competitors are competing on equal terms and that you, the customer, can make an “apples to apples” comparison of their offers.

Competition is designed to increase customer choices and create product and service innovations. Properly done, deregulation can be good for the consumer. However, if done improperly, it could lessen reliability, threaten the environment and harm our economy, while delivering few benefits to customers.


 

On Groundhog Day earlier this month, Punxsutawney Phil could not find his shadow. And as the legend goes, this means we're in for an early spring. With wishful thoughts of spring coming soon, here's a photo that Northern Neck Electric Cooperative member James Bosworth, of Heathsville, sent us. "Lilly frog snorting pollen in her pad rather than on her pad," he writes. We toadally love this photo, James. Thanks for sharing!

Reader photos can be emailed to [email protected]
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Cooperative Cooking!

Did you know Cooperative Living includes recipes in our Commonwealth Kitchen section of each issue and you can find even more recipes on our website? Have you ever made one of the recipes? We would love to hear the results! From success to mishaps, let us know. Include pictures if you have them.

Go to www.co-opliving.com/food/commonwealth-kitchen/ or www.co-opliving.com/food/recipes/ to find more recipes like this one.
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DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?

It’s a HISTORY MYSTERY!

Each issue of Cooperative Living you will find the HISTORY MYSTERY CONTEST!

The theme for the contest is “Famous People Born in Virginia.” Please go to www.co-opliving.com/contests/historymystery/ to submit your guess today! Correct entries will be placed in a drawing and the winner announced in an upcoming issue.

The winner will receive $25.00!
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