About Power Companies
Most power companies were established many years ago in a business framework that gave them a monopoly in their service territory, guaranteed them a comfortable profit, subjected them to complete regulation by a state or federal commission, and required them to deliver a very high level of service.
It’s hard to appreciate the high level of service provided by America’s utility companies unless you have traveled overseas.
For example, most hotel rooms in Asia, Africa, and South America have candles and matches in anticipation of extended power outages. In many places they happen every day.
How does Bergey fit in?
People who badly want to cut the power lines often call us. They hope that a wind power system will give them the freedom they desire at a price they can afford. However, providing reliable power supply with a wind system requires batteries and a back-up generator. After we review the costs and consequences, very few people actually go “off-grid.”
A far better alternative is to stay connected to the grid, reduce your consumption by increasing your home’s efficiency, and install a wind system such as the Bergey PowerSync II. This will allow you to produce most of your own power and the investments will pay for themselves over time. You will even be able to sell your excess power to the local power company.
The whole business framework for the U.S. electric industry is changing due to deregulation. Deregulation breaks the monopoly and encourages competition. In theory rates should go down and choices should go up.
Deregulation will allow you to choose your electricity supplier based on price, environmental record, or other factors important to you. In California and Pennsylvania, for example, a company called GreenMountain.com offers clean power blends (hydro, geothermal, natural gas) and pure renewable energy packages (mostly wind power) at modestly higher prices.
For the utility industry perspective on deregulation we recommend the web site of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). EEI is the national trade association of the investor-owed electric companies.