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Electric Avenues

Telecommunications reform breaks down old barriers and creates new opportunities.

This story appears in the September 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you own a small business in California, chances are you've already begun to benefit from electricity industry deregulation, which officially began in the state on March 31. California, which previously had electricity costs 30 percent to 40 percent higher than the rest of the nation, now gives consumers the ability to shop around for a power service provider, band together with other consumers for increased buying power, or, for residential customers, stay with the same electricity provider and receive a 10 percent discount on their bills.

As more states jump on the deregulation bandwagon and open their markets to competition, opportunities to market power and related services will abound, says Ken Maize, editor of Electricity Daily, an online journal for the electricity industry. The potential U.S. retail market is more than $220 billion per year, says Maize.

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