NRG Chief Executive: We Need More Retail Electricity Competition

As Nevada considers opening up more retail choice, NRG CEO Mauricio Gutierrez writes about the importance of competition.
Oct 4, 2018 3:00 PM ET

Throughout our country and in nearly every industry, competition has driven innovation, pushed human ingenuity and unveiled a new dimension of value by empowering consumers with choice.

We only have to look to the transportation industry to see its impacts. The on-demand transportation model essentially had no competition until Uber and Lyft disrupted it with a compelling consumer experience tailored to the modern traveler. Right now, in the electric power industry, there is a debate over the best technologies, business models and fuel types to power the economy of the 21st century. Competition is at the center of this debate. 

Even as we’ve made progress in other industries, competition has largely eluded the electric power sector. Power still operates much as it did 100 years ago. There are centralized plants that generate power, poles and wires to transport that power, and a company that sells power to consumers.

For most of the country, the pieces of this industry value chain are still regulated (the local utility) instead of allowing multiple providers to compete and win business. Today, 32 states participate in competitive wholesale markets and yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia participate in some form of retail competition. 

Click to continue reading