Whitehouse unveils deregulation plans

The USA`s Clinton administration has revealed its latest legislative plan to deregulate the country`s power market and allow consumers to choose their electricity supplier. The proposed plan would lead to considerable savings for consumers but does not guarantee recovery of stranded costs for utilities.

The legislation has been sent to congress and is expected to be passed this year. The proposed legislation would save consumers $20bn per year, or an annual $232 for the average family, according to energy secretary Bill Richardson. It will be left up to individual states to decide if and how stranded costs incurred by utilities can be recovered, although the Tennessee Valley Authority will be able to recover these costs.

More than 20 states have already made progress towards opening their electricity markets to competition, including California, which opened its market last year. These states will be able to opt out of the federal government`s plan if they feel that consumers will benefit more under state efforts.