Competitive Electricity Market Regulation in the United States: A Primer

Francisco Flores-Espino, Ilya Chernyakhovskiy, Megan Mercer, Mackay Miller, Tian Tian

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The electricity system in the United States is a complex mechanism where different technologies, jurisdictions and regulatory designs interact. Today, two major models for electricity commercialization operate in the United States. One is the regulated monopoly model, in which vertically integrated electricity providers are regulated by state commissions. The other is the competitive model, in which power producers can openly access transmission infrastructure and participate in wholesale electricity markets. This paper describes the origins, evolution, and current status of the regulations that enable competitive markets in the United States.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-67106


  • commercialization
  • competitive markets
  • electricity markets
  • primer
  • regulated monopoly
  • regulation
  • United States


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