Inertia serves California for electricity, natural gas, and solar services as a third-party distributer.
California has a complex and controversial history with energy deregulation, particularly in the electricity sector. In the late 1990s, California passed a series of laws aimed at deregulating the state's electricity and natural gas markets in an effort to increase competition and reduce prices.
However, this deregulation effort quickly ran into problems. In 2000 and 2001, California experienced a series of rolling blackouts and skyrocketing energy prices, which were blamed on a lack of available energy supply and market manipulation by energy providers.
One of the key issues with California's deregulation was that it allowed for the separation of electricity generation and supply, which created a market for trading energy commodities. This market, which was largely unregulated, led to market manipulation and price spikes that ultimately resulted in the blackouts and energy crisis.
In response to the crisis, California took steps to re-regulate its energy markets, including the creation of the California Energy Commission and the California Independent System Operator. These agencies were tasked with overseeing the energy market and ensuring that there was enough supply to meet demand.
Since then, California has taken a more cautious approach to energy deregulation, particularly in the electricity sector. The state still allows for some competition in the market, but it has implemented stricter regulations to prevent market manipulation and ensure that prices are fair and reasonable for consumers.
In terms of natural gas deregulation, California has been more successful. The state's natural gas market has been deregulated since 1985, which has led to increased competition and lower prices for consumers. However, the state still regulates safety and reliability standards to ensure that natural gas providers meet certain standards.
In conclusion, California's history with energy deregulation has been complicated and controversial. While the state has had some success with natural gas deregulation, the electricity market's deregulation led to an energy crisis that prompted the state to take a more cautious approach to deregulation. As such, the state continues to balance the benefits of competition with the need for regulation to prevent market manipulation and ensure a stable energy supply.