Electricity is generated primarily by burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil, and to a lesser extent through nuclear fission, dams, solar power, etc. As power plants generate electricity, it is transported across long distance, hi-voltage transmission lines to numerous substations that convert it to lower voltage power for ultimate delivery to your home or business via local distribution lines. These components, along with an independent agency (ISO) that ensures reliability, make up the electric grid. Read more about electricity.

Prior to deregulation, utilities controlled all aspects of this process and the consumer had no choice in who produced their power. Today utilities still control the transmission, distribution and metering of electricity, but they been forced to sell their power plants to create a new, competitive market for the actual production and generation of power.

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