Each month, Michigan families and business owners sit down to write out their checks to pay for their bills and budget their money for upcoming months. During this process, they may find themselves dissatisfied with the current prices they pay or the quality of service they receive. Whether it is the food they eat, the car they drive, the home they live in, the long distance company they subscribe to, or the credit card company they use, Michigan consumers have viable options in who provides them with these and other important goods and services. And, more importantly, they can switch suppliers at any time if they are dissatisfied for any reason. To summarize, Michigan consumers have choices, and lots of them.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said when it comes to electricity. Michigan consumers have no realistic choices in selecting their electric power provider. Each month they send their checks to the same company, realizing there are simply no alternatives available to them. Electricity consumers have essentially been told that "you can have your car in any color as long as that color is black," to paraphrase Henry Ford. But this does not have to be the case. Just as the modern automotive industry offers consumers countless model, color, and style options, so too can the modern electricity market offer its customers numerous choices. There is no technological reason customers cannot be served by numerous suppliers and be offered uniquely tailored services.
The modern electric industry is sophisticated enough to handle the same sort of vigorous competition that Michigan consumers have grown accustomed to in other industries. The only thing that stands in the way of such a development in the world of electric power is a set of outdated rules and regulations that prohibit competitive interaction and customer choice.