Rhode Island legislators at a public hearing last week were urged to partner with neighboring states if they are serious about opening the state's electricity market to retail competition.
"Clearly, we are not large enough to an attractive market to stand alone, even if (an energy retailer) had every single customer in the state," said Robert Stoddard, principal of Charles River Associates, a consultant hired by the House Corporations Committee.
Rhode Island's legislature passed the Utility Restructuring Act in 1996 with hopes of cost savings and more choices for consumers. But an open electricity market has been slow to materialize as retailers have struggled to offer customers a competitive rate.
"We recognize at. this point in time that there's just no sign of that deregulation in Rhode Island," …