Rhode Island Utility Restructuring Act (1996)

In the 1990’s, Rhode Island joined four other New England states in restructuring the electric distribution companies operating in their respective jurisdictions. The Rhode Island Utility Restructuring Act of 1996 required utilities to sell off their generating assets, opening up the wholesale electric market to non-regulated power producers. Restructuring also introduced retail choice, effectively unbundling the energy supply and electric distribution functions of utilities like Narragansett Electric (National Grid’s predecessor company). Under the restructured system, customers can remain under a default “standard offer” or “last resort” electric service provided by the electric distribution company or select a competitive supplier for electric service. In both instances, customers continue to receive distribution service from the electric distribution company.