Experts warn consumers can expect higher electricity rates in the coming years, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"We are now in an era of rising electricity prices," Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said. "If you take enough supply out of the system, the price is going to increase."
Some of the following factors will be pushing rates up:
- New government regulations on toxic emissions
- Rules on greenhouse gases
- State mandates for renewable power
- Technical problems at nuclear power plants
- The changing prices of natural gas
The Times said the government underestimated the impact of new federal regulations on coal plants, citing a 2011 analysis by the EPA projecting that few plants would be forced to shut down.
But that assumption proved to be wrong.
The power-generating capacity produced by those plants is being replaced by natural gas, but its price is not nearly as stable as coal.
Some power officials project Americans could see more brownouts and blackouts in the years ahead.