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After a year of study, Washington state regulators say they want a gradual transition to a competitive electric market. In issuing guidelines on December 14, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission appears to be in line with many other state utility regulators wanting a gradual transition rather than an abrupt overhaul of the power market. In Washington, guidelines for the state's three private utilities include the following: consumers should have reasonable and affordable electricity prices; customers should retain a broad range of service and pricing options; and policies favouring resource diversity, technological innovation, environmental protection and energy efficiency should not be jeopardised.

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