I’m not financially savvy, and I don’t know a lot about marketing or advertising, but I’ve often wondered why electric service providers advertise.

In North Carolina, you don’t get to choose your electric service provider. If you are in Duke Power’s region, you use Duke Power. If you’re in Central Electric’s or Progress Energy’s territory, you have to use Central Electric or Progress Energy. Some electric service providers are membership co-ops. Others are not. Duke Power is not.

I have Duke Power.

In 1999 Texas deregulated the electric power industry. The law was passed to encourage free market competition and lower prices. Although some areas, such as municipalities and cooperatives, were not required to deregulate and don’t have electric choice, at least some people do.

In North Carolina, there is no choice and no free market competition.

In other words, the electric companies can charge what they want and there’s not much you can do about it unless you want to live off the grid.

So, here’s my question. If there is no free market enterprise and I’m stuck using Duke Power and have no choice, why does Duke Power have so many commercials? It’s not like they have competition and can lure customers away from Progress Energy.

Maybe they’re trying to lure in new customers in the area who don’t have electricity. Nope. That can’t be right either. If you don’t have electricity, you can’t see the commercials. So, I’m stuck with the same question. Why advertise?

Maybe if they didn’t waste all that money on commercials, they could lower their rates. Or provide free or reduced cost services to the poor and elderly.

What do you think?