More than $1 billion — that’s how much Houstonians pay in excess electricity costs each year under deregulation, according to a recent segment on KHOU-TV in Houston. Reporter Dave Fehling noted that residents in San Antonio and Austin — two cities that remain outside deregulation — pay far less for electricity.
How much less? According to the analysis in Fehling”s report, electricity that sells for $102 in San Antonio and Austin goes for about $159 in Houston. Do the math and that equals $1.2 billion in extra costs for Houstonians every year, according to the report.
“These people make a profit off the citizens of Houston by doing nothing,” Houston homeowner Patsy Young told the reporter, referencing the high cost of electricity in her city because of flaws in the deregulated system.
The KHOU-TV report also noted that proposed opt-out aggregation programs offered the promise of savings, but that they have been opposed by the electric industry.Under opt-out aggregation, cities could purchase electricity in bulk on behalf of their citizens.
You can see the KHOU-TV report here.
Is a policy analyst for TCAP, a coalition of cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.