Texans in recent years have seen their electric prices go up at a much greater pace than consumers nationwide. But in Texas, consumers can buy electricity in both deregulated areas and areas outside deregulation. So what about prices only in the state”s deregulated areas? That is, how much are customers paying in places like Dallas and Houston?
We”ve conducted an analysis and the news isn”t good. Since 2003, Texans receiving power from electric retailers in competitive areas have paid between 11.3 percent and 42.2 percent more than the national average. That”s according to the most recent annual data from the United States Energy Information Administration. In fact, federal data show that Texans in competitive areas have paid more than the nation average every year under deregulation except for one. Contrast that to the 10 years prior to passage of the deregulation law, when prices in Texas were on average 6.5 percent LOWER than prices nationwide.
KHOU-TV, in a recent news story, noted that Houston’s largest electric retailer won”t disclose how many of its customers pay its lowest advertised rates. The Houston TV station noted that many Texans cannot even procure the lowest-cost electricity in the market without breaking the terms of their fixed-rate contracts.
Is a policy analyst consultant for TCAP, a coalition of political subdivisions in Texas that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because energy costs are typically a significant budget item to our members, TCAP is consistently looking for ways to save our members money, through cost-saving contracts, energy efficiency or demand response programs.