When it comes to making excuses for the high cost of power, the industry likes to compare apples to oranges. For instance, industry reps have compared current Texas prices to nationwide prices from five months ago – even though nationwide prices have come down since then. Other tactics include comparing lowest-cost offers against average prices, or even using demonstrably incorrect data.

But an apples-to-apples comparison of verifiable public information tells a different story. This chart includes data from a comprehensive list of deregulated offers in Texas, as sampled by the Public Utility Commission. It also shows the nationwide average price of electricity, as documented by the United States Energy Information Administration. All prices are for January, 2009.

In almost every instance, deregulated offers in Texas are higher than the nationwide average price. Some of the Texas offers are more than twice as expensive. Also note that the least expensive individual offers in Texas typically include hidden charges, not reflected in this chart.

Prior to deregulation, most Texans paid rates below the national average.

— R.A. Dyer