A new and improved version of the powertochoose website should make its debut soon, according to the state’s chief energy regulator.

“We’re updating the powertochoose website — we want to make it better,” Public Utility Commission chairwoman Donna Nelson said Tuesday, addressing a key legislative panel at the Texas Capitol.

Powertochoose.com is operated by the PUC as an information storehouse for Texans shopping for electricity in the deregulated market. Besides providing Texans a single place to compare prices,  powertochoose.com also lists complaint data on the state’s electric providers.

The improved website should launch in a month or so, said Nelson. The PUC chairwoman said she’s already seen mock-ups of the site, and that version 2.0 will be more user friendly than the current website.

The PUC elected to make the improvements, even though legislation to improve powertochoose.com, Senate Bill 1219 by state. Sen. John Corona, failed during the waning days of the most recent legislative session.

Retail electric providers also until recently were required to list the powertochoose.com on home bills.  But that requirement expired in 2011, and legislation to continue the consumer friendly disclosures fell victim to lobby pressure from TXU, Reliant and other retail electric providers.

The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, the parent organization of RechargeTexas.com, supports all efforts to improve transparency in the deregulated electricity market, including efforts to improve the powertochoose.com website. TCAP also supports the creation of standard-offer products, which will allow Texans to make apples-to-apples comparisons when shopping for electricity.

To find out more, click on the policy page at this link.
— R.A. Dyer