The electricity industry and its regulators in Texas have consistently touted the state’scompetitive retail market as good for consumers. But price data indicate many of those customers are failing to take advantage of the lowest rates.

In speeches and at public hearings, Donna Nelson, chairman of the Public Utility Commission (PUC), has contended that the areas of Texas where electricity is sold by a variety of retailers — as opposed to just one utility company as in San Antonio and Austin — is a system that benefits consumers.

“I think what the rates now show us … is that competitive markets work,” Nelson said at a commission meeting earlier this year.

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