Continuing a generally downward trend that began nearly a decade ago, electricity complaints filed with state regulators have dropped to a new post-deregulation low, according to a new report from the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.
All told, Texans filed 4,175 electricity-related complaints or inquiries with the Texas Public Utility Commission during FY 2017. That marks a drop from the previous fiscal year and also the fewest since the state transitioned to its deregulated retail electricity market in 2002.
These findings and more are included in TCAP’s new 2017 Snapshot Report on Electricity Complaints, released Tuesday on the organization’s website. The Snapshot report includes two decades of electricity complaint data—some of which is unavailable anywhere else. The report can be found here.
In addition to a nearly 14-percent drop in overall electricity-related complaints and inquiries from FY 2016, the new report also shows drops in numerous discrete categories of complaints. “These findings suggest the state’s electricity market continues to mature, with Texans becoming more comfortable with both prices and service,” said Jay Doegey, executive director of TCAP.
The years-long decline in electricity complaints parallels a trend of improving residential electric prices, which has been documented in a separate TCAP report (found here). However, TCAP also had documented some comparatively better consumer outcomes during the years prior to the retail electric deregulation law.
Texans can find complaint data for individual companies at the state’s electricity shopping web site, powertochoose.org. TCAP recommends that consumers always check the industry complaint scorecard there when shopping for electricity.
Electricity customers wishing to file complaints can do so through the PUC’s Office of Customer Protection, which can be reached at 1-888-782-8477, by email at email@example.com, or online at http://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/complaint/Complaint.aspx. When appropriate, the PUC will investigate such complaints, and may sanction companies if a rule violation is found.
TCAP is a coalition of more than 170 cities that have joined together to purchase electricity in the state’s deregulated market for their own governmental use. As part its mission, TCAP advocates for affordable power for its member cities and their citizens. Find out more here.