It was with the promise of better prices and choices that state lawmakers in 1999 adopted the Texas electric deregulation law. Newly minted electric companies would compete for customers. In theory, market forces would keep a lid on bills.
How has Texas fared since then? The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power this week releases its updated report, Deregulated Electricity in Texas, that examines that question. The update includes new content, context and analysis.
As documented in the chronological report, the news is mixed for consumers. For instance, while prices paid by Texans under deregulation have finally fallen below the national average, Texans living outside deregulation consistently receive even better deals.
The report — an update of one originally released by TCAP in 2009 — incorporates findings from TCAP’s recent investigations of electricity pricing and complaints. It also incorporates findings from TCAP’s recent report, A Retreat from Competition, that examines the ongoing controversy over proposed subsidies for electric generators. Deregulated Electricity in Texas includes a new chapter on market developments during 2013, as well as new charts.
TCAP is a nonprofit coalition of more than 165 municipalities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market. The coalition derives no profit from selling power. Its updated report includes a number of suggested reforms, including the creation of standard offer products to make electricity shopping easier. The report cautions against the creation of a “capacity market” that would layer additional costs onto energy bills.
Deregulated Electricity in Texas is available for download at www.tcaptx.com.
ABOUT the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power
TCAP is a coalition of more than 165 cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.