Beginning in 2003 the legislature began diverting money from the System Benefit Fund to support the budget — an accounting move that arguably turned what was a special-purpose fee into a full-fledged tax. It also meant that tens of thousands of low-income Texans ended up paying more for electricity.
A touted report of electricity marketes is far from unbiased. Rather, it was created for and by the electric industry. A news report reveals that it was sponsored by a number reail electric providers, all with a direct financial interest in high electricity prices.
Deregulated Electricity in Texas: A History of Retail Competition also reveals that Texans in deregulated areas consistently have paid more for power than Texans outside deregulation. It shows that many big electric companies — after spending years arguing against market intervention — now clamor for price supports.
Retail electric providers say they should have the right to increase prices in fixed-rate contracts if regulators follow through with a proposal to increase wholesale energy costs.
The price of residential electricity has declined in recent years — but those declines are not nearly large enough to reflect what’s happening in the natural gas market.