Texas Power to Choose
Thanks to deregulation, which was enacted over a decade ago, Texas residents and businesses have the power to choose who supplies their electricity.
What is deregulation?
Prior to deregulation, one utility managed the transmission, distribution and sales of electricity to your home or business. All of that changed with the passing of Senate Bill SB7, the legislation that enacted Texas electricity deregulation effective January 1, 2002. On that date, over 5.6 million electricity customers were given choices about who supplies their electricity. Today, your local wires company still maintains the transmission and distribution of your electricity, while another company (Retail Electric Provider) handles the sales and billing of your electricity.
Today, there are over 50 active retail electric providers in Texas offering over 300 plans with options that include low cost fixed-rate plans, plans with renewable energy resources and more. The Public Utility Commission assures the safety and reliability of the delivery of electricity is the same, regardless of the company you buy your electricity from.
Power choice is what deregulation is all about. This will lead to innovations in the Texas electric market, not seen in other parts of the country. Texas is now the leading Wind Energy producer in the U.S. with many more wind farms in development it looks like Texas will always be the leader. Without deregulation – this would not have been possible. This is because many people want the power to choose wind energy for their home or business. There is a big movement in the U.S. for cleaner energy – and Texas is leading the way.
Choose Texas Power: Electricity Rates and Choices
In Texas, about 60% of residents can select a competitive retail supplier. The other 40% are either outside of ERCOT, the intra-state ISO that manages the flow of electricity in the region, or are served by municipal utilities or electric cooperatives that have not opted into retail choice.
When deregulation was passed, the Public Utility Commission developed powertochoose.org to foster awareness about Texas electric deregulation. Now, companies like ChooseEnergy.com have introduced far more advanced sites that allow consumers to compare Texas electric prices in real-time from one site. Customers don’t even need to leave the website – since ChooseEnergy.com has developed technology like Travelocity allowing the orders to go directly to the Texas electric company of choice.