Texas Electricity Deregulation – What You Need To Know

by Texas Electricity Deregulation on September 13, 2010

The state of Texas has offered consumers the power to choose their electricity provider ever since deregulation began in 2002. This means that if you’re a Texas resident and you’re not happy with the service your power company has been offering, you can choose to get different service. You can choose from companies that offer a higher quality of customer service, renewable energy sources, and many other features that your current provider simply may not be able to offer. Let’s take a look at the details.

Before electric deregulation was put into effect, only one utility would manage power distribution, transmission and sales in your area.  That meant you had no other options. Today, the same company you used to use  to maintain the distribution and transmission of the electricity still does, but other companies handle sales and billing. That means that you can work with the business that offers what you want and what you are willing to pay for. The reliability and safety of energy distribution are overseen by the Public Utility Commission, to prevent problems in the long run – so you don’t have to worry about availability, reliability or service related issues.

About seventy-five percent of the state actually has the ability to choose the Texas power company that they want, instead of having no control over their bill, or where their power comes from, or what kind of service they will receive. The rest of the state is unfortunately not subject to competition for a number of reasons. Electricity cooperatives and large cities, including San Antonio and Austin, are not open for competition. You can get in touch with your co-op or city utility to find out more.

Deregulation is about power choice, and the hope that it will lead to some real innovation and competition. After all, Texas is now one of the leading producers of wind power in the United States, and plenty of additional wind farms are in development. That means that you could say goodbye to using power that comes from coal plants that pollute the air and water, or natural gas plants that use a nonrenewable resource. This wouldn’t have been possible without deregulation.

Texans are encouraged to shop for good prices and good service, and it’s easier than it’s ever been. After all, there is plenty of information out there that give you the information you need to decide which energy supplier is right for you. The most advanced sites (like ChooseEnergy.com) let you compare power prices in real time without needing to leave the website, and can even place orders. These orders go right to the electric company you decide will be the best choice for your situation.   Once you’ve compared all the rates, picked a new Texas electric provider and had your order accepted by the company, you should expect to receive a terms of service agreement from them, as well as some information listing your rights as one of their customers. There’s no need to get in touch with your current provider – that’s all going to be handled by the new one. You’ll get a notice of your change request in the mail, and the change of service will happen the next time you have your meter read. You’ll get bills from the old company until you’ve paid in full, and once that final bill is paid, you’ll start getting ones from the new provider.

That’s all it takes to exercise your power to choose in Texas. The reliability of your power will be the same, outages will occur with the same frequency that they always have (hopefully not often) and your local wires company still maintains your delivery. However, you now have a choice in which company sells you your power, the rate you buy it at, and how it’s produced. The customer is getting more control over their utilities in the state of Texas. That’s a great thing for nearly everyone.  Take the time to find out if you have the option to change your power supplier – you could really benefit. It’s not hard to do, and your service can only get better. Companies now have an incentive to offer better pricing, cleaner energy, and better quality service. After all, you could always try your luck with someone else.

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