Texas Electricity Deregulation

by Texas Electricity Deregulation on September 13, 2010

Texas electricity deregulation is the deregulation of the electricity industry that has been experienced in Texas since the mandated legislation was passed. Regulation was originally designed to prevent a number of abuses and provide the consumers with security against price gouging among other things. Interest in deregulation began during the 1970′s however; it was not until the 1990′s and the turn into the 21 century when electricity deregulation finally gained momentum and legislation was passed providing incentives and options for the deregulation of the utilities industry.

Thousands of Texans have taken advantage of the opportunity since 2002 and a number of the major metropolitan areas have deregulated these areas include Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Abilene, San Angelo, Temple, Waco, Midland, Pasadena, Tyler, Arlington, Laredo, McAllen, Lufkin, Odessa, Plano, Richardson, Wichita Falls, and others.  This makes Texas one of the leading states when it comes to electric deregulation. Texas electricity deregulation leads because so many of the major metropolitan areas have become deregulated and other cities and areas are moving to implement deregulation.  The main benefits to Texas electric deregulation are significant with a move to more environmentally friendly methods of energy production. Texas is now the leader in wind production surpassing even California for energy that comes from this renewable resource.   In addition to being one of the benefits that come from making use of deregulation, consumers have the option of choosing where their energy comes from in addition to what they are willing to pay for their energy services.  Companies now compete for new business with competitive rates for residential and business customers. 

While there are obvious ecological benefits and there is the benefit of choosing plans that are going to allow consumers to determine the terms they are willing to accept.  This is the basis of the competition that made deregulation popular.  The overall price of electricity service to consumers is actually slightly higher (but has been trending down now that competition amongst retailers is heating up) than in most regulated areas however, the option to choose energy that comes from clean sources such as solar and wind power is not available in most regulated areas. Most regulated areas do not offer the option of providing energy from environmentally friendly choices and since these choices can often be more expensive to implement they are generally not considered by regulated energy service providers.  That is not the case in Texas.

The choice to choose where the power that is used comes from is one of the biggest draws for consumers, especially in this time of increased environmental awareness. New studies and a general increase in the concern for the environment has prompted the green movement to gain significant momentum not only in Texas but throughout the world as well. The increased affordability has also helped to increase the desire for green energy production.  Current technology for wind production does not allow production in every area. Class 3 criteria must be met for wind farms to be effective enough to generate enough energy to justify the expense of establishing the farm. This one of the reasons why energy costs are sometimes slightly higher in states such as Texas that offer deregulated services.  This is not the only reason however, when looking at Texas electricity deregulation – Deregulation refers to the establishment of a competitive utilities market. There is federal legislation in place that allows for deregulation however only about a dozen of states have taken advantage of this legislation and established deregulation within their state.  Texas is one of the leaders in deregulation with the most major metropolitan areas already deregulated. They are also one of the leaders in wind-generated power surpassing even California in wind-produced energy. 

The benefits of deregulation are numerous. They include such things as competitive pricing and terms as well as a choice in what type of energy you use in your home.   Another great benefit is the fact that rates can be locked in with many plans. This is something that is not usually available with regulated services. While rates are controlled in a regulated service area, they can change at any time. In deregulated areas, low rates can often be locked in even if the rates increase therby helping you maintain control over your electricity costs.  You have the power to choose – that is what Texas electricity deregulation is all about.

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