Making the Most of Your Electric Choice in Texas

Since energy deregulation legislation went into effect in 2002, an estimated 85% of commercial electric customers have switched providers at least once, taking advantage of lower rates offered by hungry retail electric providers. However, only 40% of residential customers in deregulated areas have switched from their incumbent electricity provider to one of the more than 40 competitors on the market.

If you haven't yet switched providers, or even if you have, you should make a close examination of your current electric bill. What is the rate you pay per kilowatt hour of energy that you use? The average national rate is around 12 cents per hour, and Texas rates are quite a bit below that. Rates as low as 7 or 8 cents per kilowatt hour are not uncommon in many deregulated areas of the state, and if you are paying more, you owe it to yourself to check out offers available in your area.

The Status Quo

The fact is, many Texas residents are still paying whatever their original utility company was charging them, without questioning whether or not they could be saving money. Still others have switched providers, but have allowed their contracts to lapse, and are now paying that company's default rate, which is usually considerably higher than the original rate they contracted for.

Sadly, many of these residents are so used to the price of electricity fluctuating drastically with the rise and fall of natural gas prices that when their electric bill goes up, they simply accept it as inevitable. One of the benefits of the new competitive market is that with so many providers purchasing electricity from so many different sources, the market volatility has stabilized.

In the past, giant monopolistic providers who depended largely on natural gas to power their plants simply passed on the cost to the consumers whenever the cost of natural gas went up. This is no longer the case. Also, with the many long term fixed rate plans available, consumers can lock in one fixed low rate, and know that their rates will not go up for the term of their contract.

Finally, civic-minded consumers also have the choice to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as solar, geothermal, biomass, or the state's burgeoning wind power industry, which is currently providing as much as 8 percent of Texas' electric power.

If you are one of the 60% of consumers who have not yet switched providers, check out your options at and make the most of your electric choice!

Also get help from Texas Energy choice programs to make wise electric decisions.

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