Since 2002, when the state of Texas deregulated its residential and commercial electricity markets, there has been ongoing debate about how well the move has worked. There are some who claim deregulation has hurt Texas consumers, allowing for higher prices than electricity providers made available previously. In fact, on January 20th the Houston Chronicle published an opinion piece which asserted that “…deregulation isn’t working in Texas.” The article was pointed and even biting at times, claiming that while electricity providers have generally profited from the change, Texas consumers have not.
However, just a few days later, John Fainter, president and CEO of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas, fired back with a response, also published by the Houston Chronicle. Addressing the original article’s assessment that residential and business electricity consumers weren’t getting “the savings…that were so widely advertised by advocates at the high pitch of deregulation fever in the late 1990s,” Fainter took a close look at some revealing numbers. What he found tells a different story:
The fact is that Texas electric consumers in competitive areas who are willing to shop among retail providers are paying prices well below the regulated prices from a decade ago when consumers were still paying retail rates set by the state. The comparison is even starker if you factor in inflation.
It’s hard to argue with that.
Yes, as the first article pointed out, electricity providers have profited from deregulation. But so have consumers. As Fainter concluded, “retail electric prices in Texas have dropped steadily over the past few years even as the prices of other commodities, such as gasoline, crude oil and coal, have risen.” That doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all. Whether we’re talking about residential or commercial electricity, Texans are paying less than we did before the move to deregulation.
However, it’s worth pointing out that there’s an important step you, the consumer, need to make sure you don’t overlook in order to ensure a lower electricity rate: you have to shop for it. Fainter made that point clear. (Note the italicized portion of the block quote above.) If you want to lower your energy costs, you have to be willing to compare electricity rates and electricity providers. Lower prices aren’t going to hunt you down. No, you’ll have to do the work of finding them.
But they are out there, just waiting to be found.
Here at Live Energy, we work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, helping business leaders find the electricity rates that will benefit their organization. Comparing electricity rates is a big job. It takes time and a certain degree of industry knowledge. Experience with commercial electricity markets can also be a big help. Given the sheer number of options you have when selecting a business electricity rate, your approach to the task should be strategic, thorough and informed.
That’s where the team of experts at Live Energy can help. We pride ourselves on helping our clients find the electricity rate that will lower their costs for years to come. We have a proven track record of doing just that for more than a decade, since Texas made the move to a deregulated market.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business find the right electricity rate, call us today at 888-341-9155. We’re commercial electricity experts, and we’re here to help you.