Texans in the deregulated market paid 12.59 cents per kilowatt hour compared 11 cents in regulated utilities.
FuelFix – The average cost of electricity for Texans in Houston and other deregulated parts of the state exceeded the national average in 2014 for the first time in three years, according to a new report released Wednesday.
The 85 percent of Texans in deregulated parts of the state also pay nearly 15 percent more than Lone Star residents in integrated utilities, such as San Antonio and Austin, although the gap has narrowed, according to the annual Texas Coalition for Affordable Power report.
The Texas Legislature deregulated the electric market for most of the state in 2002 to create competition and allow residents to pick their own providers. Consumers can compare rates online at Powertochoose.org.
“Folks living in areas of Texas with electric deregulation have paid more for electricity, on average, than Texans living without deregulation — that’s just a historical fact,” said Jay Doegey, executive director for the coalition. “But it’s also true that the deregulated market is maturing. The good news for folks living in deregulated areas is that if they shop carefully, they can find plenty of individual deals with good prices.”
In part because of Texas’ ample supply of cheap natural gas that helps drive power prices, Texas’ deregulated electricity costs sunk below the national average for the first times in 2012 and 2013.
However, that ended in 2014 when Texans in the deregulated market paid 12.59 cents per kilowatt hour compared to the 12.52 cents national average, the report stated. The 15 percent of Texans in regulated utilities paid just less than 11 cents per kilowatt hour.