PUC Continues to Drop Ball on Consumer Advocacy?

I revieve reader questions on a regular basis about how the PUC handles their ranking system. The general thrust is “I see there is a state rankings system for Texas electricity, but it looks dated.” Or “I don’t see the electricity provider that I’m interested in listed on the PUC’s page. What gives?” I wrote an article in early November about some serious flaws and confusing inconsistencies in how the PUC updates and lists the Texas retail electricity providers (REPs) in their complaint scorecard in attempt to address some of these FAQs. I then posted an update in early January pointing out that yet again the PUC had fallen behind and failed to update their complaint scorecard. I’m not sure what the problem is, but  Continue reading “PUC Continues to Drop Ball on Consumer Advocacy?” »

Texas Electricity Ratings: Rankings Update 2/19/13

We’re well into the new year, and it is time for a new update of our rankings here at Texas Electricity Ratings. We’ve had rate changes now that companies are preparing to move back into summer rates, and there’s also been another round of customer reviews that I’ve entered into my system. So with that in mind, here’s our latest round of rankings:

Bounce Energy                        4.04
Champion Energy Services     3.91
StarTex Power                         3.81
TriEagle Energy                       3.69
Gexa Energy                            3.58
Direct Energy                           3.17
Amigo Energy                          3.09
Tara Energy                             3.02
Green Mountain Energy           2.79
TXU Energy                              2.53
Texas Power                            2.46
Reliant Energy                          2.13

Congratulations to Bounce Energy, who is back in the top spot! Bounce is followed by Champion Energy, who slipped a little but during this rankings system. StarTex Power has slipped back into the 3rd spot, even after their purchase by Constellation Energy. That speaks well to how they’ve been transitioned into Constellation.

During my rankings update, I’ve also noticed some more things about the Power To Choose website rankings, but that will be another post I’ll put up later today or tomorrow.

Texas Electricity News & Notes 1/10/2013

There were a couple of news items that hit the Texas electricity market this week. Neither of them on their own require enough analysis to warrant an entire blog post, so I’m going to stick them together in this one blog post. First up,  Continue reading “Texas Electricity News & Notes 1/10/2013” »

Champion Energy Wins 3rd Straight JD Power & Associates Award

Late last week it was announced that Champion Energy won the 2012 JD Power & Associates survey for customer satisfaction. This marks the third consecutive ear that Champion Energy has won the award, which is an outstanding achievement and really demonstrates their commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Champion Energy is the first electricity provider to win the award for three consecutive years.

Champion Energy got perfect scores on 3 of the 4 grading criteria that JD Power measured, which are Billing & Payment, Price, Communications, and Customer Service. Their total score was 756 out of a possible 800, improving on their 2011 score of 745. The Texas electricity industry average score was 678, which Champion exceeded by 78 points. Again, congratulations to Champion Energy.

Also performing well was relative market newcomer, Bounce Energy, which was founded in 2008. Bounce Energy was the only other Texas electricity provider to score the top 5 point ranking with a total score was 745. Bounce’s performance is particularly impressive when you consider that they are the youngest company on the survey to be included. Additionally, this was just their second year to be included in the survey at all, finishing last year with 681 points. So Bounce Energy also deserves a well-deserved congratulations for moving into a very strong 2nd place finish in just their second year in the JD Power survey.

StarTex Power had another great showing, finishing third with a total of 729 points. Also of interest to me was that both market incumbents and big name providers Reliant Energy and TXU Energy finished with marks below the industry average with scores 669 and 663, respectively.

The survey results weren’t the only things I found interesting in the press release, which also spoke about the general satisfaction with Texas electricity customers when compared to consumer satisfaction in regulated markets without choice. I’ll take a closer look at that this afternoon in a separate article. Full results below.

My Experience With a Smart Meter

I lived in an apartment for years that had a smart meter, and despite the fact that I write about them regularly on this website, I never really paid much attention to them myself. However, I recently moved into a home with a lot more electricity usage. On top of that, I saw this quote in an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last week, which I found really fascinating:

Continue reading “My Experience With a Smart Meter” »

ERCOT Price Market Cap Changes Appear Politically Motivated

I’ve written before about the potential crisis in Texas due to the lack of new generation plants. Basically, not many new energy generation plants are being built, or even planned, at a time when Texas’s population continues to explode and our electricity needs along with it. The problem is that because of the deregulated electricity system, all new plants must be built by private investors instead of by taxing customers or raising electric rates. And right now the low cost of natural gas and the lack of guaranteed profits have investors leery of risking the construction of new plants in Texas.

A commonly referenced solution Continue reading “ERCOT Price Market Cap Changes Appear Politically Motivated” »

Examining a Few Texas Electricity Ratings Customer Reviews

I get tons of customer reviews through Texas Electricity Ratings, and one of the most consistent issues I see are negative reviews based on misconceptions, or in some cases, a lack of understanding of how the deregulated electricity market works. Since a big part of what I do is to try and help educate people on how the market works I’m going to paste some reviews that I didn’t let through the website for various reasons, which I will explain at length below.

These first two reviews go together:

Continue reading “Examining a Few Texas Electricity Ratings Customer Reviews” »

Texas Electricity Ratings Updates Rankings on 2/22/12

I just wanted to make a quick post alerting everyone that I’ve re-calculated the rankings on my website, Texas Electricity Ratings. The rankings are compiled using a number of independent sources including current electric rates, the most recent PUC complaint statistics, Better Business Bureau rankings, the customer reviews submitted through the website, and more. Continue reading “Texas Electricity Ratings Updates Rankings on 2/22/12” »

Who is The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP)?

Anyone who visits my blog regularly has probably seen that I’ve been talking a lot about the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) lately. TCAP recently published their “history” of deregulated electricity in the state of Texas, and there are several things about their self-proclaimed history I find questionable, which I’ve documented at great length in the four posts below: Continue reading “Who is The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP)?” »

Austin Contributor Backwards on Electric Deregulation

I was perusing an article from Carol Penny, a local contributor for the Austin American Statesman, and I couldn’t help but think one thing: at least the article was published under the “Opinion” category. Sheesh. Opinions don’t need factual support, so she has that going for her, I suppose… Continue reading “Austin Contributor Backwards on Electric Deregulation” »