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” »

Texas Electricity News and Links

Here are a few interesting articles I’ve stumbled across today, none of which are worth an individual post. However, I figured I’d post them all here as a link dump for anyone interested in the topics. Enjoy:


AEP has been busy. While I don’t have any new updates from their case in Texas regarding retail electricity, it looks like they’re working to separate some of their generation assets in Ohio. This could be paving the way for them to move into retail electricity in Ohio, which is on the horizon.

AEP To Split Up Ohio Assets

Interestingly enough, AEP is also seeking a license from the US Department of Energy to sell electricity to Mexico. Yes, you read that correctly. This is interesting because Texas is currently under their optimal energy reserve percentage, and we had a horrific energy shortage last summer with another one on the horizon this summer, and yet AEP wants to sell energy to Mexico.

AEP Looks to Sell Electricity To Mexico

And Paul Ring at Energy Choice Matters has written an article based on AEP’s comments claiming that AEP is not, in fact, looking to start a national brand for retail electricity.

AEP Not Seeking National Electricity Brand

Texas Energy Generation Capacity Will Hit Fever Pitch

No one who has read this blog or visited my Facebook Page is any stranger to the ongoing discussion about Texas’s shortages in generation resources. Well, with summer starting to bear down on Texas, expect this conversation and topic to come even more frequently. This is because Texas still hasn’t recovered from the drought damage and record heat wave from last summer, and the same drought is still in effect and looks to have a repeat performance ready for us in Summer 2012.

Texans warned to expect outages if 2011 Summer Repeats for 2012

House Panel Seeks Ways to Boost Electricity Generation

That’s it everyone, enjoy your Monday.

Texas Electricity, TCAP, and a Biased “History” – Part Four

Yes, I’m still writing blog posts about TCAP’s recent release of their “history” of deregulated electricity in Texas which they have been still pushing out heavily through PR channels the past couple weeks. I know I initially said I didn’t want to do a 10 part series on this topic, but I never said it wouldn’t take me four or five sections just for me to get through the broad strokes. Which brings us to Part Four. As things stand, I’ve gone through the “Facts” the document claims to examine as well as their “Major Findings” section. In this post I’m going to evaluate their “Recommendations” section. And after that I may or may not write a couple posts looking at some of their more hilarious pieces of “data,” as well as a closer look at TCAP the organization.

Continue reading “Texas Electricity, TCAP, and a Biased “History” – Part Four” »