AEP Gets Approval To Sell Texas Electricity as AEP Retail Energy

Posted on Posted in AEP Retail Energy, Centerpoint, ONCOR, PUC/ERCOT, Texas Electricity, Texas Electricity News, Trends

In what I consider to be extremely poor tidings, Paul Ring of Energy Choice Matters is reporting that a judge in the Texas Courts is going to allow AEP to sell retail electricity as “AEP Retail Energy” under the license name AEP Texas Commercial & Industrial Retail Limited Partnership. I’ve written about this extensively before (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) and things were looking up when the PUC (Public Utilities Commission of Texas) formally weighed in against AEP’s brand licensing, but apparently that wasn’t enough to sway a Texas judge in this case that allowing AEP to sell electricity with a formal license that starts with “AEP Texas” and leans heavily on the AEP brand name.

Personally, I think this is a terrible decision, and one that will be confusing and damaging to the retail electricity market in Texas. Like it or not, lots of people don’t understand the Texas electricity market and there might be a perceived advantage in their eyes to getting their electricity from, as they see it, a company that also maintains the poles and power lines. Additionally, the built in brand could be yet another blow and competitive disadvantage for newer electric companies without an incumbent tie-in. And finally, the biggest fear I have, is that this decision paves the way for other TDSPs to get into the retail electricity market with their own brands. Can Centerpoint Retail Electricity and Oncor Retail Electricity be far behind? Or even worse, Centerpoint owns the rights to the old brand “Houston Lighting & Power,” which provided electricity to Houston for 100 years. Looks like the rich keep getting richer, which I think is rarely a good thing for Texas consumers.

2 thoughts on “AEP Gets Approval To Sell Texas Electricity as AEP Retail Energy

  1. well it confused me,,just got of the phone withAEP who provides my wire and pole service and was told they are not the same as AEP retail energy,so what the hell are you talking about and who are they!!

    1. Baber,

      They’re different branches of the same company. Think of Energy Future Holdings, a large company that owns the following subsidiaries: Luminent (power generation), ONCOR (pole and wire service in Dallas), and TXU (retail electricity sales). NRG owns Reliant and Green Mountain Energy.

      AEP (American Electric Power) has subsidiaries such as AEP Texas, and AEP Ohio. They also have AEP Retail Energy. Does AEP Texas is responsible for your Pole and Wire Service. AEP Retail Energy would be a company that sells you electricity, like TXU or Reliant, Champion or StarTex Power. Is that clearer?

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