The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) released it 2017 snapshot of Texas Electricity prices last week. For folks comparing Texas rates and looking for the cheapest electricity plans, the report has some interesting and somewhat nuanced insights.
TCAP’s ELECTRICITY PRICES IN TEXAS main take-aways are:
- Average residential electricity prices in the competitive retail areas of Texas have declined over the past decade by 17.4%. Meanwhile, over the same period, average prices in the regulated parts of the state increased by 5.5%.
- On the whole, prices are lower in the regulated areas but the gap between the two is narrowing. TCAP points out a Rice University study that found prices in both areas to be “roughly equal, in the aggregate”.
- Part of the reason that rates in competitive areas are higher is due to increased Transmission and Distribution Rates (TDSP). TCAP says that “…rates charged by CenterPoint Electric in the Houston area have increased 67.2 percent since 2003.” As of 2017, CenterPoint charges on a Houston bill make up 29% to 50% of the bill. In the Oncor service footprint, charges increased about 66% since 2003 and currently make up 29% to 51.4% of the bill. TDSP rates are regulated and approved by the Texas PUC.
Still, if you’re looking for the cheapest electricity plan around, TCAP’s observation that helps the most is —
“Texans now can find many low-priced individual deals inside deregulated areas that beat prices commonly paid in deregulation-exempt areas. These comparatively low-cost competitive deals are more numerous than in previous years.”
In other words, by shopping to compare electricity rates and learn about REP offers and plans, an informed Texas electricity customer can find the best deal that fits their needs…
—which is precisely why we created Texas Electricity Ratings.