I ran across another article talking about some more changes the PUC has implemented that should benefit customers in deregulated energy markets. A few days ago I linked to and discusses an article that spoke about how the PUC approved some changes that would make it easier to shop and switch electricity providers without incurring any secret charges or accidentally extend your contracts. Well, on the heels of that some more changes are that are worth noting showed up today.
So, lets take a quick look at the changes. The most important one is that electricity providers will now be required to send out notices two weeks in advance prior to a customer’s contract expiration, and the envelope will explicitly say Contract Expiration Notice. So no more contracts rolling over without customers noticing anything. This will give customers more opportunity to shop for new energy providers. This combined with the other new rule I blogged about in regard to not being charged any extra charges for meter reading and relaxed rules in regards to switching should really allow people to maximize the opportunities in the deregulated Texas electricity market.
Another piece of news worth mentioning in the article was the requirements to be a new REP (Retail Electricity Provider) in the market. After last summer’s skyrocketing prices and the general volatility of the electricity market (when many REPs went out of business) another rule was implemented to ensure that incoming REPs have to be on sounder financial ground. Basically, the gist is that REPs will have to keep a much higher line of credit and a larger store of cash on hand. The idea for this was to prevent a summer like last one, where lots of REPs went out of business when the market prices soared, and customers were forced into service with new electricity providers, which typically charged them much higher rates.
It’s been a busy week for big changes in the PUC, and almost all of them will benefit the consumer in pretty substantial ways.