New TX Energy Law To Impact Customers

by | May 7, 2021 | Industry News

A New Texas energy law will ban one kind of plan and limit retailers options when contracts end. Find out how this could effect your Texas electric rates!

Winter Storm Uri certainly showed everyone the big problems with the Texas electricity market. But it’s likely that the new energy law hot footing it through the legislature will help better protect electricity customers.

Will Texas Ban Electricity Plans Like Griddy?

Few things have bipartisan support like never letting the power outages from Winter Storm Uri ever happen again. As Texas’s political leaders decide how to best do this, one piece of legislation is flying through the Capitol. House Bill 16 proposes banning wholesale pass-through electric products like those offered by now-bankrupt Griddy. This new energy law will impact customers by narrowing electricity plan choices and protecting them from momentary price spikes. 

HB16 has passed the Texas House on third reading with more than three-quarters of the chamber approving. The measure then moved to the Senate and, after some amendments, it passed unanimously. The bill will go to a conference committee to iron out the differences between the House and Senate. After that, the bill will go to Governor Greg Abbott for signature.  

No More Wholesale Plans

If passed and signed by Governor Abbott, HB 16 will end wholesale pass-through electric products. Retailer Griddy sold these products in the deregulated Texas electricity market. During the throes of the Winter Storm Uri, Griddy customers saw astronomical price spikes. This happened because customers’ plans mirrored the wild pricing that changed hour-by-hour. 

Texas electricity customers will still have access to variable rate electricity plans. However, the hourly price changes will be no more. Variable rate electricity plans change their price on a monthly basis. Most customers choose fixed rate electricity plans which have consistent pricing through the contract term.   

Standardizing the Default Product After a Contract

When your electricity plan contract ends, your retail electricity provider decides what happens next. The Senate version of HB16 limits what retailers can do if a customer’s contract ends without choosing a new plan. In that case, the retailer can only offer a month-to-month product with clear terms the average customer can understand. Additionally, companies would also have to explain their default renewal terms when you sign up for your plan of choice. 

The warning customers receive before a contract expires would also change under the Senate version of HB16. Instead of one renewal notice, customers would receive three according to timeframes and methods outlined in the bill. 

More Protection for Texas Electricity Customers

It’s encouraging to see Texas legislators acting quickly after the suffering during Winter Storm Uri. If HB 16 passes it will better protect consumers from unforeseeable price surges. You can protect yourself from high electricity prices with the best power plan to suit your needs. If you need a new electricity plan, shop for a wide range of plans to fit most customers. 

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