The debate over Texas' electric markets

Sunday and today we’ve run stories about why electric deregulation in Texas hasn’t met its promise of lowering prices and what some suggest can be done about it. Here’s Sunday’s story outlining the problem (see the links to various graphics and profiles of customers) and Monday’s story about some possible ways to improve the system.
Readers have already had a lot to say about energy prices in Texas, but I’d be particularly interested in hearing about ways people think the system can be improved, or if it needs to be changed at all and simply should be given more time. So let us know what you think.
Many readers have said they’d like to know how the rates in Houston and Dallas compare to regulated parts of the state. We created a small chart that was posted online but it couldn’t fit into the paper on Sunday, so here it is in case you missed it.

COMPETITIVE PRICES
Electric rates per kilowatt hour are typically higher in deregulated parts of Texas than in electric cooperatives and cities like Austin and San Antonio with municipal utilities.
Regulated
• Austin: 9.32 cents
• San Antonio: 8.62 cents
• Entergy-Texas (Woodlands/Beaumont): 11.33 cents
• Pedernales Electric Cooperative: 10.67 cents
Unregulated
• Houston: Range 11.1 – 14.5 cents; average 12.65 cents
• Dallas-Fort Worth: Range 10.7 -14.3 cents; average 12.18 cents
September prices, based on 1,000 kilowatt hours monthly use, including fees. Unregulated prices are for 12-month fixed plans. Lower rates are available on month-to-month plans.
Source: Public Utility Commission, utilities

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