Pro-competition forces get ready for next round

(AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Looks like it’s never too early to get ready for the next Texas legislative session.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation has packaged a recent round of data to create a mini-report to support their ongoing argument electric deregulation in Texas is working for consumers. It’s a 16-page report of simple-to-grasp charts, so it’s a quick read you can find here.
In a nutshell:
we have more choices
our rates aren’t as bad vs. other states
• and you can find rates lower than deregulation.
Why do this report now? TPPF says despite 2007 research that “consistently showed that the Texas electric market was the most successful example of deregulation of an electric market in the United States, if not the world” ….. “calls for re-regulation of the Texas electric market in 2007 seemed to have won the day.”

“Now, with two years of full deregulation before the next legislative session — the last retail price regulations did not expire until December 31, 2006 — Texans have the opportunity to get a clear picture of the effects of deregulation.”

The arguments they make more specifically:
• “There are now 28 providers on average in each region of the state offering nearly 100 different rate plans.”
• Texas’ average residential electric rates have improved compared to other states from 2001 through 2007 (we were the 14th highest, now we’re the 15th).
• The average competitive offer in Texas in January was only 2.9 percent higher than the inflation-adjusted regulated rate in 2001. And the average lowest offer is 17.9 percent below the former regulated rate (note: those are month-to-month plans).
• Incumbent retailers in each market (i.e. Reliant in Houston, TXU in Dallas, etc.) have seen their market share shrink between 53 and 78 percent.
• The state has completed $20 billion in new power plant construciton since deregulation started and another $25 billion is planned.
What do you think of their arguments?