Texas’ National Price Ranking Has Improved With Competition

The competitive electric market was designed to establish more efficient pricing for electricity service than available through regulation, while giving customers more choices in the market, maintaining electric reliability and spurring investment in needed generation. The competitive electric market in ERCOT has benefited customers, especially given volatile natural gas prices and the rapid load growth in many areas of the state.

Prior to the start of competitive choice in December 2001, Texas had the 14th-highest average electric rates in the country among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. As of August 2009 (latest available data), Texas has the 18th-highest average price, and customers in the competitive areas of the state have the opportunity to choose from a range of offers that meet their needs.

The 12-month-forward natural gas prices of August 2009 were 97 percent higher than December 2001, meaning that those states that more heavily use coal power, such as Oklahoma and New Mexico, continue to have lower electric prices. (Note: Natural gas prices in December 2009 are also about 97 percent higher than December 2001 prices.)

In addition, Texas’ rapid population and economic growth has led to over $40 billion in combined transmission and generation investment over the past 10 years. Meanwhile, states with low or, more recently, negative population growth, such as Louisiana,  are able to continue to use older power plants without generation companies making and recovering capital investments.

  1. Hey man , thanks for writing but this page isn’t vewable when using Mozilla it is showing only half the page.

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