One desired effect of the competition is lower electricity rates. In the first few years after the deregulation in 2002, the residential rate for electricity increased seven times, with the price to beat at around 15 cents per kilowatt hour (as of July 26, 2006) in 2006. However, while prices to customers increased 43% from 2002 to 2004, the costs of inputs rose faster, by 63%, showing that not all increases have been borne by consumers. (See Competition and entry of new firms above for discussion on the relationship between retail prices, inputs, and investment.)
Fixed-rate supply plans offer price-protected supply rates for the length of a term agreement. The price per kilowatt hour (kWh) will remain the same throughout your term, even if the market price fluctuates. A fixed-rate supply plan can range from three months to five years, so it’s important to find the term length that works best for your situation.
Best Energy Company is a company that cares, donating 4 percent of their annual profits to charities each year. New customers can choose to support one of four charities when they sign up. Their featured plan, Generous Saver 36, offers tiered energy use rates. Not including the standard Power Company Near Me TDU charges, it starts at 8.8 cents per kWh up to 1000 kWh. Customers receive a $25 bill credit when they use 1000 kWh, and they have the option of 100 percent renewable generation. There is an early termination fee of $20 for each remaining month of the contract.
In this free market competing electricity retailers buy electricity wholesale from private power generators to sell at retail to around 85% of Texas residents. The partnership between generators and retailers is governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which attempts to balance the power grid’s electricity supply and demand by purchasing small amounts of electricity at 15-minute intervals throughout the day.