Texas Coalition for Affordable Power Says Texas Prices Higher Under Deregulation Email
This Story February 15, 2011
As is the case every legislative session, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power
(formerly the Cities Aggregation Power Project and the South Texas Aggregation Project),
this time in concert with the Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor, has put
out yet another report on the ERCOT market, alleging that deregulation has raised
The report, titled The Story of ERCOT, largely relies of Energy Information Administration
Form 826 and 861 data. However, Form 861 data, which allows the pricing breakdown
between areas within ERCOT with and without customer choice, is only available through
year-end 2009. Based on such data, TCAP claimed that Texans, “served by deregulated
providers consistently pay more for electricity than Texans served by non-deregulated
The Association of Electric Companies of Texas responded by citing EIA Form 826 data
(as of September 2010, the most recent data used in several places in the TCAP report)
to show that Texas' national price ranking has improved since 2001. Additionally,
again using September 2010 data, the lowest all-in, 12-month fixed price from REPs
in nearly all service areas was below 9¢/kWh, while the U.S. average all-in price
was about 12¢/kWh.
As of September 2010, most cooperatives were charging rates in excess of 10¢/kWh
for residential service, while many 12-month fixed REP prices were below this threshold.
Even the average of all fixed offers from REPs across the service areas (in the
10¢ range) were lower than most cooperative rates, which generally neared or exceeded 12¢.
AECT also cited, using January 2011 REP rates, bill decreases of 20-68% at CenterPoint
and 22-61% at Oncor versus the last regulated prices as of December 2001, with savings
depending on which rate plan the customer may currently be on.
Aside from its pricing review, the TCAP report also purports to have "found" a "loophole"
that, "allows some electric generation companies to engage in anti-competitive activities."
Ostensibly this refers to the small-fish-swim-free exemption (ostensibly because
despite 110 pages, the report does not address the genesis or rationale for the rule,
its importance in an energy-only market where load is not saddled with administrative
capacity payments, or the specific Substantive Rule for this "loophole").