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Texas to Launch New Power to Choose Website; Will Allow Customer Ratings of REPs

April 30, 2013

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Copyright 2010-13
Reporting by Karen Abbott •

The Public Utility Commission of Texas is planning to launch on May 6 a revamped Power to Choose website, with the revised site notably allowing customers to rate retail electric providers.

Specifically, the ratings component will allow customers to rate a REP on price, billing & payment, customer service, and communications, on a numeric scale with a rating of 5 being the best.

Visitors will need to register to rate a REP; however, registration only requires an email address. There will be a limit on how often a registered user may submit a rating, but it was not clear if different usernames from the same IP address could evade this procedure.

At this time, visitors will only have the option to submit a numeric rating; the site will not initially accept customer comments regarding REPs.

In addition to the organic ratings, the PUC is examining including the JD Power Texas REP satisfaction rankings on Power to Choose as well. The Commission is still in negotiations with JD Power regarding such listings.

With the new ratings listed on Power to Choose, the current complaint information will be moved onto the main PUCT site.

The revised Power to Choose is more focused on the shopping experience, and the only call to action on the new main page will be for the customer to enter their zip code.

After entering their zip code, the customer may view all offers, or answer a series of questions to narrow the offers, with the questions asking customers for their usage level, type of plan desired (fixed, etc.), length of contract desired, etc.

When pricing information is displayed, pricing under all three kWh levels in the EFL (500 kWh, 1,000 kWh and 2,000 kWh) will be displayed, versus the current display which only lists pricing at 1,000 kWh.

A new field will list any monthly fee applicable under the product.

The current Prepaid and Promotional columns are being eliminated. Customers may narrow their selections to prepaid products through a drop down field when prompted. Promotional terms shall now be included in the existing Special Terms "hover" box.

REPs will also have the opportunity to upload a logo to be displayed with their offers.

A mobile version of Power to Choose is also in development.

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