Electric customers in San Antonio, who do not have the ability to choose their electricity provider, are missing out on the savings most Texas electric customers are enjoying due to competition in the electric industry, says a story from the San Antonio Business Journal.

"Texans are reaping the benefits from being in the most successful competitive electric market in North America," the Business Journal says.

"However, San Antonio ratepayers have yet to get in on the action. That's because the City of San Antonio and a host of other municipalities have not opened their retail electric markets to competition," the Business Journal notes.

And electric rates in San Antonio are higher than in parts of Texas open to electric choice, such as Dallas and Houston.

According to data from the Public Utility Commission, a residential customer using 1,000 kWh/month in San Antonio is paying 9.3¢ per kWh.

In Dallas (at Oncor), electric rates are only 6¢ to 7¢, with certain rate plans even lower.  In Houston (at CenterPoint), electric rates are only 7¢ to 8¢, again with certain rate plans even lower.

Additionally, Texas electric rates in areas open to competition are lower than they were before competition started in January 2002.  Electric rates in Dallas and CenterPoint at the end of 2001 under the monopoly system, where everyone had to buy power from the monopoly utility, were about 10¢ per kWh (and that's without adjusting for inflation).

That means Texas electric rates have fallen 30-40% since customers were given the ability to choose their electric provider.  It's proof that when energy companies have to compete for your business, they are forced to offer the lowest rates.

Unfortunately, customers in San Antonio, Austin, and even parts of the Metroplex served by cooperatives (like CoServ) do not have a choice when it comes to their electric provider, and are therefore paying more for electricity than they need to.