Contrary to claims by certain opponents of electric choice, electric rates in areas of Texas in which customers can choose their electric provider are lower than the old monopoly rates from 2001, and lower than rates in other parts of the state where there is no electric choice, including Austin and San Antonio.

As noted by a few weeks ago, current Texas electric rates for parts open to customer choice are significantly lower than they were 10 years ago, right before competition started.

As to rates in other parts of Texas, the Public Utility Commission publishes a chart providing the average monthly bill for a residential customer each month.  These costs, which are provided for an average customer using 1,000 kWh, can then be translated into per kilowatt-hour rates simply by dividing the costs by 1,000, providing an easy comparison to electric rates available in areas of Texas that have electric choice, such as Dallas and Houston.

Here are the October rates (in cents per kWh) at several Texas utilities which do not offer choice, according to the PUC chart:

Austin Energy: 9.534¢

CPS Energy (San Antonio): 8.847¢

Entergy Texas: 11.469¢

El Paso Electric: 12.215¢

Southwestern Public Service (Xcel Energy): 8.893¢

Sharyland (Cap Rock area): 9.509¢

Most of these rates are substantially higher than the electric rates offered to customers in Dallas and Houston who shop for electricity, and none of the above rates from areas of Texas closed to choice are below the rates in competitive areas.

Specifically, by shopping with, customers can find fixed rates at Oncor in the Dallas area as low as 8.2¢, which is below all of the rates from the non-choice areas listed above.  At CenterPoint in the Houston area, customers can find fixed rates as low as 8.9¢, which is well below the rates from four of the utilities listed above, and about even with the rates from CPS Energy and Xcel Energy.

Although the electric rates of most electric cooperatives in Texas are not tracked by the PUC, many cooperatives have higher electric rates than the rates available in areas of Texas that have electric choice.

For example, at CoServ, which serves the outer areas of Dallas, the current "all-in" residential energy rate for a customer using 1,000 kWh per month is about 13.6¢.  In contrast, as noted above, customers in parts of Dallas open to electric choice can find fixed rates as low as 8.2¢, or 40% below the rate offered by the cooperative.

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