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Good News Dallas
by Special to    Fri, Oct 28, 2005, 03:58 PM


By a vote of 3 to 0 the Texas Public Utilities Commission today voted to allow TXU to raise its rates on residential electricity by 24%. This will represent an increase of about 34% from what North Texas consumers were paying last year. Half of the increase will take affect in December and the other half in January. TXU has also agreed to allow its residential and small business consumers to lock-in their January rate for all of 2006.

CDocuments and SettingsMOMMYMy DocumentsDallasBlog.comChoose.gifThe question now facing consumers is whether or not to switch to another provider. As the incumbent provider the TXU price is set by the PUC and is called “the price to beat.” That means it is the price that other providers offerings are compared with. As of today the TXU or “price to beat” stands at $0.121 per kilowatt hour. Sixteen companies compete with TXU in North Texas. The most expensive is Entergy Solutions at $0.171 per kilowatt hour while the cheapest is Gexa at $0.101 per kilowatt hour. Four other provides are at least a bit lower than TXU.

Although Texans have had the opportunity to switch utilities for two years now, they have not rushed to do so. Regulators, and legislative backers of deregulation, believe that the idea of switching electric utilities is counterintuitive to most consumers who don’t understand that nothing really happens other than they get a bill from a different company and pay a different rate. PUC Chairman Paul Hudson believes that the current run-up in energy costs may at last drive Texans to take advantage of competition.

The PUC maintains a Web site called "power to choose" intended to inform consumers about their choices and competitive rates between providers.

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