Unlike residential customers, commercial and industrial electric customers in deregulated areas during 2017 paid less, on average.


Texas residential consumers buying electricity from competitive providers historically have paid higher prices, on average, than Texans buying power from providers exempt from competition. The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, a city coalition, has documented this price disparity over the years, and its latest report shows the disparity still exists as of 2017 — albeit at a significantly diminished level.

You can read that full report here.

The city coalition has now gone back through some of the underlying source data, but this time focusing on commercial and industrial electric customers.  The coalition’s supplementary analysis is only for 2017, which was the most recent year for which the relevant data was available.

What TCAP found was that unlike residential customers, commercial and industrial electric customers in deregulated areas during 2017 paid less, on average, than did corresponding customers in areas of Texas exempt from deregulation. You can see the findings in the charts attached to this post.

Under the Texas retail electric deregulation law, consumers living in about 85 percent of the state have a choice of electric providers. Consumers in the remaining 15 percent do not have similar options, and instead must purchase electricity from a single deregulation-exempt provider in their area.

This bifurcated system — with some Texans receiving service in deregulated areas, and others receiving service in areas exempt from deregulation — provides a unique opportunity to compare prices. TCAP conducts its analysis of these price disparities each year and posts its findings on its website.

The charts here show that on average, electricity prices for commercial customers in deregulated areas of Texas during 2017 were 17.6 percent lower than commercial prices in areas exempt from deregulation. Likewise, industrial electric prices that year were 8.5 percent lower in deregulated areas than they were in non-deregulated areas.

By contrast, Texas residential customers paid about 1.9 percent more, on average, under deregulation during 2017, as compared to residential customers in areas of the state exempt from deregulation.

TCAP retrieved the data for its analysis from the United States Energy Information Administration. For more information on TCAP, the data, the methodology, and to see the full report, go the TCAP website here.

— R.A. Dyer