Power costs more in deregulated areas, study says

TEXAS - A nonprofit coalition of municipalities says a study it conducted found that Texans who live in cities where electricity rates are still regulated pay less for power than do those who live in areas with deregulation.

The Texas Coalition of Cities for Utility Issues said its study found that people living in areas served by municipal power companies and co-operatives have the lowest electricity prices in the state.

"This report shows that Texans in many deregulated areas can shop around all they like, and still never find the deals available to ratepayers in Austin, San Antonio and elsewhere," TCCUI chairman Don Knight said in a story for the online edition of the Austin American-Statesman.

The coalition's study compared the lowest rates offered by the competitive electric providers serving North Texas as well as 22 municipally owned utilities, cooperatives and investor-owned utilities that operate outside competition. The study focused on rates from September.

Tom Stewart, a spokesman for TXU Energy, noted that some of the competitive electricity companies had dropped their prices since the survey was completed, The Dallas Morning News reported in its online edition.

Texas adopted an electric deregulation law in 1999.


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