Brazos County is one of the regions in Texas that has not yet deregulated their electric market. Today, approximately 85% of energy consumers in Texas have the ability to choose their retail energy supplier. Deregulated cities in Texas include Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Abilene, Corpus Christi, Galveston, McAllen, and Waco.
College station’s electric rate is 12.54 cents per kWh, which is 22.8% higher than the rate charged by Bryan Texas Utilities*. When compared against the deregulated areas in the state, residents in College Station pay the highest rate.
Pennywise Power, which operates in the DFW region, sells electricity at a rate of 8.98 cents per kWh. Residents would have to pay 39.6% more to use the same amount of electricity in College Station.
College Station uses the additional revenue billed for utilities to fund the general budget. In the FY 2021 budget the city will transfer $14.9 million to the general fund, an increase of 14.2% over the previous year.
What is deregulation? (from electricchoice.com)
On January 1, 2002, the Texas State Legislature decided to deregulate the electricity industry and open up the supply of electricity to competition. Deregulation forced utilities in Texas to change their existing structure. Instead of managing the entire electricity process from generation to customer service, they now had to separate their business into three parts:
- Retail Electric Providers – These organizations must successfully register with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and are responsible for the supply of energy to consumers. Electricity customers in deregulated energy areas of Texas have the option to choose their Retail Electric Provider.
- Distribution and Transmission (utility company) – Remain regulated. These companies are responsible for the delivery of electricity as well as the maintenance of poles and wires.
- Power Generation – These companies must be registered with the Public Utility Commission of Texas. They must also abide by outlined market rules. They are responsible for the generation of electricity.
*Based on Summer Rates at 2000kWh
September 2020 Rates https://www.puc.texas.gov/industry/electric/rates/RESrate.aspx