Thursday AM December 11th, 2008
by: Ed Mayberry, December 10, 2008 10:12:44 pm
The Energy Retailers Research Consortium issues an annual analysis of retail electricity competition in residential and commercial and industrial markets throughout the United States and Canada. The report says Texas ranks first, according to former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Texas Public Utility Commission Chairman Pat Wood III. He says back in his days at the PUC, they tried to look at things long-term.
"When we were trying to do the Texas market and trying to do the right things to really make the right economic choices — not political choices, but the right good economics, as we were replacing traditional regulation with more market-based method — we really didn't have a whole lot in the world to look at. The UK model was probably (a) pretty good example. New York had gotten out there a little early. California had gotten out there early and was, it was right before, I think, they kinda hit the wall that, really, the Texas law was passed."
Wood says he's proud to see that Texas tops the list in electricity market design.
"You know at the time, when Texas first started, of course, we weren't anywhere near the top of the class. You know, I think it's a pretty good verdict that working together here in Texas, we all got it pretty close to right. Better than the other states, but that's not good enough. Nobody got a hundred, nobody got close. We got I think 80 in residential and 75 in commercial/industrial, and so it shows there's some room for improvement."
Wood says Texas is installing automatic meters, helping customers get greater control over energy use, as well as encouraging methods to help reduce usage.
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.