Unregulated Texas Electric Companies Jack Up Bills
‘This week, a pro-consumer group released a damning report on the failures of the (Public) Utility Commission to protect Texans who shop for electricity.
The report from an Austin-based group called Texas ROSE — Texas Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy — states, “The PUC has not done an adequate job of educating the public or the Texas Legislature” about fees charged by electricity companies.
Texas ROSE’s study found 28 different fees that are used by some electricity companies.
Executive Director Pamela Ferris says, “Since Texas consumers are facing increased electric bills due to rising costs and wildly fluctuating temperatures, it is more critical than ever that they have clear and accurate information regarding their residential electricity plans.”
Her report says the UC’s failures do not stop with its poorly-managed shopping website, PowerToChoose.org.
The UC has not standardized the names of the fees so consumers can properly shop and compare, the report states.
And it confirms my complaints that the UC has not “reported the existence, let alone the extent” of these annoying markups to the Legislature.
The report calls it “crucial” that the UC “improve their oversight.” The fees, it says, are “virtually unchecked” by regulators and, sometimes, in violation of state law.
Because of these fees, “there was no practical way for the average consumer to compare the actual cost of the service to the amount they are being charged.”’