In 2002 the Texas Senate approved a bill to allow the deregulation of electricity. This deregulation would be phased in over the next several years, and today there are certain districts that still have regulated electricity such as the area surrounding Austin. However, deregulation has brought with it a decrease in the price of electricity where permitted. Initially, the price of electricity increased by 43% to consumers but over time that amount dropped and now the price of regulated electricity is about the same or slightly less than deregulated prices.
It seems as though deregulation has served its purpose by attracting many different competitors to the market. This market has opened up thousands of new jobs to the Texas economy and has helped improve the overall cost of electricity throughout the state. By 2011 deregulated areas of Texas were receiving a 35% discount on their power while regulated Austin is still paying for outdated technology and residents have little option but to keep what they have.
In addition to the impact on prices, prepaid electricity and deregulation has had an impact on the environment. While not the results many environmentalists were hoping for, a marked difference is taking place. Because there are so many energy opportunities for the market, companies invested in wind turbines and they are now bringing their environmentally friendly energy to Texas. This has a positive impact on the environment even though Texas has the greatest amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions.
In the end prepaid electricity and a deregulated market leave you, the consumer, with plenty of options to choose from. Prepaid electricity comes with the benefit of paying as you go and only paying for the electricity you use. With regulated electricity options you are forced to receive your power needs directly from the cities utility company with no other option. If you are moving to Texas your best bet is to comparison shop to decide on the right electricity company for you and your family.