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Customers still pay more for electricity in deregulated markets

Texans are still waiting to see the benefits of the deregulated electricity market, according to a study by the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power.

Turns out, the private sector can’t always do things better than the government.

Houstonians may be accustomed to shopping for electricity and choosing a provider, but in San Antonio and Austin, consumers have no choice. And for the last 13 years, they’ve paid consistently less for their electricity, according to the coalition.

The coalition, which lobbies for cheaper electricity, estimates that Texans would have saved $23 billion if they had paid the same electricity rates as those charged by public utilities. That means for all the time you spend online choosing a retail electricity provider, you’re still going to pay more than someone who has no choice but to sign up for with a city utility.

Apparently, it is true that the government can do things better than the private sector. A logical analysis would reach that conclusion because public utilities don’t have to make as high a profit as a private company.

Keep that in mind the next time someone pitches the benefits of schools operated by for-profit corporations.

The cat is out of the bag when it comes to electricity, though, so there is no turning back to public utilities in most of the state. The electric power industry has one of the most powerful lobbies in Austin, and conservatives see nothing wrong with making consumers pay more to have a so-called free market

Read full article at The Houston Chronicle