Thought, Legislative and Regulatory Certainty
Pat Wood is Former FERC and Texas PUC Chair. Kenny Mercado is SVP, CenterPoint. Jim Steffes is EVP, Direct Energy. Ken Medlock is Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies, Rice University.
In the February, 2018 issue of PUF, Editor-in-Chief Steve Mitnick discussed the restructuring of the Texas electricity markets with the men who know the story inside out. This issue, he continues that conversation.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: A lot of times, in a big transition, there are winners and losers. I've heard about a number of winners here. Were there any losers?
Pat Wood, former FERC Chair: Yes, for Texas customers who didn't change — who didn't take advantage of it — they are relative losers to those who shopped. Fortunately, that is a pretty small number of customers. With the setup here, the default "Price to Beat" utility-affiliate provided service was not intended to be, for the long term, the best service on the market.
The default service was there for the customers who chose not to choose. They ended up, after probably five years or so, being what I would consider losers. I would go on radio and TV shows, and say if you're paying a stupid rate, don't. Get off it. Ten minutes online. Switch.
As markets have evolved, people could stay with their same provider and switch to a better rate, from that provider, which is what a lot of them did. Some people said, "I am going to stay with company X. I called them, and I got a better rate."