LOCAL Houston | The City Guide May 2016 - Page 66

ELECTRICITY 101: WHAT EVERY HOUSTONIAN NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING ELECTRICITY IN TEXAS’ DEREGULATED MARKET Let’s face it: Buying electricity is not sexy. But your buying decision can have a big impact on your finances (especially in Houston’s hot summers). Since 2002, most of Texas – and most of Houston – has enjoyed a deregulated electricity market, where consumers buy the commodity from competitive suppliers rather than their local utility companies. For the most part, this arrangement has proven beneficial for end users. According to a survey released in 2015 by the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, Texans in deregulated areas pay lower electric bills on average than most Americans, and many are finding individual deals that are cheaper than those ٙ