[O]ne factor keeping electricity rates in Texas higher than they need to be is the reluctance of consumers to shop around for the best deal. While few businesses can afford to pass up available savings, less than a third of households have bothered to make a change in electricity providers.
With energy prices at record levels, unadjusted for inflation, even a 5 percent savings is worth a little effort. At 5 percent off, a homeowner whose monthly electricity bill averages $300 saves $180 in a year. One provider offers Houstonians a 16 percent savings.
Electricity deregulation is relatively new, and many residents just don’t want to spend the time to shop for electricity that flows from the outlet just the same no matter who provides it. Only the billing will change. But the more Texans switch providers, the more providers will offer lower prices and better service to customers.
Reliant must not be spending enough on advertising with the Chronicle, because the newspaper never targets big local businesses that way.
Since the idealists are so critical of those of us who haven’t switched from Reliant, perhaps each member of the editorial board could tell James T. Campbell the name of his or her electric provider, and he could post it on his blog. After all, if they’re going to be critical of folks for not switching, they should surely let us know where they’re getting good deals.
Incidentally, KTRK-13’s Jeff Ehling ran an informative piece nearly two months ago on shopping for electricity providers.