Good News for Electric Rates

May 17, 2009

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Jack Z. Smith

Retail electric rates available to North Texans in the deregulated market are now predominantly below 12 cents per kilowatt hour, a review of 102 rate plans on a Texas Public Utility Commission Web site shows.

But rates still vary dramatically, from 9 cents to 16.9 cents per kwh, according to data on the Web site Friday.

A Star-Telegram check showed that 72 percent of the plans — 73 out of 102 — are below 12 cents. Forty-seven plans, or nearly half, have rates below 11 cents. Eight plans, all with month-to-month variable rates, are below 10 cents.

The lowest rate, at 9 cents, is the Tex Flex Plan offered by Gateway Power Services.

Rates generally have fallen in recent months as a result of the decline in prices for natural gas, which is burned to generate much of the electricity produced in Texas.

Natural gas futures for June delivery fell 4.9 percent this past week, settling Friday at $4.098 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gas futures had risen 22 percent in the prior week.