Does Texas Need New Laws To Regulate Electricity?

Why a Dallas Journalist Is Calling For Reform

By David Brown and Alain StephensFebruary 10, 2015 3:12 pm

If you live in Texas, odds are, your thermostat is being put to good use. Whether it’s being used to stay toasty during plunging cold fronts or stay cool in the long scorching summers – many Texans find it necessary to keep their homes powered. This coupled with televisions, computers, and refrigerators and you could very well be staring at a steep electric bill by months end. According to The Watchdog, a column in the Dallas Morning News, the number one consumer problem is shopping for electricity. In fact, high electricity bills have been such an issue that journalist, Dave Lieber, journalist for the Watchdog column, has been inundated with mail from people looking for an answer – and he just might have one.

Texas generates more wind power than any other state and recent deregulations of competition were supposed to bring prices down.

“In DFW, there are probably 50 or 60 electric companies that we have to choose from and it’s not so much the high prices, because prices have dropped in the last few years, as the deceptive marketing practices that permeate the entire industry,” Lieber says.

Within the fine, fine print of these electric contracts, are hidden fees and charges.

“It’s really ridiculous and it’s not fair to consumers because we are used to going in and seeing apples at 69 cents a pound and that’s the prices. With electricity, there are ten different things that could go wrong,” Lieber says.

When asked on how he suggests consumers aid in fixing the problem, Lieber says people need to take bring it to their elected officials.

“I’m asking the public to contact their legislators and ask them to introduce the Retail Electricity Reform Act of 2015. If someone does introduce such a bill, we will all write to that person, that sponsor, and say ‘we’re with you, how can we help?’ And mobilizing people because old-fashioned people power still sometimes works. I believe in it. I just have to do something about it, because if I don’t, I don’t think anybody else will because they are scared of the industry. This is an opportunity for me to do something for Texas.”