Last week the commissioners of the Texas Public Utility Commission once again complained about retail power suppliers who gamed the ranking system on the state’s retail electric power shopping website http://www.powertochoose.org. This post summarizes the problem and then offers a simple solution. From the Houston Chronicle: Texas’ utility commissioners complained Thursday about confusing or misleading… More Texas PUC continues look at “gaming the rankings” problem on state website. Here’s my solution.
Institutional persistence creates some of the thorniest problems in public policy, including electricity policy. Institutions change more slowly than technology and markets, because of both design and status quo bias, which means that dynamic processes of economic and technological change can make regulatory institutions outdated. This mismatch is showing up right now in the electricity… More My R Street policy study: Electricity market alternatives to regulatory net metering
The Adam Smith Institute has published a research report I wrote for them, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution. From the press release: The report … argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the… More Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution
On Tuesday the Distributed Energy Financial Group released its 2015 report, Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS). The report provides an excellent overview of the current state of retail electricity markets in the 18 jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada that permit at least some degree of retail competition. The… More ABBACUS report highlights benefits of retail electric markets
At the Dallas Morning News James Osborne reports on the controversy over minimum use fees in the competitive retail power market that includes most Texas households. As discussed here at Knowledge Problem last week, retail suppliers sometimes design contract offers to be especially cheap for consumers using 1000 kWh per month. The state’s powertochoose.org website… More Dallas Morning News on competitive retail power market fees and rate designs in Texas
To help provide consumer information on competitive retail offers in the Texas electric power market, the Public Utility Commission of Texas maintains a website at http://www.powertochoose.org. Enter your zip code, click a button, and it will display the top ten (out of nearly 300) offers. Because the table shows the lowest priced offers first, with the average… More Gaming the rankings on the Texas Power to Choose website
The American Public Power Association (APPA) recently published an analysis of retail power prices, but it makes an elementary mistake and gets the conclusion wrong. The APPA analysis, “2014 Retail Electric Rates in Deregulated and Regulated States,” uses U.S. Energy Information Administration data to compare retail electric prices in “deregulated” and “regulated” states. The report itself presents… More Elementary error misleads APPA on electricity pricing in states with retail electric choice