August 01, 2006

Lowest Rates / Higher Bills

“How wonderful”, I thought as I opened my latest bill from CoServ Electric, “Lowest Rates – Nine Months Running!” the insert stated. It went on to say, “That’s right! For the ninth month in a row, CoServ Electric rates are lower than any other Retail Electric Provider (REP) in the North Texas area – including TXU and Reliant (based on August 2005-April 2006, Public Utility Commission of Texas).

Because CoServ Electric is a not-for-profit cooperative, we simply pass on to our members what it costs us to provide electricity to your home or business. We don’t add on additional charges to create profits for shareholders as the REPs do.

Now a claim like that deserves investigating. While local residents have taken to raising their thermostats into the 80’s rather than the 70’s where they used to keep it due to higher energy bills, how much we pay for electricity is a hot topic. Residents have reported bills as high as $300.00 for one month’s electricity, my own bills have yet to reach beyond $185.00 for our two stories house and that’s with the thermostat set at 77°. It wasn't long ago that Arbor Creek residents suffered sticker shock when opening their first summer electric bill from CoServ. Some even thought that their homes were incorrectly wired or "leaking" electricity due to extremely high bills. CoServe sent technicians out to Arbor Creek to check houses for problems and did their best to explain the situation to consumers.

TXU Energy the self-proclaimed pricing leader in North Texas is currently charging 15 cents per kilowatt-hour and the average April price in Texas was in excess of 12 cents. The average for the neighboring states is only 9 cents and the nationwide average is 10.31 cents. TXU representatives claim that providers in other states are currently planning increases, which will soon make their prices higher than those in Texas and that deregulation of the industry has been good for Texas consumers. "Absolutely, studies show we would be paying more if we didn't go into deregulation. And customers now have options, and it means lower prices," TXU spokesperson Sophia Stoller said.


So it seems that CoServ's claims are right on target. Think about that the next time you gasp as you open your electric bill.

4 Comments:

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