Texas is now an electric supply company’s playground. It wasn’t always that way. Ambit Energy and others waited for a few years for the idea of supply companies became universally accepted. Houston Mayor Bill White urged people to make a switch to energy providers. He said it doesn’t matter who you get your power from the reliability will not be sacrificed.
When deregulation started in Houston, Reliant Energy and Center point energy was established as two separate companies, one sells power and the other one delivers it. It is Center Point that owns the lines, responsible for its maintenance and reads your meter. The reading is then sent to your energy provider who bills you. It is also Center Point who restores power supply come storm time if there are any interruptions or problems with maintenance. All energy providers put their power on the Texas grid where it is transmitted to their homes which is used by consumers; meaning only one source, just different providers.
Every market will go through this acceptance period where there will be a slow acceptance period until consumers truly understand it. In the meantime, the ignorance of consumers, largely caused by poor explanations, will cost those consumers hundreds or thousands of dollars by the time some of them choose a supply company.
Why is this deregulation thing beneficial to consumers? Because with several power providers competing for better services (see Deregulation), the market moved to cheaper electric bills, prompt and effective customer service, as well as discount packages and earning opportunities; consumers can save thousands of dollars and get better buying power.
Switching to independent power providers does not jeopardize the reliability of your power supply. Houston Mayor urged his constituents to make the switch believing that this will help save a lot of money. Since deregulation started several years ago, only about 25% had switched in the first 4 years and about 75% out there are yet to leave their expensive power provider; a big market for power providers to convince and serve.
This leaves a huge market opportunity in other areas of the country as the newer states open. Unfortunately for many, it requires patience and perseverance. It took several years for Texas to become a wide open market where consumers now shop for suppliers. With Ambit Energy, I get calls every day from Texas where people are either shopping for a good price or are asking because of excellent word of mouth customer satisfaction. It will be several years before some states see Texas’ level of acceptance. Customer acceptance will be sped up or slowed down based on how companies explain this new market. Some are not so nice, unfortunately. This electric market is so huge that a company that stresses ‘integrity before growth,’ a motto at Ambit, will always stay in a strong position.