Overview (What is Senate Bill 7?) On June 18, 1999 Gov. George W Bush signed Senate Bill 7 to introduce retail competition in the electric utility industry to Texas. The new law is designed to give customers greater control and may lower the price of electricity over time, make new service products available, while assuring the same reliable service.
Customers will be able to "shop" for electricity just as they would shop for groceries, automobiles or apparel. Although Texas electric rates are average, annual electric bills are among the highest in the nation because of heavy air conditioning use in the long, hot, summer months. Senate Bill 7 allows municipal and cooperative electric systems the choice of if and when to join the new market.
Public Utility Commission Key Dates
January 2000 - Investor owned utilities file business separation plans.
September 2000 - PUC begins certifying retail electric providers.
June 1, 2001 - Pilot program begins with investor owned utilities.
January 1, 2002 - Retail choice begins. The "Price to Beat" is established, which lowers rates by six percent for residential and small commercial customers of investor owned utilities. You can choose your electric provider, and possibly save even more.
The Restructured Market
The "Opt-In" Decision For Municipals and Cooperatives
Wait and opt-in later?
Opting in is an irrevocable decision
Weatherford municipal utility board has not chosen to "opt-in" at this time.
None of the 73 municipal electric systems in TPPA have chosen to "opt-in" at this time.