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80% of Businesses Choose Competitive Electricity Retailers in Deregulated Areas

About 17.1 million North American residential consumers (44 percent of those eligible) and most large business consumers (80 percent) have exercised their right to choose their own electric retail service providers, according to the Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice (ABACCUS), a report released by the Houston-based consulting firm Distributed Energy Financial Group (DEFG).

About 39.2 million electricity customers in North America live in states and provinces that make them eligible to shop for electric services and savings, according to lead author of the report and DEFG Managing Partner Nat Treadway.

Treadway identified Texas as the best state for power shopping for the eighth consecutive year– a state where “the best deals for residential consumers reveal commodity prices far below the regulated rates of 15 or even 20 years ago.” In Texas today, he said, the researchers found that all eligible residential customers are taking competitive electric service – 64 percent of them, from companies other than their original, incumbent electric provider.

“A key feature of choice relates to electric price risk,” Treadway stated. “Most consumers lock in a price that is not subject to market volatility or changes in regulatory decisions. Others prefer bargain-shopping, and they willingly and frequently switch providers.”

“After 15 years, it is now crystal clear that Texans can save money under retail electric competition,” agreed Donna Nelson, chairman of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas. “When customers take time to shop for the best value, they can find a rate that is actually lower than the regulated rates they were paying when they had no choice.”

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