A Letter from the President: Addressing Concerns Over Market Transparency

In recent weeks, there has been a rise in media coverage addressing concerns with high residential electricity rates and the need for more transparency regarding certain competitive energy offerings by retail electric providers.  Many of the stories have focused on the frustration felt by consumers over confusing or misleading multi-tiered pricing offers, particularly so-called “fixed rate” offerings, which primarily target residential energy buyers.

These news stories, and other reports that have been brought to the attention of the Texas PUC, were initially motivated by concerns of lower supply margins and higher temperatures perpetuating increased prices across the region. These stories underscore the importance of consumers having access to reliable, clear, and transparent information when making choices for competitive energy.  .

As you know, TEPA was founded to promote a standardized code of conduct among brokers and consultants who specialize in providing market knowledge to energy consumers. Our association seeks to help consumers make the best procurement choices possible for their homes and businesses. TEPA believes these standards for transacting on behalf of energy consumers have helped support the development of a more robust competitive energy marketplace and they offer consumers better information and guidance when they are making choices regarding their energy providers.

We also believe that fair retail competition is in the best interest of consumers, and we support innovation, new products and business models that simplify the energy procurement process.  Further, we believe strongly that transparency runs in tandem with competition and innovation, and that all customers must be given the “complete picture” when they negotiate their power contract.

To that end, TEPA is seeking your input on how we, as a collective body of energy professionals, can take a more proactive approach in creating greater transparency for consumers. We welcome your thoughts, suggestions and feedback as we try to better understand what initiatives and best practices your company is planning, or has in place, to help consumers better understand the rates and fees associated with their energy contracts.

Our goal is to incorporate your ideas into a letter that will be shared with our members, as well as policy makers. We hope to improve transparency and accountability for marketplace participants and consumers, and to help regulators and policy makers better understand how TEPA members are providing real solutions that support fair and robust competitive choice for consumers in Texas.

Please feel free to reach out to me via email ASB@CSDEnergy.com or phone (832) 754-4883, to discuss your thoughts on how we can help positively shape the future of this industry. You can also read our most recent TEPA brochure that offers additional insight into the benefits of being a TEPA member, as well as our Guiding Principles. You can view or print the brochure by clicking on the PDF link below.  Thank you, and I look forward to your input.

Best regards,

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Andrew Barth
President, National TEPA Board