Consumer complaints to the Texas Public Utility Commission about electric service have skyrocketed since deregulation in 2002, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power said Monday.
In the four years before retail electric deregulation, there were fewer than 2,100 complaints a year, the coalition said. But for 2002-10, complaints averaged more than 12,000 annually, it said.
The coalition, which includes about 150 cities that buy electricity via the deregulated market, announced its findings at www.rechargetexas.com. The coalition said "the most common complaint relates to billing," but many complaints are service-related.
"We may have dozens of companies competing for customers under the state's electric deregulation law, but unfortunately that has not translated into better service," Jay Doegey, coalition president and city attorney for Arlington, said in a statement. "Contract confusion, high prices and other problems unfortunately are all too commonplace."
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