A Little History of Electricity in Texas
Let's start by looking at how we got here. Ever since Texas' first electric power plant went on line in Galveston in 1880, electricity has fueled the growth of the Lone Star State. In the beginning, a patchwork of electrical providers sprang up to accommodate Texas' growing population and power needs. Back then, these electric companies were a one-stop shop. They generated the power, brought it to your house, maintained your electrical service and took care of billing and customer service.
The push for an open, competitive Texas electricity market began in the 1990s and deregulation, as it's called in legal-ese, became official on January 1, 2002. Today, some places still have city-owned electric companies or rural co-ops, but millions of Texans have the power to choose their own electric company. Your company sets up your electric service, buys electricity for you, sends you a bill and takes care of your account.
In spite of these big changes, a few important things haven't changed. Power is still generated the same way, by the same power plants. No matter who your provider is, the same poles, wires and cables still bring the electricity to your house. And the reliability of your electric service doesn't change, either.