Before deregulation, one company provided all aspects of your electric service: generation, delivery, sales, billing and support. After deregulation, these components were separated. Electricity is now generated in competing power plants all across Texas.
These plants connect to a network called "The Grid." The Grid is managed by the Electric Reliability Council ofThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas Texas, or ERCOT. ERCOT oversees the transmission of electricity from the power plants to the population centers. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for 75 percent of the state.
Once electricity reaches a city, its delivery across wires to your home or business is handled by a single operator. This regulated transmission and delivery provider [TXU Electric Delivery, Centerpoint, AEP Central, AEP North or Texas New Mexico Power] cares for all power lines, meter reading, support and responds to any and all outages.
Finally, the marketing of electricity to consumers (sales, price and billing) is handled by Retail Electric Providers, or "REPs". They are all licensed by the state and include Ambit Energy and companies like TXU, Reliant, CPL, WTU, Green Mountain, Direct Energy, First Choice and other REPs.
So, what's so special about electricity?