The city of Houston has a long and rich history. Named after General Sam Houston, it is the largest city in the state of Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. Home to 26 fortune 500 companies, affordable housing, world-class museums and cultural landmarks, it?s no wonder that the city is ranked one of the best places to live in the state of Texas.
Energy Deregulation in Houston
In 2002, Texas passed Senate Bill 7, which gave residents in cities like Houston the option to choose their electricity supplier. While customers continued to receive the delivery of their energy via their utility, the new law forced the market to open to competition.
New suppliers, or Retail Electric Providers (REPs) started to offer more flexible rates, plans and alternatives, which helped to lower the rising cost of energy. Transmission and Distribution Utilities remained responsible for reading meters, responding to emergencies and interruptions in service as well as maintenance.
Houston Electricity Providers
Today, Houston is home to several REPs including,
- Infinite Energy
- Texans Energy
- PennyWise power
- Amigo Energy
- Discount Power
- Our Energy
- 4 Change Energy
- Tara Energy
It?s important to note that not all Texans have the ability to choose their electricity provider. Houston is part of 85% of the state that is deregulated.
Houston?s Energy Industry
This city is at the epicenter of the United States energy industry. Since the discovery of oil in the early 1900?s, Houston has built an impressive energy infrastructure for both national and international market demand.
Approximately 3,600 energy companies are located within an area of Houston known as, The Energy Corridor. It contains 20 million square feet of office buildings and employs a significant population. Many well known companies have their corporate headquarters here including, ExxonMobil, Shell Oil Company, and WorleyParsons.
Other Major Industries in Houston
Chemical ? A world leader in the chemical industry, Houston provides nearly 40% of the United State?s basic chemicals. There are approximately 405 chemical plants, which employ around 36,000 people.
Commercial Shipping ? In 2003, over 6,300 ships handled over 190 million short tons of cargo. Houston?s port is the world?s 6th largest, with two major railways and 150 trucking lines that connect the transportation of chemicals, petroleum, machinery, steel and iron to other U.S states, Canada and Mexico.
Financial Services ? A number of major financial institutions are based out of Houston. These include, American National Insurance Co., Century Development, and JPMorgan Chase.
Other goods and services include:
- Computer Software
- Processed Foods
- Oil and Gas Field Equipment
Quick Houston Stats
Aside from its growing economy and affordability, Houston has some interesting demographics. They include:
Total Population: 2.196 million
Land Area: 657 square miles
Total Number of Households: 815,266
Median Household Income: $45,353
Median Age: 32
City Owned Parks: 293
Labor Force: 1,171,768
Job Growth (in 2014): 4.6%
Cost of Living: 6.6% (above national average)
While Houston?s energy and other markets are important, the city also supports:
- Texas Medical Center (world?s biggest health care and research institution).
- NASA Johnson Space Center and Mission Control Center.
Houston?s Major Utilities
While residents of Houston have the option to purchase their energy supply from REPs, there are still a few utilities that offer the same service:
Reliant Energy ? 1-866-222-7100
CenterPoint Energy ? 1-800-332-7143
Infuse Energy ? 1-844-463-8732
Gexa Energy ? 1-713-470-0400
Frontier Utilities ? 1-866-926-8192
Power Express ? 1-713-423-6970
Spark Energy ? 1-877-547-7275
As a reminder, for any energy emergency service, please contact your utility. REPs are not responsible for dealing with these types of situations.