Retail electric brokers connect buyers with sellers of electricity. While not necessary for every customer, some customers use brokers and are willing to pay for this service. Many non-residential electric customers use brokers as an alternative to develop in-house expertise to negotiate a retail electric contract. These can be commercial and industrial business owners, but can also include churches, schools, and other community organizations.
This type of services allows customers to achieve lower rates but can also expose them to more financial risk. Customers depend on the retail electric broker’s energy expertise, so when a retail electric broker offers bad advice, it is the customer who ultimately pays the price.
To ensure that customers who use a retail electric broker have adequate consumer protections, Texas`s state legislature now requires electricity brokers to register with the state Public Utility Commission.
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