Electric Deregulation

Q. What is deregulation?

A. Deregulation (also called customer choice or restructuring) requires some electric utility providers to offer a choice of electricity sources. The power is still distributed by your local electric cooperative.

Q. Is Lamar Electric Cooperative deregulated?

A. No. Lamar Electric is monitoring the successes and failures of deregulation in other areas.

Q. How will deregulation affect me and my cooperative?

A. Cooperatives are not required to deregulate in Texas. But your co-op always has the option to deregulate.

Q. Who decides about deregulation for me and my cooperative?

A. The Texas Electric Choice Act of 1999 allows each cooperative’s democratically elected board of directors to decide if and when to deregulate. Leaving the decision to local constituents makes sense.

Q. Are there advantages to deregulation?

A. That remains to be seen. Even in the state’s metropolitan areas, deregulation has had mixed results for Texas consumers. Cooperatives are vitally interested in protecting their member-consumers from high rates and a degradation of system reliability, particularly for residential, farm, ranch and small business consumers.

Q. If my cooperative eventually deregulates, will I still be a co-op member?

A. Yes, because your local co-op will continue to own the lines that distribute electricity to your home or business. Here are some of the services we would continue to provide:

  • Sell and deliver electricity to the members we serve.
  • Maintain and supervise the lines and poles in our communities.
  • Repair downed lines and restore power after outages.
  • Be available for you to call when you have a problem with an outage, a question about a bill, or any other inquiry about your electric service.
  • Make improvements on the electric system.
  • Maintain a strong local presence in the community.
  • Look for ways to offer you fast, friendly and convenient service.

Q. How can I become involved in policy-making at my cooperative?

A. Attend your co-op’s annual meeting, vote for board members, or run for the board yourself.