Overview (What Is Senate Bill 7?)

On June 18, 1999 Gov. George W. Bush signed Senate Bill 7 to introduce retail competition in the electric utility industry to Texas. The new law is designed to give customers greater control and may lower the price of electricity over time, make new service products available, while assuring the same reliable service.

Customers will be able to "shop" for electricity just as they would shop for groceries, automobiles or apparel. Although Texas electric rates are average, annual electric bills are among the highest in the nation because of heavy air conditioning use in the long, hot, summer months. Senate Bill 7 allows municipal and cooperative electric systems the choice of if and when to join the new market. 

Restructured Market

Diagram Showing the Flow of Regulated Utility Transmission and Distribution

The "Opt-in" Decision for Municipals and Cooperatives
  • Opt-In now?
  • Wait and opt-in later?
  • Never opt-in?
  • Opting in is an irrevocable decision
  • Brady City Council has not chosen to "opt-in" at this time.
  • None of the 72 municipal electric systems in TPPA have chosen to "opt-in" at this time.
Public Power Mission Statement
The mission of municipally owned electric utilities is to provide value to their communities. This value premise makes public power systems fundamentally different from all other electric utilities.
Municipal utilities are locally owned and managed, with rates and policies set by city councils or citizen boards. On average, municipal utility rates including water, sewer, gas, and trash services are among the lowest in the state. In addition, municipal utility revenues stay in the local community, helping to keep other taxes lower. A portion of these revenues are dedicated to fund general municipal services like public safety, parks and libraries.