Electricity Competition, Innovation Contributes to Business Facility Investments

Fconstruction-400pxor the third year in a row, Texas was No. 1 among all states in 2015 for business facility investments, according to Site Selection magazine. It’s a great accomplishment, particularly because the list only considers investments that involve at least $1 million in capital, 20 new jobs and 20,000 square feet of new space.

From the Statehouse to main street chambers of commerce, those of us involved in attracting business investments and providing services know that Texas’ favorable tax environment and the abundance of affordable labor are big drivers in siting and expansion decisions.

With energy representing a significant business cost, Texas’ innovative and vibrant electricity market, its highly dependable generation and distribution networks and competitively priced renewable resources all are additional factors that have contributed to Texas’ success in securing business facility investments.

Just more than a dozen U.S. states have policies that allow business owners to work directly with electricity providers, and only Texas’ retail electricity market is accessible to all businesses that are in areas open to competition. That direct negotiation opens the door for highly tailored contracts that meet each business’ unique needs, as well as its individual tolerance for risk in electricity spending.

In addition to competitive commodity pricing, the level of competition to serve a business’ electricity needs has generated innovative services that deliver further benefits. For example, some of the strongest retail electricity providers work very closely with business customers to develop co-marketing campaigns that bring tremendous value. Others provide investment and expert advice for energy efficiency projects that provide sustainable solutions and economic savings.

Competitively priced renewable electricity also is a key factor in siting and expansion decisions because it provides the positive effects of a “green halo” without driving up underlying costs.

TXU Energy proudly powers thousands of Texas businesses, and we take great pride in providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to our customers.


Gabriel Castro

Gabriel Castro, TXU Energy vice president of business markets

Castro is vice president of business markets for TXU Energy. He is a native Texan who has worked in the state’s energy sector for more than 20 years.

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Mar. 15, 2016

ERCOT's February Demand and Energy Report; EIA reports declining power sales; DOE makes a case for nuclear energy

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • ERCOT released February’s monthly Demand and Energy report which indicated that electricity demand decreased during the month. However, wind energy increased to supply one out of every 5 MW of energy in February. Of ERCOT’s total energy last month, wind comprised nearly 20 percent of the total energy behind natural gas which made up 43.2 percent of the demand and coal which supplied 21.2 percent.
  • The EIA reports that U.S. power sales have fallen for the fifth time in the past eight years. Government analysts believe that energy efficient appliances and light bulbs combined with slowing economic growth and a decline in manufacturing in the U.S. are impacting the industry.
  • Speaking with a group of clean-energy business leaders in San Diego, California, Franklin Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy at the DOE states “We need a nuclear component…” With nuclear energy providing 19 percent of the country’s electric generation, this power source’s steady flow serves a role in powering the country.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Feb. 26, 2016

Water heaters and thermal batteries; Energy efficient window coating under development

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • Water heaters are turning “grid interactive” and feeding excess capacity into the larger system. The electric water heater would serve the home as a pre-installed thermal battery that heats the water at night when both cost and usage is low; this could save the homeowner close to $200 annually. Currently, there are more than 50 million homes across the U.S. and Canada with an electric water heater.
  • Scientists at the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing a polymer heat-reflective coating to improve energy efficiency on windows, both commercial and residential. It is estimated that 10 percent of the energy used in buildings can be attributed to window performance, a $50 billion expense.

Connecting Consumers to Solar Power in Texas

TXU Energy has one of the most comprehensive solar programs in the country

The Texas sun is shining bright and thanks to TXU Energy, consumers have access to a wide range of solar options to power their homes and businesses.

sp_los_altos_2 copyAccording to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas had 341 megawatts of utility-scale solar generation capacity at the end of November. That was enough electricity to power about 65,000 average Texas homes for a full year. While that’s a small percentage of Texans, utility-scale solar generation is growing faster than other types of electricity generation in Texas.

Just as it did during the early days of wind generation in Texas, TXU Energy, the state’s leading retail electric provider, is helping business and residential customers understand the benefits of solar electricity. The company is also developing a variety of ways to meet consumers’ diverse needs and preferences related to solar electricity.

In recent months, TXU Energy:

2016 Texas Solar Farm Barilla Solar Project First Solar Inc. - 2“We have one of the most diverse portfolios of solar offerings in the market, and we are proud of the benefits these plans deliver to the state, environment and consumers,” said Scott Hudson, chief operating officer for TXU Energy. “Working with our sister company, Luminant, we are bringing together the best companies to work for Texans.”

TXU Energy and Luminant, the largest electricity generator in Texas, are working with solar-industry leaders, including SunEdison®, SunPower® and First Solar®.

“While our customers benefit from our ability to deliver great solar plans and services, the industry benefits from the growing consumer interest in solar electricity and the state benefits from jobs and the deployment of more renewable electricity generation,” Hudson said. “We are proud to be doing our part and we’re honored that so many Texans trust TXU Energy to power their homes and businesses.”

POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Feb. 3, 2016

GE to stop producing CFLs; Texas ranked third for grid modernization

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • GE will stop producing compact fluorescent lights by the end of 2016 and will focus on halogen incandescents and high-efficiency LEDs. Currently, both CFLs and LEDs account for 15 percent (each) of light bulb sales in the U.S. However, the company projects that LEDs will account for almost 50 percent of bulbs used in the U.S. by 2020 and the use of CFLs has been declining.
  • The state of Texas ranked third on a report studying grid modernization falling just behind California and Illinois. The study finds that the top ranked states are making substantive advances and pulling away from lower ranked states. A key takeaway of the report is that grid modernization faces obstacles regarding both costs and benefits.
POV: Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast for Jan. 14, 2016

Texas's private sector job growth; Record $329 billion invested into renewables; BYOT program could see growth

POV: Power Breakfast

A nearly daily update of energy-related news:

  • In December 2015, Texas added more than 26,500 private sector jobs, second only to California with 30,500 private sector jobs. This is a 10 percent increase over the private sector jobs added in November 2015 (24,100). About 8,000 of the jobs created were in the mining/natural resources and utility industry.
  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that 2015 saw a record $329 billion invested into the renewable industry. Additionally, this industry saw 121 GW of new capacity. Emerging markets provided more than 50 percent of the global investment into clean energy.
  • An energy research firm studied the impact of a “Bring Your Own Thermostat” (BYOT) demand management program and found that BYOT programs have the potential to become a $3 billion market for utilities. Currently, there are 50,000 customers in BYOT programs across the U.S., but experts predict a market of more than 20 million customers. The BYOT program is another example of customers’ growing interests in tools that help them manage energy usage.



TXU Energy Puts Texas Sun in Greater Reach

New electricity plan is the state’s first to be backed by 100 percent Texas solar power

TXU Energy is giving the option of renewable energy to even more Texans with the first retail electricity plan to be backed by 100 percent Texas solar power.

TXU Energy Solar AdvantageSM builds on TXU Energy’s commitment to provide consumers the products and services they want with price protection and guaranteed satisfaction.

Consumers who choose TXU Energy Solar Advantage will lock in their electricity rate for three years and can cancel the plan for any reason within the first 60 days.

The plan is the latest renewable electricity offer from TXU Energy. In addition to TXU Energy Solar Advantage, the company offers TXU Solar from SunPower – a rooftop panel option – as well as a plan backed by 100 percent Texas wind energy and the option to add 100 percent Texas wind energy credits to almost any TXU Energy electricity plan.

“More and more Texans are becoming interested in electricity from renewable sources and we are excited to provide plenty of choices for our customers,” said Sam Sen, vice president of TXU Solutions.

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