What’s the difference between ERCOT and PUCT?

Aside from the energy company that you may choose to power your home or business, there are two other major players in the Texas energy market that play an integral role in ensuring your electricity needs are met. These are the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas. Understanding the role of these agencies will allow you to better understand how power is managed statewide.

What is ERCOT?

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is an independent non-profit organization that operates separately from the state government. ERCOT manages the flow of power to over 26 million customers, accounting for 90% of Texas’s electric load. Its main responsibility is to schedule power on the electric grid across 52,000 miles of transmission line and over 1000 generation units. ERCOT balances the supply and demand for electricity in Texas and ensures that the system is able to manage circumstances like power outages. ERCOT is the first independent system operator in the United States, and is subject to oversight by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas.

What is PUCT?

The Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) is a regulatory board established in 1975 that oversees various utilities in Texas, from electricity to water, sewage, and telecommunication. As a regulatory agency, PUCT ensures that these services are provided reliably and safely and that the prices that consumers will ultimately pay for these services are reasonably set. Another role of the PUCT is to offer customer service in resolving complaints that they may have. As indicated by their mission statement, the PUCT aims to protect customers, foster competition and promote high quality infrastructure. The board is responsible for ensuring that customers receive benefits from a competitive wholesale and retail of energy. Unlike ERCOT, the PUCT is overseen by the Texas government, with a commission constituting 5 members appointed by the Texas governor. 

What is the difference between the two?

Overall, ERCOT manages the technical supply of energy while PUCT manages the prices that are set for the power that utility companies offer. Taken together, both organizations work in the background to provide reliable and affordable electricity across Texas, while your energy company of choice is the final link in the chain that ultimately provides the services that you pay for.

If you want to learn more about the roles of ERCOT, PUCT, or your energy company, contact Arrow Energy. We’re happy to help you better understand electricity, placing the power back in your hands.