What is ERCOT?

In the energy industry, there’s an acronym for just about anything and it seems that to be smart about your energy, residential customers are needing to step up and get educated. In the past we have discussed TDUs or Transmission and Distribution Utility; this week in the Wire blog, we will discuss ERCOT, or, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

So what the heck is ERCOT anyways? The Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages the flow of electric power on the Texas Interconnection that supplies power to more than 25 million Texas customers – representing 90 percent of the state’s electric load. Ready for another acronym? ERCOT is the first ISO (Independent System Operator) in the United States and 1 of 9 total in North America. ERCOT’s main function is dispatching power on our electric grid to connect Texas’ more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 500+ generation stations.

Switching electricity companies? That also goes through ERCOT. While REP (Retail Electric Providers) like 4Change Energy handle the customer facing side, every energy switch or new plan set up goes through ERCOT.

Let’s take a step back. In 1999 the Texas Legislature restructured the electric market by unbundling investor owned utilities and created new choices for customers in those areas – ERCOT was assigned a few responsibilities at that time:

  • System reliability – planning and operations
  • Open access to transmission
  • Retail switching process for customer choice
  • Wholesale market settlement for electricity production and delivery

So, without organizations like ERCOT, we wouldn’t have a diverse and smoothly running electricity market here in Texas. While customers usually won’t have any real interaction with ERCOT, you can rest assured that 4Change Energy is here to represent our customers and provide power to your home!


Jackson Ralston

4Change Energy
Jackson is a digital film and video production/social media specialist that not only enjoys those roles as a job but as a hobby as well. In his free time Jackson creates videos for his YouTube channel about his passions in auto culture.

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