Utility companies tend to seem like a fixture of a community, with many areas served by the same company that was providing power more than a century ago.

But FuelFix notes that in active marketplaces retail electricity providers are much more changeable and many of them end up being purchased by larger electricity companies.

From a customer's perspective, this can be concerning. Many people might worry that they will lose their electricity service or that they will end up with a higher electricity rate and no way to change.

However, Fuel Fix notes that Texas provides a variety of protections from these kinds of concerns.

Customers will always be told immediately when any kind of transaction with their electricity supplier occurs and often times the company might choose to keep the contract entirely unchanged. If not, people will have the opportunity to switch electricity providers without consequences, even if the contract would normally prevent that.

More than a half-dozen electricity companies have already combined recently, but that process only represents one of the ways the market helps push down prices.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas reports that there are many dozens of electricity providers and mergers that can help give more efficient companies larger customer bases.