Texas electricity customers who have the option to choose their own electricity rates are growing more satisfied with their retail energy providers as time goes on, according to the new J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Texas Residential Electric Provider Customer Satisfaction Study.

In the fifth year of the survey, overall satisfaction among residential customers of independent energy providers was measured to be 678 out of 1,000 – a 44-point increase compared with the survey in 2010. This is also the highest level the survey has ever measured since beginning in 2008.

"Many electric retailers in Texas are considering how to better serve their customers when they are contacted," said Andrew Heath, senior director of the energy and utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "The large improvements show that electric retailers are putting practices in place that improve satisfaction, which helps retain customers."

Texas' deregulation laws went into effect on January 1, 2002, and were to be phased in over a years-long period. The laws allow residents to shop around for electricity rates, and switch energy providers if they find a plan that offers lower prices.