Smart Electricity Shopping

PlanScan – Your Personal Electricity Shopper

Overwhelmed by electricity plan choices? Feel like you might as well be throwing darts at a dartboard to pick your next electricity plan? We understand completely. ElectricityPlans.com is proud to introduce our new, free personal electricity shopping service called PlanScan.

With PlanScan, you can take the guesswork out of shopping for your next electricity plan. Let us help you find the perfect electricity plan with our new personal electricity shopping service available for Texas residential electricity customers. We take your information, run it through our electricity plan algorithm, and calculate the best choices based on the options you specify. No guesswork, no surprises, and best of all you get the reassurance that you have found a great electricity plan from a quality provider.

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5 Biggest Myths of PowertoChoose.org

When Texas became a deregulated market in 2002, The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) developed a website to educate consumers and promote deregulation. The site matured and in 2012 received a massive overhaul and became the PowertoChoose.org that Texans know today. A large-scale marketing campaign ensued to promote brand awareness and the PowertoChoose.org site soon became the place for Texans to shop for electricity. The site developed a large following.

Unfortunately, today some electricity providers take advantage of the weaknesses in the site in order to attract customers. As a result, the PowertoChoose.org has evolved to be far from an unbiased source of electricity plans with the consumer’s best interest in mind despite the PUCT’s good intentions. Learn more about the ways certain providers are exploiting this site and how consumer’s can avoid these pitfalls and find a better way to shop for electricity.

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Why Is Your Electric Bill Higher Than You Expected?

You read the electricity providers’ information and picked what you thought was the best electricity plan available in your state. You even compared electricity rates offered and chose the cheapest plan.

Now you’ve received your first electric bill, and the power costs are much higher than you expected. What’s going on? Why doesn’t the electricity rate on your bill match what you signed up for? Why is your electric bill higher than you expected?

When it comes to choosing the right electricity plan, it really does pay to spend time reading the fine print. To get an accurate apples to apples comparison, the details buried deep in each plan’s rate documents are the ones that determine how much you’ll actually pay at the end of each month.

Live in Texas? See How To Read An Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for more information.

Unfortunately, many electricity customers pay more than expected on their electric bills and don’t realize it. Let’s break down the most common reasons for unexpectedly high electric bills.

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Electricity Rate Discounts for Active Military, Veterans, and Reserve

If you’re a veteran, active military, Guard and Reserve member, or a military spouse, you sacrifice a lot for our country.

As a member of the US military, you deserve special treatment for your service. The last thing you need is high electric bills due to an overpriced electricity plan. Did you know that some electricity providers recognize this and offer special electricity rates or discounts for those who have served in the military?

If you live in a state with deregulated electricity, you have the opportunity to take control of who provides your electricity and find a plan that works for your budget and lifestyle. This can save you real money each month. Finding an electricity plan with special discounts for active duty, military reserves, veteran, or military-dependent spouses is one more way to get the lowest electric bill possible each month.

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Dallas Has The Power To Choose Cheap Texas Electricity Rates

Since the Texas legislature deregulated the retail electricity industry in 2002, millions of Texans have chosen to compare electricity rates and switch electricity providers. Giving electric choice back to Texans has been extremely popular, with an estimated 92% of residents having switched their own electricity plans. The ability to switch electricity providers has resulted in significant savings for many Dallas customers.

Living in the Dallas metroplex area and being served by Oncor as your local electric utility means that you have the power to choose from among dozens of competing electricity providers. All of them offer multiple rates, contract lengths and discount offers. In addition, each provider has its own website designed to lead you through the maze of complicated offers, which are often filled with confusing EFL details, overlooked fine print, and introductory rates. As a result, many customers are still confused by legal terms and narrow usage level bill credits frequently used on electricity plans for marketing purposes. As a result, they often end up getting surprised by unexpected fees and missing out on potential savings on their electric bills.

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Stuck In A Contract With Your Electricity Provider? Know Your Options

What should you do if you are in a contract and electric rates go down? What if you find another electricity plan from another provider that’s better? What if you are moving? The answers depend on your specific situation. Each electric supplier has a unique policy for early termination fees and each state has their own rules about what your supplier can charge in different situations.

Customers generally love electricity deregulation because it gives them the power to choose their energy provider and the price they pay for electricity. With this freedom of energy choice comes many decisions. One of those decisions is whether or not to enter into a long-term contract with a provider. Retail electricity providers offer customers contract choices that can range from month-to-month (no obligation) to five years (a seriously long-term obligation) and everything in between. Signing a contract with an electricity provider means that you have certain obligations but what are they?

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How to Sniff Out a Texas Teaser Electric Rate

Texas has undoubtedly been the most successful US electricity deregulation market for residents. A lot of it’s success comes from the Texas Public Utility Commission’s (PUCT) marketing efforts when it launched PowerToChoose.org. Originally known as Texas Electric Choice, today’s Power To Choose site is still very popular for Texas residential electricity shopping, but it’s issues have also come under increasing scrutiny due to rate confusion and misleading electricity plans.

What’s the biggest issue on Power To Choose? Teaser Rates. As you work your way through the various electricity plans offered in your area, you’ve probably come across a few that seem too good to be true. These teaser electricity rates create confusion for customers looking for the best deal they can get using electricity comparison sites like the PUCT’s Power to Choose.

Despite the PUCT’s efforts to curtail teaser rates by giving users the ability to filter out minimum usage fees/credits, teaser rates still overwhelm the Power to Choose site to the point it’s easy for customers to be misled on what they’re actually getting. On a recent visit, the first five pages of the default search for our zip code was filled with what we consider to be teaser rates (and that was with bill credit filter on!)

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Do ‘Free Nights and Weekends’ Electricity Plans Really Save Money?

As you’re shopping for an electricity plan, you’ll come across plans that advertise phrases like “free nights and weekends” or “free nights and solar days.”

This may sound too good to be true, but they’re absolutely legitimate. Many electricity providers offer periods of free electricity as an effort to shift some of the electricity load to lower usage, off-peak times. Also, the cost of electricity during these off-peak hours is much less expensive than during peak hours. Because electricity is a commodity that can’t currently be stored, it’s better for everyone when electricity demand is more equalized.  But, what you really want to know as an electricity consumer is, what’s the catch?

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Use Your Power To Choose Energy Plans To Find The Cheapest Electricity Rates In Houston

Texas electricity deregulation has given millions of Houston residents and businesses the power to choose the cheapest electricity rate. According to ERCOT, over 92% of Texas homes and businesses who live in deregulated areas have switched electric companies since deregulation began in 2002. Even though electric choice in Texas has been hugely successful for energy savings, customers are still confused by the options, terminology, and overall process of switching electric providers.

Where should you shop for electricity? Houstonians have the power to choose from an overwhelming variety of energy suppliers, plans, and options. If you live in the Houston metro area and your local electric utility is CenterPoint, over 50 different retail electricity providers currently offer electricity plans in your area. Each of these electricity providers offer sites, tools, and information on how to switch plans and providers. However, their information is often filled with electricity rates that are difficult to compare because of things like introductory rates, bill credits, narrow usage levels, unexpected fees, and legalese buried in the EFLs. Fortunately, Houston homes and businesses have electricity shopping options that make the process much simpler.

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Renter’s Guide to Shopping Cheap Electricity

If you’re renting a home or apartment, you want your electricity to be reliable, affordable, and not something you have to think about. But, being a renter in a state that has electric choice, you have to think about your electricity or else your electricity plan could end up costing you big bucks.

The difference between the highest and lowest electricity rate plans can often be hundreds of dollars per month. Electricity providers have a wide variety of plans for you to choose from, and the choices get even more complicated when you have to consider the length of your lease.

How do you select the right electricity plan if you’re in a temporary living situation and you need to be flexible? Actually, renters have the same rights and the same choices as anyone when it comes to electricity plans. It’s not as complicated as you might expect.

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