Smart Electricity Shopping

Smart Electricity Shopping During the Holiday Season

December means holiday shopping season for many people, but the one item most people leave off their list is to shop for a new electricity plan.

If your contract is due to expire in the next couple of months, you might be surprised at the affordable rate plans you can find during the holiday season. Winter is traditionally a slow season for electricity shopping, yet there are several good reasons to compare electric rates and lock in a plan for the upcoming year.

You might think that cold weather means higher rates, but that’s not always true.

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Electricity Plans: More Than The Best Electric Rate

When you’re shopping for a new or better deal on electricity, your goal is naturally to find the cheapest electricity rate available. Easy enough, right? Actually, there’s more.

Electric suppliers offer many choices when it comes to your electricity options. Customers must consider not only the rate, but also additional features and incentives that go along with the rate. You’re really shopping for an electricity plan. Learning about all of the features included in an electricity plan can help you save on your energy usage, earn rewards, and ultimately save you money.

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Is a Short or Long-Term Electricity Contract the Better Deal?

It’s no secret that the cost of electricity can vary widely from month to month.

Most electricity customers discover this firsthand if they have signed up for a month-to-month electricity contract. There are natural price variations that happen each month depending on factors such as customer demand and electricity fuel generation costs. To avoid these price swings, most residential electric customers choose an electricity plan that locks in a favorable rate for a fixed length of time.

Contract term lengths with your electricity provider can be as short as 3 months or as long as 5 years, with the most common generally ranging from 6 months to 2 years. You may think the longer contracts are the better deals, but are they? What is the best length of an electricity plan for you?

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Comparing the Best Prepaid Electricity Plans in Texas

If you’ve got bad credit, or if you’re just starting out in life and don’t have credit established, you’ll likely have to pay a hefty deposit with your electricity provider in order to get power to your home or apartment. Texas has another option for credit-sensitive customers – prepaid electricity plans. Prepaid electricity plans require no deposit, no credit check, and no ID, and you can get same day electricity in most cases.

Prepaid electricity plans work the same way as prepaid phone cards: you buy a certain amount of power ahead of time, and when you use it all up you buy more. Prepaid plans are not just for customers wanting to avoid a hefty deposit. Prepaid electricity plans also come with tools and alerts to help you save energy and manage the cost of electricity.

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PlanScan – A New Personal Electricity Shopping Service

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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