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Smart Electricity Shopping

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 free nights and weekends.

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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Why Does Texas Have Three Electricity Rates?

If you’re shopping for the cheapest electricity rate in Texas, you might decide to pick the company that advertises the lowest rate. Makes sense, right? But wait, you soon discover it’s not as straight forward as you’d hoped. There are separate electric rates for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, 2000 kWh, and sometimes the advertised rate is called an energy charge. With so many electric choices and different electric rates, how do you decide? Before you blindly click on the plan with the lowest advertised rate, read this article.

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How to Read an Electricity Facts Label (EFL)

Hunting for the right electricity plan can be an intimidating proposition. Confusing rates, lengthy legal documents, and perplexing fees can lead to spending more than you intended on your electric bill if you take the wrong step.

This is why learning to read an Electricity Facts Label (“EFL”) is so important for Texas electricity customers. Your electricity plan may be great, until it isn’t, or it could cost you an arm and a leg to leave it behind. You’ll know exactly what to expect once you’ve read and understood this important document.

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How to Switch Electricity Providers

You’ve probably heard about the great electricity rates your friends or neighbors got by switching their electricity providers or by getting an electricity plan for the first time, but diving in headfirst can be pretty intimidating.

After all, you’re not shopping for a shirt you can take back to the store if you change your mind—this is the electricity that’ll keep your home or business running! Here’s the good news: It’s easier than you think to switch electricity providers, whether you already have an electricity plan or you’re looking to leave your utility’s default provider and move to an electricity provider that better meets your needs.

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The Basics: How to Shop for an Electricity Plan

For electricity customers living in states that have allowed electricity deregulation, shopping for an electricity plan can seem overwhelming.

After all, many states have a large number of electricity providers and each provider offers several different plans that often look very similar at first glance. If you’re not sure how to get started shopping for electricity plans, you’re not alone. This short guide will get you started.

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