deregulation

Power to Choose Alternatives Grow as PUCT Tries New Fixes

Electricity customers in Texas are searching for a Power to Choose alternative. And it’s no wonder. The Texas Power to Choose site has long been called the Power to Confuse. There are hundreds of plans to choose from, multiple rate structures to decipher, and fine print gotchas in most plans. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is not happy with the games that retail energy providers are playing. They have publicly blasted electricity providers for taking advantage of consumers. Now they are taking action to address these issues.

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What is a Provider of Last Resort (POLR)?

What happens if your Retail Electricity Provider (REP) were to suddenly go out of business? In Texas, thanks to the Provider of Last Resort (POLR), your lights will stay on. But, your bill will go up dramatically!

In this article, you’ll learn about the POLR, and why you should immediately shop for electricity if the POLR becomes your provider.

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Electricity Explained: From Flow to Dough

America’s demand for electricity is huge, totaling 18% of the world’s electricity consumption in 2015. We take for granted that electricity will be there when we turn on the lights or crank up the air conditioner. We can’t imagine life without it. But, have you ever wondered how electricity is made, or where it comes from, or how we get it the instant we want it?

Beginning in 1879, electricity was first sold in the United States by the California Electric Light Company in San Francisco which produced and sold enough electricity to run about 20 electric lights.  Since then the use of electricity has grown exponentially. Fast forward to 2016 and Americans consumed about 3.85 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In this post we cover the basics about what powers this huge amount of consumption, the sources of electricity in the US, and the role of deregulation.

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Texas is Deregulated. Why Can’t I Choose My Electricity Provider?

Texas is deregulated. That means that most — but not all — Texans have a choice of electricity supplier. If you live in an area served by an electrical cooperative, a municipal owned utility, or a utility that’s not part of ERCOT, you can’t choose your electricity provider.

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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.

It’s one of the reasons we created ElectricityPlans.com. We evaluate electricity plans to find the best ones, so you don’t have to worry about it. But what exactly is a teaser rate, and how do you avoid them?

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The Basics: How to Shop for an Electricity Plan

It’s easy to shop for an electricity plan. But for many consumers living in states with electricity deregulation? Well, the process of how to shop for an electricity plan can seem overwhelming.

After all, many states have a large number of electricity providers. Each provider offers 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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What’s the Difference Between a Utility and an Electricity Provider?

When it’s time to choose an electricity plan, it can be really confusing picking your way between all the options available and the host of new terms.

One of the most common sticking points for electricity customers is what is the difference between electric delivery vs. electric supply?

They’re both vital to the success of electricity deregulation, but they play very different roles. Understanding how they fit together can make a big difference in your overall confidence as an electricity customer trying to shop for the best electricity plan.

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