Instantly compare energy plans.

Category: Learn

Determine your usage then compare electric rates.

Use this kilowatt hour (kWh) electricity usage and consumption calculator to quickly estimate your expected energy usage based on your home size in square feet (sqft), the number of occupants, and your energy usage habits.

Estimate your usage. Then, if you’d like, you can shop for a light company with the cheapest electricity plans and rates for your usage. Just enter your zip code above to get started.

Let’s quickly find your best energy plan.

1. Size of home:

2. Number of residents:

3. Your energy habits:

Approximate average monthly usage: 690 kWh

Disclaimer: This tool is for approximation purposes only. Accuracy is not guaranteed or implied.

The approximated monthly usage is based on an average over 12 months. Air conditioning and heating costs can vary and often account for up to 50 percent of your home’s energy use during different seasons.

Factors such as size of your home, weather, construction, heating and cooling equipment type, insulation, and family living habits will influence your actual usage.

The power to choose your electricity provider

Any product, company, or organization names, marks or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace.

Texans use more electricity now than they ever have before, and retail electricity providers deliver power to about 27 million people in the state.

The market has been able to absorb this huge increase in demand by the free operations of the market, not direct government controls.

This article will teach you about the history of deregulation in Texas so you will be informed when shopping for the best electricity rates for your home.

Energy deregulation in Texas has helped create a robust competitive marketplace that can meet the public’s electricity needs while giving you the power to choose your home’s electricity provider.

ComparePower is a free consumer service established in 2009 to assist residents of Texas shopping for their best energy plan.

The official rates you will find on ComparePower are the same rates you’ll find calling the energy companies or visiting their websites.

Offers from many different competing electricity companies are presented in an easy to understand format that makes comparing your options simple and fast.

This helps Texas consumers avoid hidden fees and advertising gimmicks by comparing plans “apples-to-apples” without wasting hours making phone calls, spreadsheets, or navigating dozens of different company websites.

Instantly compare competing Texas electricity companies:


Deregulation of the Texas electricity market

Texas has a long cultural history of independence and freedom of personal choice. So, it’s no surprise that the state was among the first in the nation to free its electrical power grid from government control.

The first power plant in Texas was built in Galveston in the 1880s, just as the nation was starting to rebuild after the Civil War. Dozens of electricity generation facilities followed, mostly relying on the state’s mighty rivers and streams to generate plentiful hydroelectric power. Texas cities electrified quickly, and by the 1890s most major cities in the state were aglow with electrical lighting.

As anyone who has ever lived in or visited the state knows, Texas has robust natural resources. By the end of World War II, more than one million Texan homes were connected to the electrical grid.

By the late 1960’s, Texas was able to harness these resources into a strong electrical grid that was capable of providing power across the entire state. So, in 1970, the State created the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or “ERCOT.”

Ever since then, ERCOT has been responsible for managing the Texan electrical grid. As part of this responsibility, ERCOT passes rules and regulations pertaining to electric utilities in Texas. This includes both consumer protection policies and public safety measures.

In 1975, the Texas legislature enacted the Public Utility Regulatory Act (“PURA”), which was aimed at providing the State with greater authority to regulate electricity rates and services. Prior to PURA, cities throughout Texas were individually responsible for regulating their respective electricity rates and services.

Thus, PURA represented a major change in the regulation of electricity in Texas. Rather than allowing electric companies to compete and deal with local communities individually, PURA allowed the state government to control electricity services.

Unfortunately, state regulation of energy markets didn’t go very well under PURA. Electricity rates skyrocketed after PURA’s enactment, largely due to an inflated market and the need for increased electric capacity. This prompted the Texas legislature to act again, this time with the goal of deregulating the electricity market in hopes that it would decrease electricity costs for Texan consumers statewide.

George W. Bush, who was Governor of Texas at the time, strongly supported electricity deregulation in the 1990s. “Competition in the electricity industry,” he claimed, “will benefit Texans by reducing rates and offering consumers more choices.” This sentiment, which was shared by many in the Texas legislature, guided Texas’ energy marketplace toward deregulation.

As a result, the Texas legislature passed two laws meant to deregulate the state’s electricity market. First, in 1995, the Texan legislature passed Bill 373, which changed ERCOT’s responsibilities with regard to regulating utilities. While Bill 373 represented a critical policy shift, it didn’t break down the state stronghold on electricity markets as well as the legislature had hoped. For this reason, the State passed Senate Bill 7 in 2002.

Senate Bill 7 fundamentally altered how Texans get their electricity. Before this law, electricity rates were tied by law to the cost of the fuel. In fact, power plants, electric lines, and entire customer distribution networks were owned by public utilities commissions rather than private enterprises.

By restoring privatization and breaking down regulations in the energy market, the Texas legislature hoped that a more competitive marketplace would emerge. With higher competition, customers would see lower rates.

Even despite popular and political support, full deregulation of Texas’ electricity market wasn’t easy. ERCOT, the entity responsible for implementing deregulation, faced early challenges shifting their internal operations to accommodate their new tasks. In fact, on the day that the deregulation pilot project began, ERCOT experienced system failures.

Power companies sent switch requests to ERCOT and their computer systems were unable to process the requests. Instead, ERCOT officials had to utilize manual workarounds rather than the fully-automated systems it was meant to rely on. This setback led to significant delays of electricity services, and electricity prices started to spike in response to the volatility.

Fortunately, however, the rough start to deregulation has given way to a smoothly-operating industry. Now, nearly all Texas power customers are able to choose among several retail electricity providers when deciding on their electric company.

Since Senate Bill 7 fully deregulated Texan power markets in 2002, customers have embraced the freedom of choice they get in selecting electricity service providers. And, more and more service providers are coming online all the time, making rates even more competitive and tailored to local needs.

Over the past fifty years, energy regulation in Texas has shifted from local regulation to statewide regulation, and then finally to deregulation. Texas deregulated its energy market to help make sure Texans have access to electricity at a competitive market price. As a result, Texans across the state can now enjoy the benefits of competitively-priced electricity without the burdens of excessive government controls.

Shop cheap Texas electricity plans. Enter your zip code to get started:

Texas Electricity Prices on the Rise

There is a major crisis that is likely to affect all Texan’s wallets in 2020. Texas electricity prices are expected to increase this summer.

According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), electricity customers will experience record high prices as the state’s electrical grid is stressed during the hot summer months.

Variable pricing could go as high as 15 cents per kilowatt-hour or higher. 

Read on for more info or enter your zip code and lock in a low rate before prices skyrocket:

The best thing Texas electricity customers can do to protect themselves from high prices this year is to lock in a fixed price contract.

With terms as short as a few months to as long as a few years, there is bound to be a fixed price electricity plan that meets your household’s power needs.

You can rest easy knowing your electricity bill won’t ride the wave of increasing prices this summer. Read on to find out what is causing the spike.

Texas Electricity Prices


ERCOT points to a variety of factors expected to put the grid to the test. In addition to record-breaking demand, delayed power supply projects and the closure of three major coal-fired power plants will dampen the amount of electricity available.

To make a long story short, you need to lock in your electricity prices now before rates shoot up right before summer.

Look outside, and you can see the signs of spring. The grass is growing, and the flowers are blooming.

That means you don’t have much time before the thermometer hits triple digits. Shop for electricity plans now on Compare Power to see which one meets your needs for the best price.


Expect increase for Texas electricity rates 2020

This year is another in a long succession of years where ERCOT has predicted peak demand in the summer months. It’s easy to become desensitized to ERCOT power prices. However, this summer is different.

Wholesale electricity prices are expected to jump this summer in the wake of shutdowns of three of the state’s largest coal-fired generating plants.

These closures have driven the state’s power reserves down to their lowest in more than ten years. ERCOT manages 90 percent of the Texas electricity grid.

ERCOT has not been sitting on its hands. Late last year, ERCOT calculated Texas would start this summer with fewer megawatts of power than expected.

This was caused, they said, by the coal plant closures along with temporary shutdowns and delays in natural gas and wind power projects.

As a point of reference, one megawatt can power about 200 homes on a hot Texas day.


Increasing demand combined with decreased supply

As with any good or service traded on an open market, increased demand and reduced supply mean increasing prices.

Industrial power customers will be impacted the soonest because they tend to buy power at the market price.

Most residential customers will be shielded from the high prices in the short run because of fixed-price contracts, but eventually, electricity suppliers will recover their increased costs. If you don’t currently have a fixed price electricity plan, you need one.

Signing up for a fixed price electricity plan will spare you from those high prices, but you must act now.

Thankfully for customers, Texas has some of the lowest energy prices in the nation because of easy access to natural gas and an abundance of wind power.

On the flip side, low prices have made it difficult for power generating companies to stay profitable.

To maintain their slim margins, they have delayed capital investment in new and existing plants.

As these power plants are allowed to operate with few improvements and less than optimal upkeep, the risk of malfunctions increases.

If a plant is taken offline for repairs, that decreases the supply of available electricity.

Taking a plant offline for repairs on a summer day could force ERCOT to implement emergency conservation measures such as rolling blackouts.


Reserves running short

Relative to expected demand, ERCOT aims to have 13.75 percent in reserves; however, ERCOT estimates it will have less than desired in reserve this summer.

The organization blames plant closings and delayed openings for this shortfall.

Looking into the future, ERCOT expects to have some kWh in reserve for summer 2020, but again, this is below the amount ERCOT feels comfortable having in reserve.

ERCOT estimates peak electricity demand in Texas to increase 1.7 percent each year over the next decade.

As ERCOT has said for years, conserve electricity during peak demand. The summer months have high demand in general, but in particular, the hottest hours of the afternoon are the most straining on the Texas electrical grid.

So if you can, wait to do your laundry or run your dishwasher until the sun goes down. And if you can bear it, turn your home’s thermostat up a few degrees. Your wallet and your fellow Texans will be grateful.


Compare electricity plan prices

Enter your zip code at the top of this page to see which electricity plans are available in your area. Lock in your price now before Texas electricity 2020 summer rates take effect.

Don't wait for prices to increase. Enter your zip code to lock in a low priced plan today:

Texas Public Utility Commission: Submitting Protests or Complaints

Any product, company, or organization names, marks or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace.

When something goes wrong, you deserve to have the issues resolved immediately. While your first step should be to contact your current electric provider, they are not always able, or willing, to help. The PUC of Texas will take action on the complaints that you file with them, although this should be your last resort option.

After first filing an informal complaint, the Public Utility Commissioners will have your case investigated. Their goal is to determine whether the provider is guilty of wrongdoing. Their evidence will be shown to the company, in hopes they will make it right. If they do not, your next step is a formal complaint.

Although this may be necessary if you have been outrageously cheated or wronged, it may not be worth your time and money to file a formal complaint. The proceedings are much like a court case, and it is advisable that you consult an attorney before moving forward. Sometimes, the best option is to simply cut your ties with the company.

The energy market in Texas is deregulated, and you can choose your provider. Why go through the trouble of a formal complaint process, when it takes minutes to switch to another utility company online? ComparePower finds the lowest rates available in your area to ensure that you can choose the provider that best fits your needs.

The PUC of Texas protects your power to choose and hopes that you will exercise that right. There is less work and headaches, both for them and you, if you switch providers when a company proves inadequate. Fight the smart way and take your business elsewhere.

Finding a new provider is simple and easy.

Enter your zip code to get started:


Texas Public Utility Commission: Defending Consumer Energy Rights

Since 1975, the Public Utility Commission of Texas has been responsible for implementing rules and guidelines that protect consumers. They regulate electric utilities and the companies that provide them, by finding solutions to customer complaints and investigating pricing and service practices in the energy industry.

At the center of the Public Utility Commission’s mission, is providing the power to choose to residents of Texas. That is the best way to ensure prices are low and that you get the best service and rates available in your area. The Public Utility Commissioners understand the importance of their role and how their rules can help consumers like you.


What’s the Job of the Public Utility Commission of Texas?

The original role of the Public Utility Commission, or PUC of Texas, was to ensure that the utility monopoly in Texas didn’t get out of hand. Energy companies had free reign over a particular area and consumers couldn’t get energy from anyone else. PUC Substantive rules were created to ensure that the energy industry was unable to gouge consumers with high prices.

Eventually, lawmakers saw that there were still issues, despite the work of the commission. So in 2002, the Texas Government passed a deregulation law. Suddenly, competition among providers was keeping prices low and giving consumers the power to choose. So the PUC adapted and began to oversee the implementation of the law and resolve initial issues.

To this day, the PUC of Texas fields complaints from customers and works to protect the people. Whenever an energy company steps out of line, they are there to impose regulations or sanctions and ensure that big businesses can’t take advantage of Texans across the state.


The Authority of the Texas PUC

There are some limitations placed on Public Utility Commission of Texas, and they are unable to operate across the whole state. The main threat is from utility companies that are investor-owned and operate in deregulated areas. The PUC can create rules and sanctions that help control these companies but have no authority over utilities provided by cities and co-ops. They can only suggest that these organizations follow PUC guidelines.

If you live in one of these areas, your prices are determined by the company’s board or the city council members. The Public Utility Commission is not given power over them, and you are not protected in quite the same way. It is essential that you elect board members and city council members that are aware of PUC rules and govern themselves in a way that cares for consumers.

To file an electric complaint form go to the official Public Utility Commission of Texas website. 

Finding a new provider is simple and easy.

Enter your zip code to get started:

Kids bored already?

Break out of the monotony this summer by organizing a competition between family members that will build excitement for vacations, family outings, or valued prizes.  The contest is simple and involves doing worthwhile things such as researching to find the cheapest electric company and adopting a renewable energy project.  Besides having fun with this friendly challenge, you will cut the cost of your electricity bill, even if your AC is battling the sweltering Texas heat.  In Dallas, Houston, and everywhere else in Texas, teachers are hoping students will keep their minds active over the summer.  This exciting activity can also keep the kids on their toes while school is out.

Style the competition so that it works for your family and everyone has an age-appropriate activity.  Here’s an example of a contest that could work in a household with three children above age 8, for instance:

Challenge everyone in the family to come up with a way to conserve energy, and the person who finds the idea that can be calculated to save the most money gets to choose an important detail about the family vacation destination or pick a favorite restaurant to go to for a night out.  There could be a prize for everyone; the trick is to make the top awards the most desirable for everyone.

Each family member can come up with their own conservation plan or you can put each of the following ideas into a jar for a drawing and give out awards according to who does the most outstanding job with their project – in this scenario, let an objective third party be the judge.  Imagine your kids actually helping you save money for a change!


Utility Crusade:   Find out which is the cheapest electric company and switch.

Some electric companies are just cheaper than others.  Why not save money on every turn of the meter by choosing the company with the lowest rates?  You can often sign on to a one- or two-year commitment which provides guaranteed rates.  Find out which utility company offers the least expensive price per kilowatt of electricity.  Compare power companies here.


Quest for Clean Energy:  Research to identify a renewable energy investment that makes sense for your family.

The government at the federal, state, and local levels can come to the aid of Texans, from Houston to Dallas and everywhere else, by assisting with the purchase of solar energy.  Advocates of renewable energy are currently excited about new energy buyback and leasing programs being offered by retail utility companies in Texas to motivate more homeowners to switch to solar energy.  Whether it’s solar, wind, or some other renewable resource, investigate which is the best project to benefit the family.


Beefed up Insulation:  Research the benefits and costs of improved insulation and weatherization.

A lot of energy is wasted because hot air leaks into your home in the summer and the cold air invades in winter.  Find what it would cost to add more insulation in the attic, make windows better insulated, etc., as well as how much each upgrade would potentially save in monthly electric bills.


Battle of the Bulbs:  Compare costs and savings related to switching to more efficient lighting.

Only 10% of standard (old-fashioned) light bulbs provide light, and the rest of the energy produces heat.  Look into alternatives for lighting the home with more efficient bulbs, such as switching to using more fluorescent lighting.


Pump Diversion Tactics:  Figure out ways to save on gasoline, including purchasing a new vehicle.

If you have a teen who is driving or looking forward to it, this may be their ideal assignment.  Figure out all the best ways to cut down on costs at the pump, from walking to the corner store instead of driving to purchasing a new, more energy efficient automobile.

Tweak your family competition so that everyone enjoys learning and trying to win some coveted prize.  Then follow through on some of the energy-saving discoveries made.  In the end, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy smaller energy bills from the cheapest electric company while reminiscing about the fun your family had together this summer finding ways to save money.  Share this with your Facebook friends, and see who else joins the challenge!


Searching for the best electric rates and plans in Texas?

Here’s why could end up costing you more than just time.

Any product, company, or organization names, marks or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an unaffiliated, independent marketplace.

They’ll let anyone in the door… The State of Texas’ Public Utility Commission has created this website that lists nearly every electric plan available in Texas. When we last checked, we found over 260 plans from 64 different providers. While at first, this may sound like a good place to search for your electric plan, the lack of provider screening and the single-purpose nature of this website may actually land you with a plan you wish you’d never signed up for.

As a State-run website, their service is open to every single energy provider registered to compete in the deregulated Texas electricity marketplace. Who are all these companies, you might ask? Who knows! They could have started the business a month ago. PowerToChoose lists an Energy Score Card – but all that relates to is the number of complaints “per capita” – the number of formal PUC complaints filed per active customer.

Powertochoose allows every registered REP (Retail Electric Provider) to list their plans on the website… even the companies who have just started in business and may be very likely to fail.  And while you usually get notice and can find an alternate supplier, you could be left with a ridiculously high-priced plan from the local Provider of Last Resort (POLR) if your provider does actually go belly-up.

And how many of these random companies are going to have the infrastructure in place to handle a huge influx of customers? In fact, both OnPac energy actually decided to pull their plans down from powertochoose because they could not handle the giant rush of customers signing up for the plans they listed on

Because there is no screening of the providers offered on the PUC website, they leave you on your own for ensuring you sign up with a company that’s likely to stay in business and has the infrastructure in place to provide excellent customer service.

Look for providers your friends may be using or those you’ve heard good things about. They’ve probably been around for a while. They probably know what it takes to survive in a very competitive market:  Great customer service, competitive pricing, and legitimate business practices.


The Almighty “Electricity Facts Label”

The most powerful documents available to you when shopping for electricity in the Texas are the Electricity Facts Label and the Terms of Service.  These two documents contain valuable information about the plan you are considering, and every energy provider must disclose the information in these documents in a similar format.

The problem with is in how these documents are accessed. Every time you want to see a facts label or the terms of service on that site, you’ll have to navigate to another webpage. This means the document loads in a new tab or in a new browser window. If that’s not annoying, I don’t what is. And if keeping track of numerous open windows isn’t enough, having to go back and forth between them while shopping is tough. How can you keep track of which plan you were viewing when you have 8 different windows open, all related to different plans?


Getting back to consumer-focused service

There is no choice history, nothing personalized for you, nothing beyond a price list.

So let’s say you successfully sift through 250+ plans from 64+ companies, all fighting for that top position on pricing. You find a provider that suits your needs and you sign up. Now what?  You’re on your own. The State site is done with you.

You’re linked off and there is no record of what you chose, how much you paid, or evidence of the plans agreements that were posted at the time of your signup. You get to start all over at the provider website by entering your zip code yet again, navigating another confusing pricing structure, and try to find that same plan you signed up for.

This would be like shopping on, finding your flight, choosing to buy it, and then having to start the entire process all over again at the airline site, hoping that your flight is still there and that the pricing is still the same.


No screening, poor report card

How often do you call up the government to tell them about your great experiences?  The PUC site simply displays a complaint ratio of total customers to the number of complaints. Where are the actual details of the complaints?  How about those with positive experiences? They’re nowhere to be found.

You’re probably interested in what others have to say – both good and bad, not just a generic “star” rating without any details, right?  It’s important to research these numerous power companies from multiple angles.  Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, Verified customer reviews… all of these can help you better assess what you’re signing up for.


Overcoming these pitfalls is a click away

Fortunately, there is a much better option for quickly comparing the numerous electric providers and plans without a potential headache offered up at the PUC website.

ComparePower offers a unique experience that will help make your life as a deregulated energy consumer much easier and straightforward.

Pre-screened providers and rate plans

Find the very best providers and their very best plans. You won’t have to wade through advertising gimmicks and make 27 phone calls to discover your cheapest electric rate from a reputable provider.

Facts Labels and Terms of Service are embedded. When you want to review one of these important documents, you will see it right there next to the plan you are reviewing. No new windows. No Popups. Simple and easy.

You-centric.  Keep track of your choices over time and store these important plan documents in your account, safe and sound. Keep track of your usage history if you’d like, which will help you find the lowest electric rate for your average usage level when it’s time to signup again in the future.

Review company information of the electric providers and read real consumer reviews. Access summaries of social and community feedback on the various energy companies all in one place without hunting around on the Internet.

The key to getting the very best electric rate for your unique situation is educating yourself on the different facets of the deregulated energy industry. Whether we like it or not, this industry is a bit confusing, and it’s not getting any simpler. Educate yourself on how all this stuff works and use ComparePower’s consumer-centric comparison service to find a reputable, trusted supplier at the best possible rate.


Conclusion: Your turn to act.

Enter your zip code at the top of this page to enjoy a real apple-to-apples comparison marketplace that exposes all the gimmicks and helps you make the best decision possible with the least amount of time invested.

ComparePower works to save you money on your electric bills.


Looking to find your lowest possible electricity rate? This video shows you how to do it in record time with the help of ComparePower, a free service for consumers of electricity in areas where they have a choice in who provides their energy.

You’re not paying more for electricity than your neighbor is, are you?

Look, you probably know that comparing electric providers and signing up for a new rate plan can save you a lot of money.

But with all the tricky ads, teaser rates, and confusing terms out there, it’s hard to figure out which plan gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

Imagine taking the competing electric companies, with their fancy ads, complicated terms, and confusing pricing, and boiling their plans down into the things that really matter to you…the consumer… the one paying for this stuff.

That’s what ComparePower helps you do. We provide a free resource for quickly finding your best electric rate without any of the headache.

You can easily spend hours, even days, researching and comparing various electric providers when searching for your perfect plan, reading through the fine print and decoding all the details.

With ComparePower, this process takes less than 10 minutes.

We’ve already done the homework so you don’t have to make all the phone calls, wade through the gimmicks, and read countless documents searching for hidden fees.

We carefully evaluate the electric companies and find those with the best rates, terms, and customer feedback, and we put their all-inclusive pricing into a simple format that’s easy to understand.

This free information is updated live on our website, 24 hours a day.

And after you’ve signed up, ComparePower keeps working.

We constantly look out for changing rates, and we’ll alert you when it’s time to come back for a better deal.

Enter your zip code, compare your choices, and quickly land on your perfect plan.

Three steps and you’re done. Back to your day…confident that you aren’t overpaying.

Enter your zip code below to compare today’s live pricing from the different competing electric companies:


Deregulation is a Game Changer.  Do you really want to gamble with the price you’ll pay for your electricity?

Are you rolling the dice when it comes to getting a Cheap Electric Rate in the newly deregulated Sharyland Service area?

Some Sharyland electricity service areas (specifically Brady, Celeste, Colorado City, and Stanton service areas) have been deregulated and that’s left you with a lot of questions…

“Do I have to go with a retail provider?”

“How can I find the cheapest electricity rates in my area?”

Deregulation does involve a learning curve.  It means you will need to be more proactive and involved in your billing management because it’s not just the one company any more.

As the saying goes, “When there’s only one dealer, it’s house rules.”  That meant you got the bill, you paid the bill, and that’s all there was to it.  A regulated industry meant Sharyland Utilities did the controlling.  You had no say in anything, much less over how much you paid.

Deregulating certain Sharyland electricity service areas means a huge amount of upheaval at the beginning while everybody gets themselves sorted out but, ultimately, Sharyland electricity providers that provide a superior service at an excellent rate will rise while those who don’t,  won’t.

It also means that you have more power as a customer to choose:

  • a company based on how much green energy they use
  • a company that does not import power from outside the state or the company
  • a fixed-rate plan that sets the rate for a period of time regardless how the industry is performing as a whole.
  • a short-term or month-to-month plan so you’re not locked in

In the end, Sharyland electricity will be available to all residents of the deregulated Sharyland electricity service area at a rate they can afford.


Here’s where you gamble with Sharyland electricity rates

Las Vegas, Nevada, is famous for its electricity: the energy, the excitement, the entertainment, and naturally the gambling.  When you go to Vegas, you bring along a budget specifically for gambling, ideally money you can afford to lose, and you go rarely, as a special trip.

Home in Texas, “electricity” is something else entirely: it’s your favorite TV show, a home-cooked meal, and a cool home on a hot day.  Are you really okay gambling with your household budget each and every month?   Now that you live in a Sharyland electricity service area that has been deregulated, you just might be doing that!

Up to now, you’ve been dealing with one company for all your power-generating and distribution needs. Under deregulation, Sharyland Utilities, while still around, is more in the back seat:

  • Problem with the electricity coming to your home?   Call Sharyland Utilities.
  • Problem with the bill?   Call your Retail Electric Provider (also called an “REP”).
  • Problem with the electricity inside your home?  Well, that’s when you call an electrician.

Under the rules of deregulation, staying with Sharyland Utilities isn’t an option.  If you fail to choose an REP, then one will be chosen for you. This is like you in a Las Vegas casino handing your cards over to the dealer for play. Maybe you’ll benefit… probably you won’t.

The available pool of default electric providers consists of seven candidates, ranging from Champion, who topped J D Power and Associates’ 2013 Customer Satisfaction poll for Texas energy providers (that’s the fourth year running!) down to TXU, currently down near the bottom and notorious for their high prices.

When you are assigned to a default REP, you’re put on a month-to-month plan, meaning that your rate will go up and down and you won’t actually know how much you’re being charged per kilowatt-hour until you open the bill.  You won’t know if there is a charge for not having autopay on your account, for using telephone customer service, for paying by credit or debit card, all kinds of fun things could show up on the bill  – “Ladies and gentlemen, faites vos jours!”


So, how do you find the cheapest electricity rates in the Sharyland electricity service area?

But how would you even go about finding the cheapest electricity rates in Brady, Celeste, Colorado City, Stanton, Mission, McAllen, etc?

  • You could get the list of default REPs.
  • You could take time out of your day to call each and every one
  • You could put up with high-pressure sales tactics, customer services agents still fresh on the job, and misleading information
  • You could hope that you’ve covered all the information you need to know
  • You could hope you’re making the right choice.

On the other hand, you could enter your zip code, make a couple of quick clicks, and immediately see the REPs that are available in your area and that will suit your needs.

You’ll have access to the Terms of Service and the Facts Label.  Read them carefully and you’ll have all the information you need to know.  Better yet, you’ll see clearly where you need to question them more closely (hint:  look for phrases like “other fees or charges may apply”).  The cheapest electricity rates in the Sharyland electricity service area will be a lot quicker to find if you know how to avoid wasting time calling those who simply will not suit.

Don’t let someone else make your play for you. Enter your zip code to get the pricing and plan details you need for a winning strategy.


In some ways, a “Regulated” power industry is simple to deal with – they tell you how much you will pay and when your bill will arrive and you either say “okay” or you get yourself a couple of generators or a really complicated treadmill.

All jokes aside…being in a regulated power market means you’re at the mercy of the electricity provider when it comes to rates – you don’t have the power to choose even the slightest aspect of your electricity supply.

If you think the rate is too high or you’d maybe like to see more renewable energy sources, well… sorry. You don’t have many options when you’re in a regulated energy market.


What’s different about Deregulated energy in Texas?

Now, deregulation is a fine thing when it comes to increased market competition, flexibility for the consumer, and giving the consumer the power to choose when it comes to how their power will be generated, but it also means that the Texas power landscape suddenly got a whole lot more complicated!

Before, it was a simple arrangement where one company handled everything: power generation, distribution, and retailing. Now, it’s all fragmented. In Texas, power generation is handled by “these” companies; distribution (the wires and poles) is managed by “those” companies, and the Retail Electric Providers handle the reselling.

Instead of one major corporation handling “Everything Electric”, now you have to know whom to call and when:


For account and billing-related problems, you call your Retail Electric Provider.

TXU Energy, Direct Energy, Reliant, and Green Mountain Energy are examples of well-established Texas power retailers.


For power outages that are affecting the neighborhood, you call your Utility

Oncor Electric Service, Centerpoint Energy, AEP, and Texas New Mexico Power.  Unlike the resale end of things, you have no say in who’s handling the distribution – those areas are fixed, as you can see in this map put out by the Public Utility Commission.


For a power outage that affects your home only, you call an electrician.

Because of deregulation in Texas, power generation and sales have been completely shaken up from end to end.  It’s no longer a matter of paying “the rate”  – you might be on a longer-term, flat-rate contract or, most commonly, you might be on a plan where the rate varies periodically.  There are three general categories of electric plans:

Fixed-rate plans – exactly what it sounds like:  for the duration of your contract, you pay the same rate.  If rates go higher than yours, you save money.  If rates drop lower, you don’t.

  • Variable-rate – a variable rate plan changes from month to month based on the cost of generating electricity. You won’t know what you’re paying until the end of the month.  This can lead to a nasty surprise or a pleasant one.  You won’t know until you open the envelope.  The formula used to calculate the rate is crazy-complicated but it will be posted somewhere on your REP’s website or in the documentation.
  • Indexed rate plans – this is a variable rate plan on steroids that is rarely available.  If someone is trying to sell you an indexed rate plan, be aware that the price is tied to a commodity – usually natural gas – so prices can really jump around insanely.


Conclusion: Educate yourself and find savings and service

The best way to get into the plan that meets your needs is to educate yourself.  ComparePower is here to help you understand the market and how it impacts your choice when looking for the cheapest light company for your home or business.

I’ll admit it:  during a particularly rough spell in my life, I was forced into a lifestyle my parents would be mortified to discover.  It’s not something a girl likes to admit but … I did it.  It was tough, especially at the beginning.  Walking in my door in the wee hours of the morning, all I wanted was a hot shower to try and wash away the slimy feeling my job left under my skin and every day I woke up to a new shift, I felt another layer of morality burn away.  Yes, I was a telephone Customer Service Representative for a Retail Electric Provider.

Oh, you start with the best of intentions.  You really do believe the hype: “Provide excellent customer service”, “Leave the customer smiling”, “Customer satisfaction is priority one”, and so on.  You make sure your station is gleaming, you diligently sanitize everything at the end of each shift, and you carefully center your child’s school photo right where your eye will rest on it as you comfort, console, and assist your customers (and you truly believe they are “yours”). And then, the day your probation ends, your supervisor, who’d been glowing with compliments over your work, pulls you aside to discuss your call handle average, which really should be no more than three minutes from start to finish by now.

A month later, you couldn’t care less if the customer’s hair caught fire while talking to you and you’ve turned your child’s picture to face the wall so the guilt doesn’t kill you.  You’ve taken to using a “professional” name in case somebody you know calls in and recognizes you and when people ask you what you do for a living, you merely reply “Oh, I do telephone work” and give them a broad wink.  Somehow, it feels less dirty.

One of the things customers are always told is to demand to speak to a supervisor.  Let me tell you why that actually doesn’t work much of the time:  the floor supervisors, in the corporate scheme of things, are little more than glorified reps themselves.  In most cases, they don’t have any more authority than the newest agent in the cube farm and, in a rather astonishing number of cases, if you call back to speak to that supervisor, you’ll be informed by the switchboard that there’s no such person.

We did it all the time:  put the client on hold for a couple of minutes and relax.  Have some coffee, now gone cold.  Check the mani-pedi for chips, maybe use an emery board on a few rough edges.  Just relax.  Then, when you hear the agent next to you is off the line, you whisper “Hey!  Wanna be my supervisor?”  Back to the phone with “Thank you for holding, I have my supervisor on the line.  One moment while I transfer you”, put the phone on hold, pass your headset to the next door neighbor and go put your feet up until the customer has hung up on the “supervisor” in disgust.  That’s assuming you’re not acting as your neighbor’s supervisor!

If you truly want to speak to someone in charge, don’t bother trying to go in through the telephone rep.  Their sphere of influence is severely limited and the main priority is getting you off the line ASAP before you kill their average and possibly get them fired.  Instead, hang up and call the main switchboard and ask to speak with someone by name or position.  Remember:  you are the customer and you are entitled to be treated with competence, with dignity, and with respect.