Category: Energy Made Easy

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Is a short-term or long-term contract the better option? Which will save you more money?

It depends. There are no one-size-fits-all contracts that will work for everyone.

If you plan on staying in your current home or apartment for the foreseeable future, we recommend that you pick a long-term contract of at least a year.

These contracts will range from 12 to 36 months, and you’ll get a great balance of low rates and stable pricing.

Not sure how long you plan to be in your current space?

The right contract length for you is a little bit more complicated. Short-term contracts could be a good option if you only need temporary power.

You’ll keep the flexibility to switch things up every couple of months, but there’s no guarantee that prices will be lower or even the same when renewing your contract.

Regardless of your situation, ComparePower has short-term and long-term contracts to get your home or apartment powered on today.

Short-term electricity contracts

Short-term contracts are less than a year in length. The most common time offered by retail electric providers (REPs) is six months, although REPs occasionally offer a three-month contract.

Depending on the time of the year, plans with a short-term contract can be great, but you can get stuck with a high rate if you start during peak energy demand.

What are the advantages of short-term electricity contracts?

The best part about short-term contracts is that they maximize your flexibility. You’ll never find yourself stuck in a contract for more than a few months, so if electricity rates change, you can switch things up for a better contract.

If you can time your contract start and end dates correctly, you can enter a short-term contract when demand is low and get a reasonable rate.

You get the most opportunity to shop for electricity throughout the year without worrying about early termination fees.

What are the risks of short-term electricity contracts?

While short-term contracts offer excellent opportunities to find cheap electricity, you can quickly find yourself in hot water if you forget to shop at the end of your contract term.

Since you have to shop more frequently, you risk falling into a monthly variable rate after your contract that can easily double or triple what you previously paid.

At the same time, there is no guarantee that electricity rates will be cheaper or even the same price when you have to sign up for a new contract.

Electricity rates can change for various reasons, and a freak storm, like winter storm Uri in February of 2021, can send rates through the roof.

You could quickly find yourself stuck signing an electricity contract at a more expensive rate that you’ll be stuck paying for the next few months.

And if you are living on a fixed income or a strict budget, short-term contracts make it much harder to plan for future months. You never know what electricity rates will look like, so you can’t depend on your electricity bill to stay the same.

Compare energy plans and rates in Texas.

Long-term electricity contracts

A long-term contract can last anywhere from one to five years; the most common lengths are 12, 24, and 36-month contracts.

With a long-term contract, you lock in your electricity rate without worrying about future changes, but you also make a bigger commitment than a short-term contract.

What are the advantages of long-term electricity contracts?

With a long-term contract, you get to lock in that great rate you found over a longer time. This gives you a relatively stable electricity bill throughout your contract, depending on your usage.

You won’t have to worry about rates changing or even thinking about shopping for another plan until at least 11 months in the future.

And if you find a great rate, you get to lock in those savings for an extended time.
Long-term contracts also make it easier to budget for electricity throughout the year since your rate won’t change. If you want to take it a step further, some REPs offer average billing that can help smooth out your electricity bills.

While electricity shopping isn’t particularly hard or time-consuming, a long-term contract lets you relax throughout the year without shopping around. You don’t have to compare prices each month and worry about any price hikes in the future.

What are the downsides to long-term electricity contracts?

While locking in a great rate for electricity throughout the year can save you tons of money, you could find that rates dive if demand isn’t up to providers’ expectations.

You might be missing out on some savings during these times because you are locked into your contract.

A long-term contract will prevent you from switching to a cheaper plan if you want to maximize your savings.

Most long-term contracts will have an early termination fee, making breaking your contract costly.

If you decide to get out of a long-term contract, do a cost analysis and factor in the early termination fee.

You might be able to save enough money by switching plans to justify the cost of a few hundred dollars upfront.

Is a short or long-term contract better for you?

The short answer is that it depends. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to tell you which will work best for you.

You’ll want to take a good hard look at what you want from your electricity plan before deciding what type of contract you want to sign.

Most energy consumers in Texas and on ComparePower choose 12-month fixed-rate electricity plans.

Choose a long-term rate and lock in your contract for the foreseeable future. This is an excellent option for someone with a long electricity usage history and who plans to stay in their home.

If you are on the other side of the coin and don’t mind shopping frequently, a short-term contract could be a good play for you.

You’ll be able to shop for electricity every couple of months and can maximize your savings by finding the cheapest rates when you shop.

Just remember that electricity prices usually go up, so there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a cheaper rate in the future.

Another common situation we hear about is someone moving into an apartment for the first time. You probably don’t have any electricity usage history if this is you.

Finding a perfect plan for your apartment can be difficult without historical usage. A short-term contract could be a good option until you establish some usage history.

If you ask us, your best bet is to pick a 12-month contract with no bill or usage credits. This type of contract will give you the best balance between a great electricity rate and the stability of a long-term contract.

You’ll get a good idea of your usage throughout the year and can pick a plan with a longer contract in the future that fits your unique usage profile.

Not sure how long you’ll be in your home or apartment? Don’t worry about signing a long-term contract if it is your best rate.

Texas law protects all movers from early termination fees, so you can sign up for that cheap 12-month contract without worrying about moving.

If you don’t want to commit to an electricity contract, you can look at pre-paid and month-to-month options.

These plans let you avoid signing a contract, but you’ll likely be looking at higher rates or some upfront deposit.

Ready to do your part for the environment? Many providers have plans that range from 6% to 100% renewable energy to help offset your carbon footprint.

Contract length FAQs

What time of year is electricity the cheapest?

Electricity prices in Texas fluctuate throughout the year, depending on demand. Summer and winter see the highest electricity demand as people heat and cool their homes. Conversely, spring and fall are usually when electricity rates are the lowest.

How long are energy contracts?

Energy contracts range in length from three months up to 36 months. The most common term lengths are 6, 12, 24, and 36 months.

Do I need to match my contract length to my lease?

There is no need to match your contract length to your lease. Instead, we recommend picking the contract length that gives you the best rate for your unique electricity usage.


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

What is Smart Meter Texas?

Smart Meter Texas (SMT) is a database that stores daily, monthly, and 15-minute interval energy data recorded by digital electric meters (commonly referred to as “smart meters”).

SMT gives you quick access to your electricity use, electricity meter, and premise information and allows you to share that information with providers or any other authorized party.

AEP Texas Inc., CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC, and Texas-New Mexico Power Company jointly own and manage SMT.

SMT is also endorsed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

SMT is a great tool to help you manage your electricity usage, lower your monthly electric bill, and compare your energy options to find the right plan for your home.

Why should you use Smart Meter Texas?

Reading your meter might seem daunting, but SMT takes all the guesswork out of learning about your electricity usage.

Once you have created an account, you can quickly view your usage throughout the day, week, or month to get a good idea of when you are using the most electricity.

This makes it easy to make a plan and cut back on your electricity usage to save money on your bill.

With a handle on your usage, you can also shop for electricity plans in the most accurate way possible on ComparePower.

Simply take your monthly usage numbers from SMT, and enter them into our TAB tool. You’ll see exactly what your bill will look like on any plan to know what will save you the most money.

How to view your usage with Smart Meter Texas

Smart meter texas

With timely access to energy data, SMT enables customers to better manage their energy consumption, lower their monthly electric bills, and take advantage of new products and services offered by Retail Electric Providers and Competitive Service Providers.

Total Time: 5 minutes

  1. Find your latest electric bill

    Find your latest electricity bill or download a copy from your provider’s online account dashboard.

  2. Enter the PUCT Certificate Number for your REP

    You can find the PUCT Certificate number on your electricity bill.

  3. Enter the ESID number

    You can find the ESID number on your electricity bill.

  4. Enter the electric meter number

    You can find your meter number on your electricity bill.

  5. View Usage

    View 15-minute, daily, and monthly readings to get a handle on your electricity usage.

Supply:

  • Internet access

Tools:

  • A desktop, laptop tablet, or mobile device.

Materials: Your electricity bill.

Start saving on your Texas electricity bill.

When should you use Smart Meter Texas?

Use Smart Meter Texas to determine when you used the most electricity throughout that billing cycle. 
Find when your usage peaked, and plan to reduce electricity usage during those times to save money.

Ready to switch from your current provider? SMT has your monthly usage history to compare plans apples to apples.

Drop that usage right into our tools and figure out which plans match your usage right here on ComparePower.com

All-inclusive pricing shows you exactly what your bill will look like with your usage. The savings will shock you.

Learn how to shop with your home’s electricity usage in Texas.

Who should use Smart Meter Texas?

SMT is an excellent service for anyone looking to get a handle on their electricity usage. You can quickly view your daily usage and clearly see which months will have the highest electricity bill.

If you’re shopping for electricity, create an account on SMT today. With your monthly usage history, you can get the most accurate prices on ComparePower.

We’ll show you all-inclusive pricing based on your exact usage history, so you’ll know exactly what your bill will look like.

Shop confidently that you are getting the best plan for your home in only a few minutes.


Compare Power Reviews

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

Your electricity meter gives you the most accurate information on your energy usage. You can calculate precisely how much energy you use by day, month, and year. 

For savvy energy savers, your energy meter will tell you when you are using more electricity, and you might want to reign things in. 

If you find that you are using more energy than the average Texan, there are several steps to help conserve energy, and ComparePower can help you find a plan that fits your exact energy usage if you want to change. 

What is an electricity meter?

An electric meter is a device that measures your electricity usage. It is usually located where electricity enters your home through power lines, and you can read your usage to help lower your electricity bill.

All meters work similarly to the mileage on your car and record the total amount of power your residence or business has used since the meter was installed.  

Why should you learn to read your electric meter?

Your electric meter might seem like a foreign object on the side of your home or apartment, but modern smart meters make it easy to understand your energy usage. 

With these meters, you can quickly get a real-time readout of your electricity usage, calculate your yearly averages, and find easy ways to conserve energy and save money. 

Looking for an easy way to keep track of your energy usage in Texas? Check out Smart Meter Texas.

Types of electric meters 

There are two main types of electric meters that you will find in Texas. 

The majority of meters have now been converted to what are called Advanced Metering Systems (AMS) or smart meters. 

These types of meters send a digital reading to your electricity provider, eliminating the need for someone to go out and read your meter.

They generally record your electricity usage every 15 minutes instead of once a month, as older mechanical meters did. 

This gives you close to real-time readings on your usage that you can use to accurately assess how to save on your electricity bill. 

Some meters can even connect to an in-home display so that you can view your usage without leaving the comfort of your home.

In comparison, the old mechanical meters use a spinning disc to measure your usage, recorded on rotating needles or dials. 

The biggest advantage of smart meters is that you and your electricity provider have quick access to your usage, and your provider instantly knows if you have a power outage. 

How to read your electric meter 

Reading your meter is a relatively straightforward process, but some could have a few screens you’ll need to scroll through. 

Total Time: 5 minutes

Wake up the display

If the display on your meter isn’t on all the time, you may need to press the button to wake it up.

Read your usage

Once the screen is on, you’ll see a series of numbers corresponding to your energy usage. Remember that you see the total usage since the meter was first installed, so you’ll need to subtract the last reading total to find your current usage. 

The process is a little more complicated if you have an older analog meter. Each dial spins in the opposite direction and should display numbers zero through nine. 

You’ll read the numbers from left to right, and if the arrow is between two numbers, make sure to use the lower number. 

Supply:

  • Electricity Meter

Tools:

  • None

Materials: None

Average electricity meter usage and costs in Texas

Last updated: November 2022

The average residential electricity rate in Dallas, TX is 13.93 cents/kWh, 13% less than the U.S. average.

average retail price of electricity in Texas

Got me the cheapest electric. Nice.

Emily (TX, United States)

Using your electricity meter to lower electricity costs 

If you are like most people and want to save money, taking a deeper look at your electricity usage can save you hundreds of dollars each year. 

Paying attention to your spikes in energy usage can help you find times when you might want to reign things in. 

Keeping that in mind, seasonal weather changes are one of the most significant factors in electricity usage for Texans. 

As the summer heats up, electricity usage can double, if not triple, for some households. 

Taking steps like sealing any air leaks in your house or apartment can help keep your cold air conditioning inside for longer. 

If you live in an older home, you may consider replacing your weather sealing and insulation to help your home regulate the heat. 

If it’s your first year in Texas or you’ve had the same plan for a while, you might want to dig into the details of your plan to see if your usage matches the prices you are paying. 

Different types of plans can save you money thanks to bill credits if you use more energy than you used to. 

Here at ComparePower, we recommend you look at your energy usage at least once a year and make sure your electricity plan still works. 

Better yet, you can shop and compare electricity plans with your home’s annual usage profile to find an affordable electricity rate for your Texas home.


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

What is average billing?

Average billing lets you pay a fixed amount monthly instead of more during high-usage months and less during low-usage months, making budgeting for electricity more predictable.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a Texas summer, the sun beating down on your home, wondering what your next electricity bill will look like? 

Texas weather is notorious for extreme weather throughout the year with little to no predictability. The only guarantee you have is that summer will probably be hot, and winter can get cold. 

These changes in the weather can have a significant impact on your electricity usage. If you have ever wondered if you could even out your electricity bills, then average billing might be right for you. 

Average billing, also known as budget or balanced billing, uses your electricity usage throughout the year to calculate an average monthly bill. 

Your bill remains relatively flat throughout the year, and you will better understand your electricity bill. 

This makes planning for your electricity bill easier, and you won’t have to worry about a hot week in the middle of March wrecking your budget. 

The important thing to remember is that average billing offsets your monthly bill based on your average usage. One way or another, you end up paying for your actual usage throughout the year.

How does average billing work?

The idea of average billing is that your electricity bills should be similar each month without any drastic spikes. 

Ideally, you’ll have predictable bills to easily budget for electricity throughout the year. 

Retail electricity providers (REPs) use a simple formula to calculate what your average bill will be each month. 

They add up your past 12 months of electricity usage and then divide that number by 12 to get your average monthly electricity usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

Once they have that number, it is multiplied by your current electricity rate to determine your average monthly bill. 

If you average 1,500 kWh of usage each month and your rate is 10 cents per kWh, your average monthly bill would be $150 throughout the year. 

Each month your REP also looks at your bill to compare your actual usage with what you were billed for.

If you use more or less energy than your average, you’ll have a deferred balance that keeps track of any differences. 

Most providers will add 1/12th of your deferred balance to your next month’s bill to avoid that deferred balance getting too big. 

At the end of your electricity contract, any remaining balance will be added or credited to your account by your provider. 

Suppose you don’t have a full year of electricity usage history or don’t have any at all. In that case, the REP can also use any previous history from your service address to calculate your average. 

Unfortunately, the calculation will be based on someone else’s electricity usage habits, and likely won’t be accurate for you, so keep that in mind before signing up for average billing.

Does average billing save you money? 

Are you wondering if average billing is worth it?

The unfortunate side of average billing is that you don’t end up saving any money at all. Each month your electricity provider adjusts your bill to smooth out any spikes in usage. 

Say it’s March, and you get surprised with some great weather. The clouds blow away, and you wear shorts and t-shirts for a week, so you crank up the air conditioning. 

You enjoyed the sun, got a tan, and now you have extra electricity charges you haven’t paid for. The difference between your average bill and your actual charges is set aside in a deferred balance. 

Your provider is happy to keep track of anything you owe them and ensure you don’t underpay, regardless of the difference. 

If you use less electricity, you can end up with a negative balance or a credit on your account. When your contract ends, your provider will apply for any credit on your account to your last bill. 

At the end of the year, you’ve still paid for all of your electricity usage and haven’t saved a dime. 

What are the benefits of average billing?

The main benefit of an average billing plan is that your bill will stay relatively consistent throughout the year. 

You might have a small increase here or there to cover a deferred balance, but you don’t have to worry about crazy weather spikes that could double or triple your bill in a single month. 

This gives you a good idea of what your electricity bill will look like each month, and you can easily budget throughout the year. 

Stability is great, but you still need to pay attention to your monthly payments to ensure you aren’t racking up a large deferred balance. 

What are the drawbacks of average billing?

In an ideal environment, your deferred balance at the end of your contract would be close to zero.

However, any variation in your energy usage adds up, and you can get stuck with a big payment at the end of your contract if you aren’t careful. It also matters when you start an average billing agreement.  

If you haven’t had a full year to sort through any overpayments and underpayments, you’re more likely to have a deferred balance left over. 

While average billing helps to smooth out weather extremes, they still impact your energy use and can build your deferred balance throughout the year. 

And if you don’t have a full year of electricity usage history, then your average bill is based on someone else’s behavior rather than your own, to begin with.

Average billing can also lead to laziness when it comes to energy conservation. It’s easy to leave lights on and not pay attention to your thermostat if it doesn’t affect your wallet at the end of the month. 

In a worst-case scenario, your electricity contract expires, and you end up on an expensive month-to-month holdover rate. 
 
The difference between your average bill and actual usage cost will grow your deferred balance even faster, and you could be stuck with a big debt to pay. 

Is average billing right for me? 

Average billing is a great option for someone looking for a stable electricity bill throughout the year and isn’t afraid of keeping an eye on it. 

If you have a good understanding of your usage and are stable in your home, keeping an eye on your deferred balance should be easy to avoid surprises at the end of your contract. 

You’ll have an easier time planning out your monthly finances without worrying about what the weather is doing. 

Stable electric bills could also be great for someone on a fixed income. You’ll have more consistent bills and won’t have to guess when planning your finances. 

Considering a new pool or maybe an electric vehicle in the future? You’ll want to wait on average billing if you think your usage patterns will change. 

A big change in your usage can lead to underpayment on your bill and a big deferred balance. You could be stuck with a massive bill to settle anything you owe to your provider at the end of your contract. 

How can I get average billing?

You can request average billing for electricity by contacting your electricity provider directly by phone. Most providers on ComparePower offer average billing.

Other considerations 

If you aren’t sold on switching to average billing, you have a few other options that could help you with budgeting. 

You could try creating your own average billing plan without going through your provider. Take a peek at your bills throughout the last year and determine your average payment. 

Each month your bill is lower than your average, and you can put that extra money into a savings account and use it to pay for any expensive months in the future. 

Your savings account might also pay you a small interest on that money which is better than nothing coming from your provider. 

You can also look into plans that use bill credits. These give you a discount on your electricity bill when you use a certain amount each month. 

If you know that you will always hit that usage threshold, you could save yourself some money each month with one of these plans.

Furthermore, you can use bill credit plans by shopping with your home’s historical usage profile. Shopping with your home’s usage history lets you compare energy plans apples to apples.  

Learn how to switch electricity providers with your home’s historical usage.


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

Electricity contracts: Know the facts before you sign

If you’re shopping for an electricity plan in Texas, it’s essential to know how to read an electricity contract. 

When choosing the right energy plan for your household, you can consider various options, including long-term, short-term, fixed-rate, and variable-rate contracts.

You are entering into a legal agreement. A contract is a legal agreement between you and your energy retailer. 

Before you sign an electricity contract, look over the terms of service, electricity facts label, and customer rights page to ensure you are informed of all the details. 

Understanding what is in your electricity contract can help you choose the best energy plan and help you avoid surprises on your electricity bill.

Reading an electricity contract 

When shopping for electricity, you need to pay attention to three documents. Details matter, and nowhere is this more evident than electricity in Texas. Be sure to carefully read each document before you sign your contract.

The Electricity Facts Label 

The first document you need to understand in your contract is the Electricity Facts Label (EFL), which is one of the most vital parts of your contract. 

Following complaints that it was challenging to compare electricity contracts, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas mandated that all retail electric service providers provide standardized information about their contracts via the Electricity Facts Label.

In the EFL, you will find information on the charges for your electricity, including the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and any extra fees associated with the production and distribution of electricity. 

Learn how to read your Electricity Facts Label.

Terms of Service 

Next, you must read and understand the Terms of Service (TOS).  

This is the legally binding part of your contract, and you must understand it before signing. 

It is similar to the terms and conditions you agree to when using other products and will give you information about the obligations both parties must fulfill. 

You’ll be notified a month before your contract expires, and you can cancel or negotiate new terms any time within two weeks of your contract’s end date. 

Your Rights as Consumer 

Finally, you must know about “Your Rights as a Consumer” (YRAC). 

This document will detail the federal protections in place, like the supplier’s responsibility to not discriminate based on gender, race, and religion, as well as other rights you have.

This can include your right to privacy or the company’s obligation to notify you of certain changes and seek your consent when necessary.

Contract expiration

Make sure your contract does not expire. Not doing anything is by far the most expensive option. 

You’re automatically put on a holdover rate when your contract expires, which fluctuates based on market conditions, resulting in unexpectedly high electricity bills.

You might overpay for electricity if you let your contract expire without action.

Set a reminder here, and we will notify you when it’s time to switch.

If you have an expired contract, it’s time to act. Comparing energy plans in Texas based on your usage history is the best way to save money.

Contract renewal cycle

Generally, you want to avoid contracts with short or odd-numbered terms, such as three or nine months, as these will expire when electricity demand is at its peak and prices are high, for example, right before or in the middle of summer in Texas.

These short-term plans may appear to be a good deal, but their purpose is to delay the end of your contract to a period that is less advantageous to you and more favorable to the electric provider long term.

Learn how electricity contract renewals work in Texas.

Compare electricity rates and save.

Shopping considerations

Consider these additional factors when shopping for a new energy plan. 

Contract length

The majority of electricity contracts last 6-24 months. 

If you are renting, the term of your electricity contract does not need to coincide with the term of your lease. 

You can cancel an energy contract in Texas if you move out, so you can select any term length that offers you the best price.

A long-term contract is the best option if you stay in the same place for a while and don’t want to change providers frequently.

Most Texas consumers find that 12-month plans offer the right balance between affordable rates and the hassle of switching providers often.

Short-term contracts 

Short-term energy contracts last less than a year. Most providers offer six-month contracts, but a few offer three-month plans. 

Short-term contracts offer more flexibility if you don’t find shopping and switching providers burdensome.

You will have the opportunity to switch more frequently with a short-term energy plan, which can be an advantage if you often like to shop the market for lower rates. 

It might be a risky game, however. Plan prices in Texas tend to fluctuate with demand throughout the year. 

If you sign up for a short-term plan, you may find yourself renewing in a month that would be less ideal, such as in the middle of a hot Texas summer when prices are at their highest.

Unless you enjoy monitoring electricity rates often and understand how to shop, we recommend going with a 12-month length plan. 

A whole year between shopping tends to be a good balance between shopping for a new plan and minimizing the burden of having to shop for a new energy plan often. 

Long-term contracts 

Long-term electricity contracts allow you to lock in an electricity rate for an extended period. They usually last anywhere from 12–36 months.

In a market where prices fluctuate, you can set your budget and avoid guessing what your bill might be each month. 

In addition, companies usually charge less the longer you commit.  

There will typically be a fee for canceling the contract, but if you move within the plan’s timeframe, protections may waive the early termination fee.

The drawback of a fixed-rate contract is that it keeps you locked in even when prices drop. 

Rate type 

Most Texas consumers prefer a fixed-rate electricity plan over a variable-rate plan as they lead to more predictable power bills. 

Which is better: Fixed-rate or Variable-rate Electricity?

Fixed rates

A fixed-rate plan keeps the same electricity rate throughout your contract period. This is a more traditional option and what many of our readers choose.  

Note that a fixed-rate energy plan does not mean your electric bill will always remain the same. You still pay for each kilowatt-hour you use each month, which can change throughout the year.

The total amount of energy you use, the energy rate, and any additional utility charges will determine your monthly bill.

Variable rates

On the other hand, a variable-rate plan will let you pay the market price for electricity. 

When rates drop, you see the savings. When rates go up, you pay the price.

If you are in a position where you can control your usage daily, this is a good option. 

You can use more electricity when prices are low and reduce usage during peak demand.

The decision is yours, and you’re looking to find the best rates, regardless of the type of plan. 

The best electricity plan or rate is often determined by the price per kWh and your home’s kWh usage. 

Learn how to switch energy providers in Texas. 

Features

Some plans include features like 100% Green, Free Nights & Weekends, or a free Nest Thermostat. 

Deposits

Depending on your credit score and utility payment history, a deposit may be required. 

A deposit might not be required from some ComparePower providers, so you can sign up for service immediately. 

You may not have to pay a deposit if other providers do not require one. A single order gives you an overview of deposit requirements across providers. 

ComparePower can help you find a no-deposit plan quicker and more efficiently.

Go prepaid and avoid deposits and credit checks altogether.

Learn how to get no-deposit lights in Texas

Canceling an electricity contract

Cancellations are possible anytime, but there may be an early termination fee if you switch providers before your term is due. Be sure to read your contract and understand the cancellation rules.

Moving out is the only way to terminate an electricity contract without paying an early termination fee.

This scenario occurs when couples divorce, family members enter the military, or roommates move out.

With two or more people living in the same house, you can cancel your electricity contract and have someone else transfer it in their name to another electricity provider.

Then, another household member can place a move-in order through ComparePower for the same address with a new provider.  

Make sure that you select “move-in” at checkout.

Call your electric provider and ask them to cancel your service by a specific date because you are moving out. You can avoid service interruptions by doing this, and the bill will be removed from your name.

Depending on your provider, they may require proof, such as a forwarding address for your last bill, but you are not required to provide it.

A new provider will service your home, and the electricity billing will no longer be in your name but in the name of the other household member. 

This is not intended as a way to avoid paying your bills. Paying your electric bill on time will allow you to enjoy low rates without upfront deposits and remain in good standing with the electric company. 

Changing providers without paying your bill can hurt your credit and ultimately result in a higher rate or an upfront deposit.

Compare rates ad make an informed decision.

Electricity contract FAQs

Will I lose power if my electricity contract expires?

No, you will not lose power if your electricity contract expires. Your current provider will continue to provide power to you, but at a high rate, called a holdover rate. 

Do not let your contract lapse. Inaction is costly and can lead to unpredictable electric bills. Shop with your home’s historical usage on ComparePower and find the right plan for your home in 10 minutes. Enroll online, confident you got a great rate. 

Can I cancel an electricity contract?

In Texas, when switching providers, you can cancel an electricity contract without penalty within three days by contacting the provider directly by phone. 

Cancellations are possible at any time, but switching providers before the end of your contract may result in an early termination fee. In Texas, you have 14 days before the end of your contract to switch providers without penalty. Be sure to read your contract and understand the cancellation terms.

An electricity contract can also be canceled by moving out of your residence and entirely ceasing service under your name. You can easily cancel your electricity service when you move out by calling your electricity provider. Early termination fees do not apply when moving out. 


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ComparePower fixes the EFL

Do you feel befuddled trying to understand the differences between energy plans in Texas?

We did, too. That’s the reason we fixed the EFL. 

Like nutrition labels on foods, electricity fact labels provide price information and contract terms. 

There is just one big problem. The EFL only indicates the price you will pay for three precise usage values of 500, 1000, and 2000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

If you’d like to know the price of electricity outside of those three usage points, you’re on your own.

Who uses precisely 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh each month? Looking back at my past bills, the monthly usage varies drastically each season.

Many energy consumers in the state choose energy plans that seem like good deals based on the price advertised for three usage points that don’t even apply to them. 

There has never been a single month when I’ve used precisely 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh on my electric bill. And I bet you haven’t, either.

Take a look at your electricity bill to see for yourself. While statistically possible, I would bet that most of our readers on this site have never used precisely 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh on the dot every month.

So then, how can you determine the actual cost of electricity if you do not use precisely 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh?

Shop smarter

Use ComparePower. Avoid hours of deciphering the EFL altogether. Our users can enter any usage value and see the prices for that exact usage on any of the plans in our marketplace.

You’ll have to decipher what you’ll pay for your home’s specific usage when shopping directly on a single provider’s website. Guessing at the right energy plan and hoping things work out.

Not here. Get a complete pricing profile for any electricity plan in our marketplace and for any usage value you choose.

No more guessing which plan is right based on three randomly chosen usage points. Know what you are buying before you buy it.

That is how ComparePower fixes the EFL.

Compare energy plans according to your home’s specific usage, not three arbitrary points Texas electricity companies advertise.

Learn how to shop with your home’s usage history for real savings on your electric bill month after month.

Why is this so important? Check out this short 2-minute video to learn how ComparePower lets you find the best plan for you.

Find the real price you'll pay for electricity.

What is an Electricity Facts Label?

The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) is a legal disclosure mandated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) that must be included with all energy plans. 

The specifics of each plan will vary, but by reading an EFL, you can assess what you are getting from your energy provider.

To avoid surprises, the EFL intends to make the charges on your statement completely transparent so you are never in the dark.

The Electricity Facts Label allows you to compare facts consistently and select a Retail Electric Provider based on your priorities.

Why should I use an EFL?

Every plan and supplier has a unique pricing structure, which can significantly alter your spending on power each month.

At the same time, EFLs protect you as a consumer from being surprised with a hefty charge at the end of the month.

The contract details for all plans are provided in the EFL to ensure transparency between you and the energy provider so you know what kind of plan you’re getting. 

They also break down the various charges that can affect your monthly spending.

If you’re interested in renewable energy, EFLs can help you select plans that range from 5% renewable content to 100% renewable supplied energy while staying within your budget.

What exactly is an EFL?

An EFL is usually divided into three sections that outline the pricing structure for the plan, any disclosures made by the provider, and the provider’s contact information.

EFL - Electricity Facts Label
Sample Electricity Facts Label

Average price per kWh: The first thing you’ll notice on an EFL is a chart showing the average price of electricity depending on the average monthly usage in kWh. 

It displays the average price per kWh charged if you use 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh per month.

Remember that this is only an example of what your payments may look like if you utilized those EXACT amounts of energy. 

The actual expenses for each plan will vary depending on your monthly use.

Base charge: The base charge is a cost that some companies will charge in addition to your monthly consumption. The energy provider will generally add a certain amount to your bill each month.

Most plans have a base charge of five to ten dollars, but you should be wary of plans with higher base charges.

Energy charge: The energy charge is the rate at which your energy provider bills you for your electricity usage. 

It does not account for your usage levels and is essentially the baseline for what you would be charged for each kWh of electricity you use.

Bill and usage credits: Bill or usage credits are also included in the pricing part of EFLs. This tells you that an energy provider will reduce your payment by a particular amount if you use a certain number of kWh each month. 

This can be an excellent deal for certain people, but keep in mind that if you don’t meet the usage criteria laid out in the EFL, you may be charged a much higher fee, which can lead to high bills.

Learn how to avoid high electricity bills in Texas.

TDU delivery charges: The last price section you should look at is the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU) charges. 

These will provide you with a fixed fee that will be applied to your monthly statement and an additional cost per kWh of electricity used. TDU pricing in Texas is regulated and can only be altered twice a year.

Product disclosure: The disclosure part informs you of the type of energy plan you are enrolling in.

A fixed-rate plan maintains the same rate for your energy usage throughout the contract.

A variable-rate plan, on the other hand, means that your supplier can adjust your pricing each month.

Contract term: Most suppliers offer plans for 12, 24, and 36 months, but you can find shorter durations if you look hard enough.

If you’re new to comparing Texas power and moving into a rental or an apartment, you might ask if you need to match your electricity contract with your lease. 

You don’t have to match them together, and you can choose the electricity plan that’s suitable for you regardless of the contract duration.

Remember that Texas law prohibits providers from charging you a termination fee if you move before the end of your contract and are not required to transfer your service.

Termination fee: If you want to cancel your service before the end of your contract period, you may be charged a termination fee. 

They may appear to be large, intimidating sums, but in some situations, paying the termination charge and switching to another provider might save you money over a year.

Price Changes: The price changes part of the disclosure is important to pay attention to. 

This indicates whether or not your provider can adjust the monthly fee you pay. 

These adjustments typically reflect changes in TDU rates or administrative costs levied by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

These variations in your rates are documented so that providers can compensate for changes in their costs that are beyond their control.

Pre-payment or advance payment: You’ll also see a section indicating whether or not your plan allows for prepayment or making payments in advance. Plans that allow you to prepay are few and far between, so look for one if you wish to make advance payments.

Renewable content disclosure: The final piece of the disclosure you’ll see tells you how much, if any, of your energy originates from renewable sources. You’ll also see an estimate of the statewide average, roughly 25%, and how the plan you’re considering compares.

Getting in touch: The final portion of an EFL contains all of the contact information for the service provider who is in charge of that plan. You can contact them by email or phone during office hours if you encounter any problems or have specific inquiries.

How to understand an EFL

Now that we’ve gone over the various areas of information on an EFL, you’re probably wondering where you should start looking and what factors to consider when comparing different electricity plans.

The simplest way to approach an EFL is to start with the pricing structure. 

This will give you a decent indication of whether you’re looking at a simple plan, one with a lowering pricing structure as your consumption increases, or one with a more intricate structure that you’ll want to investigate further.

Knowing how much power you use each month, you should be able to quickly determine how different plans compare to what you are currently spending, or you may estimate your usage if you are moving into a new home or apartment.

Once you’ve determined whether a plan’s pricing structure is within your budget, read the disclosures to see if the contract duration matches your desired contract length. 

Remember that you are NOT required to match your contract term with your lease period.

If renewable energy is important to you, after you’ve reviewed the pricing, scroll down to the bottom of the disclosures to learn how much renewable energy that plan consumes. 

The average in Texas is roughly 25% renewable content, so you might be able to locate a plan at a lower cost that still contains some renewable energy.

Before you make a decision, the energy plans in our marketplace always list the EFL, so you know precisely what you’re getting.

Ready to find your best energy plan and rate?.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Electricity Facts Label

EFL - Electricity Facts Label

The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) is a legal disclosure mandated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) that must be included with all energy plans. Amongst other factors, the EFL displays the average price per kWh charged if you use 500, 1,000, or 2,000 kWh per month.

Where can I find the Electricity Facts Label?

The Electricity Facts Label comes with every energy plan in Texas. On ComparePower, you can view the plan details for any plan you choose in our marketplace. Your energy provider can also send you a copy of your current EFL upon request.

What is the cost of electricity outside of the advertised 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh in Texas?

The Electricity Facts Label only discloses your price for 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh. To get the price for any other usage value, visit ComparePower.com – We fix the EFL in Texas by allowing you to shop energy plans for any usage or with your home’s specific annual usage profile. Fully transparent electricity shopping is available.


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Understanding your electricity bill

Every electricity consumer receives a monthly bill that details their energy company’s charges.

However, most people check the total amount at the bottom of their bill and accept the charge.

Your last bill may have surprised you and left you wondering what was charged.

This short guide will teach you how to read your electricity bill and understand what you’re paying for.

Understanding the charges on your electricity bill will help you compare rates and save money on your next power bill.

Looking for inconsistencies in your electric bill

If your bill is higher than expected, there are a few places to look to find out why.

Average kWh

The first section is the kWh of electricity used during your billing period.

Most providers will show you how much you used compared to last month, and some will show you how much you used last year.

Your high bill is likely due to increased usage caused by seasonal changes in weather.

Heating and cooling use a lot of electricity, so hotter and colder months mean higher bills.

Learn how to avoid high electricity bills.

Energy charge

The rate you pay for electricity does not remain constant throughout your contract but changes based on your usage. The electricity rate you are quoted is for specific usage.

Your plan probably shows you pay between 8 and 10 cents per kWh if you use 1,000 kWh during that billing period.

With some plans, the moment you use 1,001 kWh of electricity, your rate can double, and it can also change if you use less energy.

Plans with bill credits may also affect your electricity bill monthly.

Some providers give you a discount if you use a certain amount of electricity each month.

If you have a bill credit plan and meet the usage threshold one month but not the next, you lose the discount, which can drastically change your energy bill total.

TDU charge

If you have an unbundled bill from your provider, you can see those separate TDU charges and compare them to previous bills to see if the prices have increased.

TDU charges can change, but they are subject to regulatory approval and can only change twice yearly.

Plan

Lastly, look for changes in the name of your plan.

If your plan name changed, your provider might have switched you to another plan.

Your provider may have sent you a renewal notice that seemed like your plan would remain unchanged.

Once your contract expires, providers will generally raise your rate under the guise of a renewal offer. But this is an entirely new contract and rate.

Learn how to compare your provider’s renewal offer.

If you let your plan expire, you could also be placed on a “holdover” rate.

Your electricity provider will then change your rate monthly, resulting in significantly higher costs as demand increases.

Again, if you have an unusually high bill, look at how much electricity you used and how much you were charged for it to rule out any mistakes in billing.

What’s on your Texas electric bill?

The information on your electricity/energy bill is generally broken down into five main sections: account information, bill summary, a breakdown of your energy consumption, your current charges, and finally, the price of the electricity you used.

Account information

This shows you the key details of your account. Your account number will be displayed, which can help the provider find your information quickly if you run into any issues.

You should also find an ESI ID number, your electronic service identifier connected directly to your meter.

Bill summary

Here, you will find an overview of the current charges you will need to pay. Most providers will break these down into smaller charges that show the energy cost, supply fees, market cost, utility charges, and taxes.

Energy consumption

This section shows your electricity usage throughout the billing cycle. Generally, you will see a comparison of the current month to the last month, shown as kilowatt-hours (kWh) used.

Sample electricity bill

Front page – sample electricity bill
how to read electricity bill
Back page – sample electricity bill

How a kilowatt-hour is calculated

Each month, your energy provider tracks the kilowatt-hours you use and charges you for that usage.

The energy you use fluctuates through different times of the year, which you will see reflected on your bill.

What exactly is a kilowatt-hour?

A kWh is the standard unit of measurement for electricity usage. It is a combination of the speed at which something uses power (wattage) and the time that electricity is consumed.

To calculate the kWh usage you might see on your bill, you can multiply the wattage of any appliance (most appliances have a label that shows you the wattage) by the number of hours you use that appliance during the day.

So let’s use some numbers as a concrete example. Take your 1,000-watt microwave and say you got a little carried away and ran it for five hours.

That would put you at 5,000 watts of energy used, divided by 1,000, and just like that, you have used five kWh of electricity.

Now, this is an extreme example of electricity usage, so let’s put one kWh into real examples:

What can you power with 1 kWh?

  • Dishwasher: 100 minutes
  • Washing machine: 100 minutes
  • Desktop computer: 5 hours
  • 1500-Watt Space Heater: 40 minutes
  • 200-Watt Oven: 30 minutes

Charges on your electricity bill

Looking at your bill, you should see the electrical charges broken down into delivery and energy charges.

Delivery charges: Delivery charges cover energy transportation to your home from the company that generated it.

Energy charges: Supply charges are the electricity you use and the rate you pay for that electricity.

Here it is good to note the two bills you may see from your provider. All plans will use the same transmission and distribution utility (TDU) charges, but your provider may show these at a bundled or unbundled rate.

Bundled bills will show one combined rate for your electricity usage that lumps the TDUs and your supply costs.

Unbundled bills will show each as separate charges and give you extra information to consider when considering your total payment.

Electricity bill FAQs

What is the average electric bill in Texas?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas had an average retail price of 11.56 c/kWh in 2021. If the average household uses 1,000 kWh per month, at 11.56 cents per kWh, the average electricity bill would be around $115.60

How is electricity billed in Texas?

In Texas, electricity consumers are billed by their electricity providers. Customers are charged for both the electricity used (energy charge) and the electricity (utility charge) delivery.

How do I read my electric bill?

You need to check the total usage and then the breakdown of the costs being charged. We’ll show you how to calculate the prices you paid and verify if they’re correct.


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How can I reconnect electricity in Texas?

You might face what most of us have experienced at one time or another: electricity disconnection.

This can happen when you forget to pay your bill or auto-pay doesn’t work.

You can reconnect your electric service, usually within 24 to 48 hours, by paying all overdue charges and disconnection and reconnection fees.

If you cannot afford to pay your past-due balance today, you can try setting up a payment plan with your provider or shop for a different light company with no deposit on ComparePower.

Despite your outstanding balance with the old energy company, you may be able to get your lights on the same day with a new company while you work out a payment plan with your old provider.

To stay with your current electric provider and pay your balance, you might be asked to make a deposit equal to one-fifth of your average annual billings or two months’ estimated billings, whichever is greater.

Customers who have received a termination or disconnect notice or whose accounts have been disconnected within the past 12 months may be asked for an additional deposit by Retail Electric Providers (REPs).

Light company disconnects in Texas

By understanding your obligations and rights regarding the electric service disconnection process, you may avoid the cost and hassle of losing your electric service.

➡️ Learn how to lower your electricity bill and avoid future surprises.

Your service agreement with a Retail Electric Provider (REP) is a legal contract. If you fail to pay your bill on time or violate other parts of your agreement, the provider may have your electric service disconnected.

If your power is turned off, you may have to pay disconnection and reconnection fees and a deposit to reconnect your service.

➡️ Learn how to get no-deposit lights in Texas.

Call your electricity company if you receive a disconnection notice to find that your power is out.

Even if you cannot afford a payment, if you have an excellent standing payment history, most electric companies will work with you to set up a payment arrangement.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Be proactive and call your provider.

When can my electric service be disconnected in Texas?

After proper notice, a REP may disconnect service under Texas law:
– If you fail to pay your bill on time or do not make arrangements with the REP to pay the charges you owe.
– Deferred payment arrangements with your REP are not met.
– When you use your electric service in an unsafe manner.
– If you fail to pay your REP’s deposits.

REPs may disconnect service without notice:
– In case of an immediate safety issue.
– The service is unauthorized or hooked up without a contract.
– Equipment, such as the power company’s meter, has been tampered with.

You cannot be disconnected for the following reasons:
– If a previous resident of your home did not pay their electric bill.
– Not paying charges unrelated to electric service.
– Charges are in dispute until the REP wins the dispute.
– Billing errors or charges not appearing on your bill.
– If you were underbilled for a service rendered more than six months ago.
– Weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
– Failure to pay an estimated bill other than a meter-reading plan bill.

What if my electric service contract is canceled for non-payment?

In cases with no immediate safety issue or evidence of theft of service, the REP must provide written notice to shut off your power at least ten (10) days before the disconnection date.

The notice must tell you why your service is disconnected, what you can do to avoid disconnection, the charges you will have to pay for disconnection and reconnection, and the total overdue amount.

The notice must explain how you can make arrangements to pay your overdue bill over time and how the company will try to collect your unpaid charges if you do not pay or don’t make deferred payment arrangements before the shut-off date.

There are special rules for disconnecting service for seriously ill or disabled customers whose health would be impaired by shutting off power, customers served by energy assistance programs, and residents of master-metered apartments.

If you fail to meet your obligations by the disconnection date, your service may be shut off the next day unless that day is a weekend or holiday.

How do I report a power outage?

In the event of a power outage, please immediately contact your local poles wires company (TDSP) listed below:

Reconnect your power in minutes ⚡️

Texas electricity providers

Instantly enroll for service with reputable electricity providers such as TXU Energy, Reliant, Direct Energy, Green Mountain, and more.

Energy CompaniesPhone Number
4Change Energy855-550-6663
Amigo Energy866-993-4445
Reliant855-887-2194
Tara Energy877-599-2580
Frontier Utilities866-763-5084
Constellation855-798-2889
Gexa Energy855-639-8210
TXU Energy866-370-2440
Payless Power855-854-8482
Pulse Power888-853-4522
New Power888-316-0697
Just Energy866-985-2820

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Month-to-month electricity

A month-to-month electricity contract is excellent if you need quick electricity for your home without signing a long-term contract or paying an upfront deposit. 

Contracts with fixed rates bind you to a payment schedule for 6 to 36 months, during which you pay a fixed rate for your electricity but cannot switch providers.

Most Texans choose fixed-rate electricity plans as they are more predictable and easier to budget each month. However, there are some scenarios where a month-to-month electricity plan would make sense.

Month-to-month plans give you the flexibility to switch providers at any time. However, the trade-off is that the rate you pay each month will fluctuate with market conditions, making budgeting more complex than a fixed-rate contract.

You can enroll in a month-to-month or a fixed-rate electricity plan for your home today on ComparePower in as little as 5 minutes.

Enter your zip code to find all the no-contract monthly energy plans on ComparePower.

To filter monthly plans, toggle the “No-Contract/Variable rate” search filter on the search results page.

Compare month-to-month rates, enroll online in 5 minutes.

When does month-to-month electricity make sense?

Is a month-to-month plan the best option for you? You should have a good understanding of your monthly usage and a plan to keep track of the rate you’re charged each month.

Say you’re transitioning between roommates or just had some tenants leave your rental. A month-to-month plan could easily cover that transition period until you find stability. 

If you’re concerned about your credit or getting charged a big deposit, month-to-month plans are a great option to get your lights on. 

Learn how to get no-deposit lights. 

But if you’re planning on moving soon and are worried about having a contract that you’ll have to break, month-to-month plans might not be your best option. 

We recommend you find a plan that gives you the cheapest rate for your usage. If that means signing up for a contract and then canceling it, go for it. 

Texas law protects all movers from being charged early termination fees, so you won’t have to worry about breaking your contract.

The advantages of month-to-month electricity

Paying for electricity on a month-to-month basis has many advantages. There’s no obligation to commit to something long-term that you may not want to begin with.

You still have reliable power all year round, but you can change providers anytime.

Because you are not under contract, you will not be charged any termination costs if you cancel or switch to a different provider. 

Some monthly plans also allow you to skip credit checks. Month-to-month plans can be a terrific way to turn the lights on in your home if you’re just out of college or working hard to improve your credit score.

You won’t need your ID or social security number during the sign-up process.

Drawbacks of month-to-month electricity

The lack of pricing stability is the fundamental disadvantage of month-to-month plans. The cost of power varies from month to month and might fluctuate depending on the weather.

If the cost of electricity skyrockets one month, say because a freak winter blizzard freezes half of the country in February, your bill might easily double or triple the next month.

If rates change, you’ll need to pay close attention to your monthly usage to avoid being surprised by a large bill.

You can look into pricing histories from suppliers online, but you never know what you’ll be spending next month until they post the variable rate.

If you choose prepaid, you’ll have to keep track of your account balance throughout the month. If you aren’t careful, hot summer weather could see you adding dollars to your account numerous times every month.

A month-to-month plan’s savings potential may outweigh the danger of price swings, but you’ll need to keep track of your electricity usage to avoid a big payment.

How month-to-month electricity works

Month-to-month energy plans have variable rates that can change every month with weather and market conditions. 

As a result, month-to-month contracts may not be the best option during the summer and winter months, when electricity prices are rising.

Fortunately, you can easily switch things up after the first month because you’re on a month-to-month plan and don’t have a contract.

If you go month to month with a prepaid electricity plan, you must keep a balance in your account and make an initial payment that will be applied to your first bill.

Month-to-month electricity FAQ

How are variable and fixed rates priced in Texas? 

Variable rates energy plans are generally higher than fixed-rate contracts in Texas. Most energy consumers in Texas choose fixed-rate electricity plans over variable-rate as they are more predictable and more manageable to budget.

Variable-rate plans consider the current market price for electricity which can fluctuate throughout the year with market and weather conditions. 

A fixed-rate plan reflects the cost of wholesale electricity over 12 months of service. Rates may be higher or lower than variable rates depending on the time of the year.


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Power to Confuse: Why Texas’ powertochoose.org is a bad idea

Searching for the best electric rates and plans in Texas?

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

Power To Choose is open to anyone

The State of Texas Public Utility Commission created powertochoose.org to list nearly every electric plan available in Texas. When we last checked, we found hundreds of plans from dozens of providers. 

While at first, this may sound like an excellent place to search for your electric plan, the lack of provider screening and the single-purpose nature of this website may land you with a plan you wish you’d never signed up for.

As a state-run website, its service is open to every 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. Power To Choose lists an Energy Score Card – but all that relates to is the number of formal PUC complaints filed per active customer.

Power To Choose allows every registered retail electric provider (REP) to list their plans on the website… even companies that have just started. 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 go belly-up.

And how many random companies will have the infrastructure to handle a huge influx of customers?

OnPac energy decided to pull their plans down from Power To Choose because they could not handle the giant rush of customers signing up for the plans they listed on powertochoose.org.

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

Look for providers your friends may use 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 competitive market:  Great customer service, competitive pricing, and legitimate business practices.

Electricity Facts Label

The Electricity Facts Label and the Terms of Service are the most powerful documents available when shopping for electricity in Texas.  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 powertochoose.org 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 a new browser window. If that’s not annoying, I don’t know what is. And if keeping track of numerous open windows isn’t enough, having to go back and forth between them while shopping is tricky. How can you track which plan you were viewing when you have eight 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 hundreds of plans from dozens of 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 posted at the time of your signup. You get to start all over at the provider website by entering your zip code again, navigating another confusing pricing structure, and trying to find the same plan you signed up for.

This would be like shopping on expedia.com, finding your flight, choosing to buy it, and then starting the entire process 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 the government to tell them about your great experiences? 

The PUC site 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 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 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 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 sign up again.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has the cheapest electricity rates?

There are over 60 electricity providers with hundreds of energy plans. When shopping for the cheapest rate, consider your home’s kilowatt-hour usage. The best way to find the best rate for your home is to compare energy plans according to your usage. Find the right energy plan for your kWh usage with ComparePower.

How do I find the best electricity plan?

Picking the wrong energy plan without knowing your home’s energy usage can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Compare energy plans and electricity rates with your home’s electricity usage profile to find your best rate. Shop with your usage on ComparePower and save both time and money.