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If you’re reading this review odds are you’ve seen Gexa advertise their latest plan, the BOGO, and are wondering if this is a good plan for your household.

We’ll break down the Gexa BOGO plan and explain the details so that you are informed about what this plan is all about. Ultimately we’re here to help you find your best electricity plan for your Texas home.

This plan review is for the Gexa BOGO 12 plan.

Any product or company names, marks or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners. ComparePower is an independent marketplace offering free electricity pricing comparisons for consumers.

Time to read: about 4 min

Sections in this guide:
Click on a section to navigate directly to it:

  1. What is Gexa BOGO?
  2. Gexa BOGO in Dallas (Oncor)
  3. Gexa BOGO in Houston (Centerpoint)
  4. Conclusion: Key Facts and Takeaways

 

What is Gexa BOGO?

Now that summer temperatures have officially descended on Texas for the next few months you probably have found yourself turning on your A/C to keep your home cool and comfortable.

However, central air conditioning uses a lot of energy – up to 30 percent of your monthly bill during the hot summer months. That’s why Gexa created the BOGO plan, which stands for ‘Buy One Get One’.

As the name implies, with this plan if you buy one kilowatt-hour you get one kilowatt-hour for free. Said another way, you get 50% off of your “energy charges” every month. If you use 1,000 kWh in energy charges, you’ll only pay for 500 kWh. Sounds great, right?

We thought so too, which is why we decided to take a deeper look at this plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to uncover the details and show you the real math and cost of this plan.

 

Gexa BOGO plan in Dallas (Oncor)

According to the Gexa Bogo EFL, Gexa charges Oncor Electric Delivery customers an average price of 10.6 cents per kWh for 2000 kWh of monthly usage.

Gexa BOGO EFL for Oncor Electric Delivery in Dallas-Fort Worth

Oncor Electric Delivery serves the Dallas area, which includes Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington, Frisco, Allen, and several other surrounding suburbs.

We’ve included a complete cost breakdown of the Gexa Bogo plan for Dallas-Fort worth metroplex residents as a function of usage in the conclusions section below.

 

Gexa BOGO plan in Houston (CenterPoint Energy)

According to the Gexa BOGO EFL, Gexa charges Houston residents (CenterPoint Energy service area) an average price of 11.8 cents/kWh for 2000 kWh of monthly usage.

Gexa BOGO EFL for CenterPoint Energy in Houston Metro

Centerpoint serves Houston area residents including surrounding suburbs such as Katy, The Woodlands, Humble, Kingwood, and several other greater Houston area suburbs.

We’ve included the complete cost breakdown of the Gexa Bogo plan for Houston Metro residents as a function of usage in the conclusions section below.

 

Conclusion: Key Facts and Takeaways

Free energy is great, but is Gexa BOGO the right plan for you and will you be saving money by signing up for the Gexa BOGO plan?

The simple answer is it depends on your usage. Here’s why…

The only way to really know which plan is right for you in Texas is to know your monthly kWh electricity usage. Or better yet, if you’re switching providers, your historical (kWh) usage for the previous 12-months.

For illustrative purposes, take a look at how the effective rate ($/kWh) varies with monthly usage (kWh) for the Gexa BOGO plan:

Gexa BOGO Cost Breakdown Oncor Delivery (Dallas-Fort Worth Metro)

Gexa BOGO Cost Breakdown: Oncor Delivery Company (Dallas-Fort Worth Metro service area)*

 

Gexa BOGO Cost Breakdown

Gexa BOGO Cost Breakdown: CenterPoint Energy (Houston Metro service area)*

 

*Calculations are based on the plan EFLs posted on GexaEnergy.com as of 3/14/2018. Costs exclude taxes and non-recurring fees.

As illustrated in the cost breakdown above, the key to avoid overpaying is knowing your expected usage and comparing monthly costs for each plan based on that usage amount.

Although electricity is a commodity, it is not priced linearly like other commodities you purchase day to day. Let’s use gasoline as an example to drive this point home.

With gasoline, the “price per gallon” you see on the sign is the price you pay no matter how many gallons you pump.

$3 per gallon. Pump 10 gallons, pay $30. Simple.

Electricity in Texas is not as simple as buying gasoline. The advertised “price per kWh” is based on a specific, exact monthly usage (usually 2000 kWh).

And, each plan has a different calculation for how your monthly bill is determined.

Your effective “price per kWh” can only be determined by calculating your monthly bill, then dividing that monthly bill by your usage.

Advertised “price per kWh” can be misleading because it’s based on a specific usage like 2000 kWh. It’s best to shop based on the total bill for your home’s expected usage.

How do you do that when the math is complex, and every plan is a little different?

ComparePower has already done all this complicated math for you.

If you’re switching providers, we help you find and compile your historical usage. If you’re moving to a new home we help you determine your anticipated monthly kWh usage. Then we show you the best plans and their total monthly cost for your specific usage.

 

Sign up for the BOGO plan

If you determine Gexa Bogo is the best plan based on your usage call Gexa Energy to enroll directly: 855-639-8210

In addition to receiving 50% off your energy charges you’ll get:

  • A straightforward, competitive contract and pricing to meet your needs.
  • Friendly and helpful customer care, right here in Texas.
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee.

 

Still not sure if Gexa BOGO is right for you? Don’t sweat it. If you’re not happy with the Gexa BOGO Plan for any reason, just call Gexa Energy within 60 days of your service activation date, change to another Gexa Energy plan, and get the early cancellation fee waived on your first plan.

Enter your zip code to compare the Gexa BOGO plan with other plans on ComparePower:

 

Additional energy plan reviews you may be interested in reading:

The power to choose your electricity provider

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:

TXU Season Pass: Read this review to avoid a $2,448 Mistake

If you are considering signing up for the TXU Season Pass plan, you may be in for a mistake that would cost upwards of $2,448 more than the lowest rates available today on ComparePower.

Texas Electricity Prices

As the largest electricity company in Texas, TXU Energy has been heavily advertising their Season Pass plan on TV, radio, and billboards.

We’ll break down this plan and explain the details so that you are informed about what this plan is all about. Ultimately, we are here to help you find your best electricity plan for your Texas home.

Our analysis in this plan review will cover the TXU Season Pass 24 (their 24-month plan) because that’s the one we hear and see most heavily advertised by TXU Energy. However, this review is also valid for all 3 Season Pass plans (TXU Energy Season Pass 12 Season Pass 24, and Season Pass 36).

Any product or company names, marks or logos shown on this page are the property of their respective owners, not of ComparePower. ComparePower is an independent marketplace offering free electricity pricing comparisons for consumers.

Sections in this guide:
Click on a section to navigate directly to it:

    1. What is TXU Season Pass?
    2. TXU Season Pass in Dallas (Oncor)
    3. TXU Season Pass in Houston (Centerpoint)
    4. Conclusion: Key Facts and Takeaways

 

What is TXU Season Pass?

The TXU Energy Season Pass plan advertises a 50% discount on your energy for three months in the winter (Dec – Feb) and three months in the summer (Jun-Aug).

On the surface, this plan sounds like an excellent option.  Who wouldn’t want 50% off their energy bill for 3-months in the summer and 3-months in the winter?

Especially since those are the seasons where most Texans see higher than usual energy bills.

But who wins with this plan? Spoiler alert: It’s TXU – not you.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to break down this plan and discover, through real math, what it will cost you in comparison to other plans offered by competing electricity providers on ComparePower.

 

TXU Season pass in Dallas (Oncor)

According to the TXU Season Pass 24 EFL. TXU charges Oncor customers an average price of 12.9 cents per kWh for 2000 kWh of monthly usage.

Oncor serves the Dallas area, which includes Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington, Frisco, Allen, and several other surrounding suburbs.

As of today, ComparePower lists Oncor service rates as low as $0.090/kWh for the same 2000 kWh of energy.

That is a savings of 35% over the TXU season pass plan for the same 24-month term.

If you were to choose the TXU Season Pass energy plan you would be paying $1,080 more per year than the lowest priced plan on ComparePower.com

If you use 2000 kWh a month and signed up for TXU’s Season Pass 24-month term, you’re looking at paying $2,160 more over the course of those 24 months than the lowest priced plan from a competing energy provider on ComparePower.

What about those of us who don’t use 2000 kWh?

Here is the real-math break down for 500, 1000, and 2000 kWh/month usage profiles in the Oncor service area:

TXU Season Pass Dallas

 

TXU Season Pass in Houston (Centerpoint)

Houston residents (CenterPoint service area) see rates as high as 13.5 cents per kWh for 2000 kWh of monthly usage with the TXU Season Pass 24 plan.

As of today, ComparePower has rates as low as $0.094/kWh for Houston area residents including surrounding suburbs of Katy, The Woodlands, Humble, Kingwood, and several other greater Houston area suburbs.

The rate offered on ComparePower by competing energy companies is 30% less for the same 2000 kWh of monthly usage for Centerpoint service area residents.

That is $1,224 more per year than the lowest priced plan on ComparePower.com.

If you signed up for TXU Season Pass 24-month term, you’re looking at paying $2,448 more for those two years than if you were to go with the lowest priced plan from a competing energy provider on ComparePower.

Here is the break down for all usage profiles in the Centerpoint service area so you can see the savings over TXU Season Pass:

TXU Season Pass Houston

Conclusion: Key Facts and Take-aways

Key Fact:  The 50% Discount is already included in the price advertised on the Facts Label (EFL).

TXU already includes the 50% discount on the rate you see in their Season Pass 24 EFL.

In other words, the 50% discount is already calculated into the 12.9c/kWh rate (Oncor, Dallas area residents) and the 13.5c/kWh rate (Centerpoint, Houston area residents).

To make this point abundantly clear, without the discount, the rate is a whopping 16.7 cents/kWh for Houston area residents and 15.9 cents/kWh for Dallas – Fort Worth area residents.

There are fixed-rate plans for Houston area residents on ComparePower with rates as low as $0.094/kWh, and $0.090/kWh for Dallas – Fort Worth area residents.

To make matters worse, once you realize you’re paying more than 30% on your electricity bill than competing providers you will have to pay a $295 cancellation fee to get out of your TXU Season Pass 24 plan.

Don’t get locked into an expensive TXU Energy plan under the false guidance or for love of the brand.  It really could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of your contract.

Keep things simple, shop by price and avoid things that sound too good to be true – because they usually are.

Ready to pass on Season Pass? Enter your zip code to see which electricity plans are available in your area.

Find a low priced plan on ComparePower:

 

Additional articles about TXU you may be interested in reading:

 

Texas Electricity Prices on the Rise

There is a major crisis that is likely to affect all Texan’s wallets in 2018. Texas electricity prices are expected to increase this summer.

According to the Electrical 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 2018

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 7,200 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 only have 9.3 percent in reserve this summer.

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

Looking into the future, ERCOT expects to have 11.7 percent in reserve for summer 2019, but again, this is below the 13.75 percent 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 2018 summer rates take effect.

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

TXU Reviewed: Free Nights & Weekends Anything but Free? Let's explore whether TXU as an energy supplier for your home is a good idea.

TXU Reviewed: Free Nights & Weekends Anything but Free? Let’s explore whether TXU as an energy supplier for your home is a good idea.

Let’s take a closer look at TXU.  As one of the longest standing energy companies in Texas, TXU has seen better days.

In recent months, the utility company has been discussing a potential bankruptcy filing in order to clear $32 billion of debt from its books.

Since selling out to a handful of massive corporations (like Goldman Sachs) in 2007, the company has tried its hardest to create a new company image, even changing names to the Energy Future Holdings Corporation.

But there’s a reason the company still struggles. With consistently negative reviews and a notoriously bad customer service program, most of TXU’s promises are too good to be true.

It’s time to reevaluate the real costs of “cheap electricity” from the struggling corporation.

Deal or Delusion?

One reason that customers are consistently drawn to the energy giant is the countless promotions they offer.

Between cash-back loyalty reward programs, self-adjusting “energy-saver” plans, and promotional discounts, customers are drawn like moths to a flame by the savings they assume they’re getting.

But they all get burnt. Taking a closer look at each program shows that the only people getting any benefit from these “deals” are the salesmen who invented them.

“Total Satisfaction Guarantee”

The power to choose your energy provider in Texas is what keeps the deregulated market geared towards the interests of the buyers.

With so many choices, energy companies have to compete for customer loyalty. Leaving one provider for another is a common way to get the best bang for your buck, and TXU knows that its customers are aware of this. They capitalize on this freedom, making energy deals more attractive by saying the customer can choose to drop it at any time.

“Free Nights” or “Free Weekends” end up being anything but free, despite the phrasing the company uses.  The rates you pay for the time it’s not free can add up quickly, and in many cases end up averaging out to be much higher than a no-gimmick plan offered by another provider.

Another examples is their Energy Auto-saver plan, where the cost of electricity is guaranteed below a specific rate.  So when energy prices drop, you save money and if they increase, you’re safe at the initial rate.  According to the company website, total satisfaction is guaranteed and customers can switch for free if unsatisfied.

But according to actual customer experiences in Corpus Christi, leaving this already pricey plan can be shockingly expensive.

On top of the expensive service rate, the hefty cancellation fee, and the inconvenience of dealing with a careless corporation, customers had to repay the hundreds of dollars they saved through the plan! The fine print reveals that it’s only free to leave before your first bill. So much for “guaranteed satisfaction.”

Simply put: ignore the gimmicks.

The only way to guarantee satisfaction is to get informed and find the perfect plan for you, where it’s clear exactly what you’re signing up for.

The power to choose gives every individual the freedom to make their own decision, and one company is helping consumers do just that.

People visit ComparePower to instantly compare electric plans with our unbiased shopping tool that presents all the information you need to make an informed choice.

With easy to use charts for comparison, you can compare any plans you want side-by-side. ComparePower sorts everything for you and puts the most crucial information all in one place.

With just your zip code and a few clicks, you can easily find the perfect energy plan from the hundreds being offered.

Don’t waste your time at a site that’s trying to sell you a specific product – ComparePower is honest and unbiased. Get informed on all the options and fine print, and guarantee satisfaction for yourself.

Texas Public Utility Commission: Submitting Protests or Complaints

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 rate in Texas? Here’s Why Powertochoose.org could end up costing you more than just time.

THEY’LL LET ANYONE IN

Powertochoose.org: 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 powertochoose.

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 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 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 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 expedia.com, 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.

They 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:

Enter your zip code at the top of this page to enoy 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.