TXU ENERGY FREE NIGHTS & SOLAR DAYS AVOID A $1,704 MISTAKE

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TXU Energy is now offering a plan called Free Nights and Solar Days.

We’ve uncovered the facts and pricing behind this offer and it’s probably not what you think.

If you’re looking to save money by switching to the TXU Free Nights and Solar Days plan you may be in for a costly mistake instead.

We disclose the facts and break down the details for you below in our comprehensive review.

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 review:
Click on a section to navigate directly to it:

    1. What is TXU Free Nights and Solar Days?
    2. Avoid a $1,704 Mistake: Simply Choose a Cheaper Electricity Plan
    3. What will this plan really cost you?
    4. Think you can shift your electricity usage to night and save money on this plan?
    5. Why shift your lifestyle when you can simply pick a cheaper electricity plan?
    6. TXU Season Pass in Dallas (Oncor)
    7. TXU Season Pass in Houston (Centerpoint)
    8. Conclusion: Key Facts and Takeaways

 

What is TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days?

Look, we all love freebies.  If it’s free, we want it. And we want lots of it.

Here’s the thing though: nothing is really free.  To provide or make anything consumes resources and resources are limited.

So if something is touted as being free, it’s up to you to work out who’s bearing the cost.

ComparePower has done the heavy lifting to show you how the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days plan is anything but free.

We’ll break down the clever marketing and paint a clear picture of what those “free” nights will cost you.

Avoid a $1,704 Mistake: Simply Choose a Cheaper Electricity Plan

TXU Energy offers two terms, a 12-month and an 18-month term for the Free Nights Solar Days plan.

According to the TXU Energy facts label for the Free Nights & Solar Days 18 plan, the average home in greater Dallas (the Oncor service area) uses 32.70% of their energy during the night hours between 9pm and 6am.

This is the period of time where your usage will be free with this plan.

Greater Houston (Centerpoint Energy service area) residents use on average 31.50% of energy between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

The Oncor service area encompasses the greater Dallas area, which includes Arlington, Fort Worth, Frisco, Plano, Irving and more.

CenterPoint Energy encompasses the greater Houston area including The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, Humble, and surrounding cities.

What will this plan really cost you?

Directly from the Energy Facts Label (EFL), 2000 kWh per month costs an average of 13.9 cents per kWh for the CenterPoint Energy Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU).

This average pricing applies to greater Houston area residents that consume 31.50% of their energy during the night hours between 9pm to 6am.

We’ll explain in more detail below how TXU applies this average percentage nighttime discount.

Just looking at the facts, and assuming you fit the average nighttime usage profile, at a rate of 13.9 cents per kWh this plan will cost you $278 a month for 2000 kWh.

That is more than double the cost of a fixed-rate plan from competing energy companies on ComparePower.com.

In Texas you have the power to choose your electricity company.  ComparePower makes it easy to choose a cheaper plan to help save you money.

As of October 2017, the cheapest electricity rate on ComparePower.com would cost just $136 a month for the same 2000 kWh of monthly usage.

That’s 6.8¢ per kWh, which is less than half the cost of the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar days plan at 13.9¢ per kWh.

A savings of $142 each month. That’s real money in your pocket!

The clear takeaway is that for 2000 kWh of monthly usage, TXU Energy Free Nights and Solar days will cost Houston residents $1,704 more every year over the plan offered by Frontier Utilities on ComparePower.com

The charts below show a complete breakdown of how much money a competing plan on ComparePower could save annually over the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days plan for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 2000 kWh of monthly usage.

TXU Free Nights and Solar Days INCLUDING “Free” Night Usage (31.5%)
Monthly Usage 500 kWh 1000 kWh 2000 kWh
Approx. Cost of Plan Per Month $81 $146 $278
Approx. Cost of Plan Per Year $972 $1,752 $3,336
Effective per kWh price 16.2¢ 14.6¢ 13.9¢

 

Cheapest Electricity Rates on ComparePower.com
Monthly Usage (kWh) 500 kWh 1000 kWh 2000 kWh
Approx. Cost of Plan Per Month $47 $60 $136
Approx. Cost of Plan Per Year $564 $720 $1,632
Effective per kWh price 9.4¢ 6.0¢ 6.8¢

 

12-Month Savings over TXU Free Nights and Solar Days
Monthly Usage 500 kWh 1000 kWh 2000 kWh
Savings over TXU plan $408 $1,032 $1,704

CenterPoint Energy 500 kWh plan: ComparePower.com Reliant Apartment 6 Plan, Oct. ’17.
CenterPoint Energy 1000 kWh plan: ComparePower.com Frontier Take Control 12, Oct. ’17.
CenterPoint Energy 2000 kWh plan: ComparePower.com Frontier Straight Power 12, Oct. ’17.

And, what’s best about choosing one of the fixed-rate plans on ComparePower is you don’t have to worry when to use your energy. Day or night, it’s all the same price.

Save as much as 59% over the TXU Energy Free Nights and Solar Days plan

Think you can shift your electricity usage to night and save money on this plan?

Let’s explore what it would take for you to actually save money with the TXU Energy Free Nights and Solar Days plan.

The only way this plan can save you money over a regular fixed-rate plan is to dramatically shift your energy usage to night hours during the free window.

Remember, the average TXU customer consumes approximately 30% of their energy at night between 9pm-6am.

What if you used 50% at night? 60%? 70%? … Let’s find out.

Going back to the 2000 kWh usage example, it turns out the only way the TXU Free Nights & Solar Days plan saves money is if you consume more than 70% of your electricity during night hours.

If you’re an average user you would have to shift more than half of your daytime energy usage into the night hours of 9pm-6am.

How feasible is that for you and your family?

Why shift your lifestyle when you can simply pick a cheaper electricity plan?

To drive this point home, take a look at table 1a below for the Oncor TDU or table 1b for the CenterPoint Energy TDU.

We calculated price per kWh as a function of the percentage of electricity consumed at night.

Dallas Area TXU Free Nights Solar Days Analysis

TXU Free Nights Rate Table Analysis - Oncor

Houston Area TXU Free Nights Solar Days Analysis

TXU Free Nights Rate Table Analysis - Centerpoint

With the TXU Free Nights and Solar Days plan, you would have to consume as much as 70% of your total energy at night between 9pm – 6am to save money over the lowest priced fixed-rate plan currently offered on ComparePower. No lifestyle change required.

Choosing the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days plan would require you adjust your lifestyle and energy usage such as running the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and the air conditioner at night and keeping just about every appliance turned off during the day.

How realistic is it that you would be able to drastically change your lifestyle to match this plan?

Keep your lifestyle and save with a cheaper electricity plan.

Looking for more detail? Here it is…

TXU Free Nights & Free Weekends and TXU Free Nights & Solar Days plans are also known as ‘time of use plans’.

Time of use plans are offered by a number of electrical providers.

They function by drastically increasing energy rates during peak daytime hours in exchange for free electricity during off-peak nighttime hours.

On the surface they sound like a great deal, but as we’ve already explained the question you should be asking is what are they charging the rest of the time? During the non-free hours.

To compensate for the free electricity at night providers such as TXU Energy increase their rates during peak hours, or daytime hours.

Often these rates are more than double that of straightforward electricity plans such as those offered on ComparePower.com

What about those TXU Energy “Solar Days”?

One unique feature of the TXU Energy Free Nights Solar Days plan is that it uses renewable energy sources such as wind and natural gas.

This green initiative is appealing to a growing number of eco-friendly Texans interested in consuming energy produced from renewable or “green” resources.

It is important to understand that 100% renewable plans are offered by several electricity providers for much less than the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days plan. 

In fact, as of October 2017, the cheapest 100% green energy plan on ComparePower.com, offered by 4Change Energy, is called “Eco Saver 12”.

It would cost just $160 for 2000 kWh of usage on the Oncor service area. That’s about 38% savings compared to the TXU Energy Free Nights and Solar Days plan.

A savings of 38%.  That’s savings of ~$98 every month.  Annually, that’s a savings of approximately $1,176.

Enter your zip code below to compare green energy plans that save as much as 40% on your energy bill when compared to the TXU Free Nights and Solar Days plan.

Compare 100% Green energy plans that save you money

Why does TXU Energy care what time of day you consume electricity?

At this point you’re probably wondering why power companies such as TXU Energy and others develop clever tactics such as time of use plans.

The answer is simple.  The wholesale price of electricity during off-peak or nighttime hours is much less expensive for the electricity provider than during peak or daytime hours.

The reason wholesale prices are less expensive during nighttime hours is due to a large number of wind turbines that have sprung up throughout Texas in recent years.

Wind blows hard at night, and it is cost prohibitive to store large amounts of energy over time, therefore there is a surplus of energy during nighttime or off peak hours that is sold for much less than it is during peak hours.

Electricity companies such as TXU Energy can purchase this surplus at a much lower price compared to energy purchased during peak or daytime hours.

It is therefore financially favorable for energy providers to encourage their customers to change their consumption habits to use more energy at night, during off-peak hours, thereby lowering their operational costs.

Free electricity at night, but what does it cost by day?

This is an important question as it begins to shed light into the marketing gimmick behind the TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days plan.

While the plan does not charge customers for energy used between 9pm and 6am it fails to mention the daunting 18.8¢ per kWh this plan costs Dallas area residents during daytime hours.  Or 19.9¢ per kWh for Houston residents.

To state this in another way, if you were to use 100% of energy during the day you would be paying 18.8 cents per kWh in the greater Dallas area or 19.9 cents per kWh for greater Houston.

To figure that out you would have to go to the Energy Facts Label and read the fine print.

Ready to compare different energy plans?

We’ll explain the gimmick in more detail by breaking down how TXU determines average price per kWh.

Your average price per kWh each month is determined using publicly available pricing, found directly on the TXU Electricity Facts Label (EFL), along with the ‘Price per kWh’ formula in Table 2 below.

The formula calculates the price per kWh based on your actual usage each month, including the percentage of energy used during the free night hours.

Table 2. Price per kWh Formula

TXU Free Nights in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Frisco, Irving (Oncor Utility)

Greater Dallas area residents use Oncor as the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU). Table 3 below.

Oncor serves the greater Dallas area, which includes Arlington, Frisco, Plano, Fort Worth, Irving, and surrounding cities.

TDU Delivery Charges are what your local TDU company charges each customer for the cost of maintaining electricity poles, wires, meters, etc.

TDU Delivery Charges Per Month and TDU Delivery Charges Per kWh are passed through to the customer as billed from the Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU).

In the greater Dallas area the TDU is Oncor, whereas in the greater Houston area the TDU is Centerpoint Energy.

Table 3. Complete list of TDU’s in Texas along with charges current as of September 2017.

The average price per kWh and TDU Delivery Charges  in tables 4 and 5 are taken directly from the TXU Energy facts label as of October 2017.

Table 4. Electricity Facts Label (EFL)
TXU Energy Retail Company LLC TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days 18SM. Oncor Electric Delivery. October 04, 2017

Avg. Monthly Use 500 kWh 1000 kWh 2000 kWh
Avg. Price per kWh 15.2¢ 13.7¢ 12.9¢

Average Price per kWh above is a sample based on an average annual usage profile for this TDU with 32.70% of electricity usage occurring during Nights hours. Actual usage price will depend on your usage and the pricing below.

At first glance people assume TXU Energy is offering daytime prices at 12.9 cents per kWh for an average monthly use of 2000 kilowatt hours (Table 1).

As we mentioned earlier, the advertised rate of 12.9 cents already assumes a percentage of your electricity is consumed at night during the free window.

For greater dallas TXU assumes 32.70% of energy is consumed at night.  And for greater Houston 31.50%. These percentages are already included in the Average Price per kWh formula (table 2).

What if you use less energy at night than the included 32.70% or 31.50% depending on your location?

Unless you shift your energy consumption to match the assumed percentage of nighttime usage, you will end up paying a higher rate per kWh than what is advertised on the EFL.

TXU Free Nights in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Sugar land, Humble (Centerpoint Energy Utility)

Houston SkylineHouston and surrounding cities such as The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar land, and Humble use Centerpoint Energy as their Transmission and Distribution Utility (TDU). Table 3 above for reference.

Table 5. Electricity Facts Label (EFL)
TXU Energy Retail Company LLC TXU Energy Free Nights & Solar Days 18SM. CenterPoint Energy. October 04, 2017

Avg. Monthly Use 500 kWh 1000 kWh 2000 kWh
Avg. Price per kWh 16.2¢ 14.6¢ 13.9¢

Average Price per kWh above is a sample based on an average annual usage profile for this TDU with 31.50% of electricity usage occurring during Nights hours. Actual usage price will depend on your usage and the pricing below.

Using the formula in Table 2. For a usage of 2000 kWh per month, the effective daytime rate for Houston area residents is a shocking 19.9¢ per kWh.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways:

Unless you are able to dramatically shift your daytime usage to nighttime hours you will be paying an absurd rate for energy.

Once you’ve come to the realization that you can’t live a nocturnal lifestyle forever, or you figure out that the per kWh rate is too high, you can’t walk away from this plan without paying a hefty $295 cancellation fee.

Texas retail electricity pricing can be confusing. Every company has its own way of presenting its prices so numbers can’t easily be compared without hours upon hours of research.

Early cancellation fees are outrageous. Marketing is clever and many times confusing or downright misleading. The fine print is everything.

ComparePower.com solves this problem.  All pricing elements for the compared plans are broken down so you can see exactly what to expect on your bill.

Remember, often times what is touted as “free” ends up being very expensive indeed as it only gives the illusion of being free of cost. More often than not someone is footing the bill, and usually that someone is you.

Why would you choose to shift your lifestyle whe you can simply pick a cheaper plan?

 

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