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TXU Free Weekends Free Nights Unplugged: Avoid a $720 mistake
UPDATE: Take a look at our writeup on TXU Energy’s latest plan: Free nights & Solar Days
Let’s look in-depth at The TXU Energy “Free Nights” and “Free Weekends” electric plans and see if we can’t find the true cost.
The first thing to do when comparing energy providers is to determine your usage level. This is the average amount of electricity your household uses.
Determining your average electricity usage
In Texas, energy companies must list the all-inclusive average pricing at three distinct usage levels.
500, 1000, and 2000 kWh.
The pricing at these different usage levels is often dramatically different because of the base fees applied to your bill regardless of how much you use.
So the average price, per kWh, typically goes down the more you use because these fees are spread out across a larger number of kWh. Make sense?
But there’s one more pesky fee that you need to be aware of. It’s associated with low usage levels. The power companies use all sorts of names to describe this fee, but the concept is the same. Most providers will charge you a fee if you don’t cross that magic usage line.
As a point of reference, the average household in Texas uses about 1200 kWh per month. But take that with a grain of salt because that’s the average of huge homes and tiny apartments, so the state average isn’t something you want to even concern yourself with.
The only way to know the exact rate you’re paying is to look at some of your past bills. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) requires that the electric providers report your usage and detail the average price paid per kWh. Some providers hide this in fine print, while others put it in the open.
The TXU money pit: Math behind the madness
First, look at the rates for this TXU free nights and weekends plan. Pulled directly from the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) from the TXU website, the pricing table is depicted below:
|Average Monthly Use||Average Price per kWh|
|500 kWh||14.40 ¢|
|1000 kWh||13.40 ¢|
|2000 kWh||12.90 ¢|
For our example, we’ll look at Centerpoint Utility Region, serving the people of the Greater Houston Area looking for electric plan savings.
The “energy charge” pricing for this 12-month plan is a whopping 17.7 cents per kWh, no matter how much you consume!
But wait, how is it possible that the energy charge is more than the average price per kWh?
It’s because that average pricing table already includes your anticipated Free Nights or Weekends.
The lowest 12-month, 1000 kWh usage pricing plan on ComparePower is with 4Change Energy at 8.4 cents per kWh at the time of writing. So immediately, it should be apparent that something is not right with the TXU plan.
To put this in perspective, the average Texas household we discussed earlier (1200 kWh /month) would actually pay TXU an additional $720 a year for the privilege of using their Free Nights and Free Weekends plan than had they chosen the 4Change Energy Plan.
Shop smart: Ignore the gimmicks
So, what does TXU offer you to offset that cost in terms of value? Not much.
The informed consumer should ignore gimmicks and truly analyze the all-inclusive pricing listed on the Energy Facts Label (EFL) as a basis for comparing electric plan costs.
Enter your zip code and compare all-inclusive pricing, so you know exactly what you are signing up for. Once we get you the best plan for your home, checkout in as little as five minutes, confident you made the right decision.
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.