When is the last time that you shopped around for lower electric rates? In 2002, Texas passed an energy deregulation law that affects approximately 85% of energy consumers statewide. Through deregulation, residents have the ability to shop around for the best electricity plan for their needs and budget. Many consumers take advantage of deregulation to periodically identify savings available through other providers.
There are 5 major areas in TX where residents and businesses can choose their suppliers:
Many consumers do not realize how frequently electricity rates change. By having control over the provider who serves their home, they can shop around to find the best rate for a longer term. These rates vary by zip code. Some providers enable customers to lock in their energy prices for 12 months or longer, and prevent themselves from exposing to the spikes energy costs based on market fluctuations during periods of high demand. Other opportunities to save include using a prepaid energy plans and setting up automatic payments.
Texas is a leader in green energy. In fact, it ranks fifth in the amount of solar energy that it produces, and it stands far above all other states in the amount of wind energy it generates. As you compare energy plans available, you can analyze the energy sources. This gives you greater control over how your home’s energy consumption impacts the environment.
Green energy is one of many factors that impact energy rates. For example, you can choose between a fixed or a variable plan. You can choose the length of your contract and even if you will prepay for your service. There are several dozen energy providers serving the state. Using ZIP code search tool, you can identify the providers available in your area. This makes it much easier to compare rates and plans.
As important as it is for you to save money with affordable electric rates, other factors may be relevant in your search for a new provider and electricity plan. For example, you should determine if you can afford to take advantage of a prepaid plan or if it is in your best interested to lock in a fixed rate. You also need to identify the deposit amount, if any, that you are comfortable paying.
The customer service experience delivered by providers varies as well. One of the most convenient ways to determine what type of experience you may enjoy from a specific provider is to read online reviews. When analyzing reviews, pay attention to the general experience of customers in the areas of customer service, accessibility and other relevant factors. Avoid making your final decision based on one or two different reviews because these may not give you a complete picture of what you can expect.
One of the first things that you should do before switching energy providers is to research when your current contract expires. You are permitted to change providers within 14 days of your contract expiration date without paying a termination fee. Notably, you can set up a new service with a future switch date up to 90 days from your contract termination date.
After you select the provider and plan that you want to switch to, you will contact the new provider to establish service. This can usually be done online or over the phone, but there is some variation from provider to provider. If your preferred plan requires you to pay a deposit, this will be due up-front. Typically, the new REP will contact your current energy service supplier to coordinate a seamless transfer of service.
Thanks to energy deregulation that affects the majority of consumers in Texas, the state’s residents enjoy some of the lowest energy rates in the nation. At the same time, consumers have greater control over their use of green energy without having to invest in energy-generating infrastructure on their property. Because energy rates fluctuate and providers’ plans change, it is important to shop for lower electric rates before each contract renewal. PowerSetter will send you a reminder 30 days prior your current contract expires. No need to set self reminders or write a note in the wall calendar anymore!
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