Which retail electricity providers offer free smart thermostats?
Smart thermostats — such as Nest and Ecobee — have become popular among Houston electricity customers because these devices help you save money. With minimal setup, these handy thermostats learn when you’re home and when you’re away and then adjust the temperature setting so you use less electricity.
As a perk for new customers, three Houston electricity companies currently offer plans where they give you a free smart thermostat for your home:
If you want to take control of your energy usage, smart thermostats make it easy. Like a Ronco rotisserie oven, you can set and forget your smart thermostat.
CenterPoint Houston plans giving away thermostats
When you compare free smart thermostat plans from these three companies, the first thing you notice is the long contract terms. Smart thermostats cost between $150 and $300, so by giving you the device, the company is investing in you as a customer. To make this investment pay off, they need you to stick around for a while.
The three companies have very competitive rates. For a 1,000 kWh user, the lowest price is 10.8 cents/kWh under the SMART Energy 36 plan from TriEagle Energy. As the plan name implies, your price is locked in for 36 months. The company sends you an Ecobee smart thermostat when you sign up.
The cheapest Veteran Energy plan is the 36 month Nest Rate at 11.8 cents/kWh. This plan gives you a Nest smart thermostat and a fixed rate for three years.
Locking in your electricity price protects you from price fluctuations. These plans can shield you from price swings this hot Texas summer and for one or two summers beyond.
Don’t incur a cancellation fee
Cancellation fees are high with these plans for two reasons. First, the companies want to recoup their cost of giving customers free smart thermostats. If you leave your plan to shop and compare Houston electricity rates, they need a way to cut their losses. Second, cancellation fees generally rise with the length of the contract period.
The TriEagle SMART Energy 36 plan has the lowest price, but it also has the highest possible cancellation fee. For every month left on your contract, you pay $20 in a cancellation fee. Say you have 17 months left on your contract. You pay a $340 cancellation fee. On the flip side, this plan can also have the lowest cancellation fee when you cancel with a few months left on your contract. The other plans discussed have cancellation fees ranging from $250 to $300.
On top of cancellation fees, you may have to pay for a portion of the cost of the smart thermostat. Though not as stiff as the cancellation fees, these costs can be shocking. Fortunately, all these fees are clearly explained in the plan contracts.
Compare Houston electricity rates
When you know the pros and cons of choosing a free smart thermostat plan, you can make an informed decision. Even if you’re not interested in one of these devices, shop electricity rates at Texas Electricity Ratings to become an informed consumer.