Power to Choose: Texas Electricity Choice

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power to choose electricity in texas

Market Update: Power to Choose July 2024

The popular plan on power to choose right now is the short-term plan at a low rate scheme. You see plans with the lowest rates at terms of 3, 4, and 5 months. Why is that? Because those plans expire right before or in the middle of summer, when customers will roll into high-priced variable rates without realizing their bill exposure risk. Best case scenario is those customers have to find another plan when rates are at their highest. Worst case is they don't notice their bill expired for a month or two and have some monster bills 3-4x bigger than they expected. Avoid this by signing up now for a long term fixed rate plan while rates are at their lowest.

Power To Choose Texas

When Texas deregulated the Retail Electricity market in 1999, Texans were provided with Electric Choice and the PUC established the Power To Choose as an educational website to help consumers make better electricity choices.

Initially this was a good thing. The PUC built a competitive marketplace, that created savings for customers and Texas electric choice.

Over Time The Power to Choose Website Has Been Abused

5 things to know about your power to choose

Some providers may manipulate their prices to show specific prices at specific usage levels, this is done by advertising plans with bill credits that kick in at specific intervals to make the advertised rates appear lower than most customers will see. Another trick is extremely low rates, but a really high monthly recurring charge, which means your bills are much higher than they are presented. Power To Choose has little oversight or customer advocacy to prevent predatory plans from being presented to customers.

Another problem with Power to Choose is that any licensed Texas electricity provider can promote their plans on the site. Customers are presented with price only, no reviews, ratings or insight into whether the plans and providers are reputable.

Why is Texas Electricity Ratings better than Power To Choose?

To do this, we inform our customers before they exercise their power to choose. Only the most reputable providers are featured on Texas Electricity Ratings, we provide real customer reviews, and the plans and providers are rated by our team of experts.

Power to Choose Tools

Power to Choose Electricity Rates

This spring, we recommend that Texans shopping for electricity in the Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi areas select a 12 month fixed-rate electricity plan. Rates seem to be trending steady or upward, and after several retailers went out of business last year after the record-setting summer heat, locking in a rate now is the safest course of action, particularly ahead of next summer.

Houston Electric Rates

Company Term Rate
Frontier Utilities 12/months 11.1¢/kWh
Gexa Energy 12/months 11.1¢/kWh
4Change Energy 24/months 11.1¢/kWh
Discount Power 24/months 11.2¢/kWh
Cirro Energy 24/months 11.2¢/kWh
Express Energy 12/months 11.2¢/kWh
Chariot Energy 36/months 11.6¢/kWh
Constellation 12/months 13.5¢/kWh
APG&E 6/months 13.7¢/kWh
Just Energy 24/months 13.7¢/kWh
Rates as of Jul 22, 2024 at 03:40 PM

Dallas Electric Rates

Company Term Rate
Frontier Utilities 12/months 11.4¢/kWh
Gexa Energy 12/months 11.4¢/kWh
4Change Energy 24/months 11.4¢/kWh
Discount Power 24/months 11.5¢/kWh
Cirro Energy 24/months 11.5¢/kWh
Express Energy 12/months 11.5¢/kWh
Chariot Energy 36/months 11.6¢/kWh
APG&E 6/months 13.9¢/kWh
Rhythm 6/months 14.1¢/kWh
Constellation 12/months 14.4¢/kWh
Rates as of Jul 22, 2024 at 03:41 PM

Shop For Electricity In Texas

An easy way to save on your monthly bills is to check your electricity plan, and compare it to what's on the market now. Unfortunately this isn't something everyone does, and because many providers sell plans that are not just a straight up price per kWh it can be hard to really utilize your power to choose and select the best energy plan for your home.

Texas Electricity Ratings is a great place to compare plans, and gain a better understanding of plan options and features so you can make the right decision.

How To Choose the Right Energy Plan

  1. What's your usage? Electricity is measured in kWh (Killowatt Hours), check how much you use in the hottest months, (typically June, July, August) if you land around 2,000 kWh or over 3,000 kWh maybe a bill credit plan is for you. Otherwise a simple flat rate is probably best.
  2. What's your term? Are you in an apartment or a rental property, if so it may be best to try to sync your term up with your lease. Otherwise it's best to choose the lowest term with the most competitive rate to provide you flexibility to jump on price drops when they occur.
  3. Who's in your home? Does eveyone leave during the day and return in the evening? If so, maybe a smart thermostat and a time of use plan could be the best for you. Those typically have high rates during the day and low rates at night or over the weekend. If that's you, set your thermostat high while you're gone and enjoy the savings. If you work from home or have family that stays home during the day, it's best to avoid these plans.
  4. Have an EV? A new category of EV targeted plans to service these customers have begun to appear, check the details on these to ensure you'll actually be saving money.
  5. Are you confused yet? Even taking into account all those variables, start with a good fixed rate plan, and compare that to the niche plans to see if they're actually saving you any money, or if they're just smoke and mirrors (they usually are).

Commercial Electricity Power to Choose

In addition to having electricity choice for your home, there is also the power to choose your commercial electricity company. On Texas Electricity Ratings that is, you can't compare commercial electricity on PowerToChoose.org.

It is about as easy to compare electricity for your business online as it is to shop residential electricity rates. Depending on your usage, it's even possible to get customized pricing.

Texas Electricity Deregulation

Energy deregulation, also known as energy choice or customer choice, is a system that allows consumers in Texas to choose their own retail electricity provider (REP) rather than being forced to purchase electricity from a single utility company.

In Texas, energy deregulation was implemented in 2002 with the passing of Senate Bill 7. This bill created a competitive market for electricity, allowing consumers to shop around for the best energy plan that suits their needs. The idea behind energy deregulation is to increase competition and lower prices for consumers by allowing retail electricity providers to compete with each other based on price, plan features, and customer service.

Under the energy deregulation system in Texas, there are three main components: the electricity generator, the transmission and distribution utility (TDU), and the retail electricity provider (REP). The electricity generator generates the electricity, the TDU delivers the electricity to the consumer's home or business, and the REP sells the electricity to the consumer and manages their account.

This competitive system encourages companies to introduce innovation to the retail electricity market and forced electricity companies to appeal to customers based on price points, plan features, and customer service.

Now that consumers in Texas have the power to choose their own REP, and there are many different plans and options available from various providers. Consumers can choose from fixed-rate plans, variable-rate plans, renewable energy plans, EV charging plans, and more.

Switching Electricity in Texas

High electricity bill? Get a notice that your contract is expiring? Moving to Houston, Dallas, or other deregulated cities in Texas from elsewhere? Switching your electricity provider is much simpler than you may think.

The only thing you need to know is when your contract is ending. If it's more than 45 days into the future you may also need to know your early termination fee, if it's not too high and your rate is high then it may be worthwhile to pay that fee to get out of your contract and switch to a lower electricity rate.

From "what do I need to do" standpoint, the answer is not much:

  1. Enter your zipcode to find accurate rates for your area.
  2. Select a plan.
  3. Fill out the online order application
  4. Save!

Your new electric company will handle the switch from your old provider, and they'll probably send you a welcome packet before they start sending you bills. That is it!

Switch Electricity Today

Types of Texas Electricity Plans

This fall, we recommend that Texans shopping for electricity in the Houston, Dallas, and Corpus Christi areas select a 12 month fixed-rate electricity plan. Generally, natural gas prices are trending up over time, and that means that electricity shoppers should lock in their low prices over the next 12-18 months.

Electricity providers often offer a variety of plans and terms, with the intent of targeting specific audiences.

Electricity Plan Types

  1. Fixed Rate A plan that has the same rate for a fixed length of time. Typically 12, 24, or 36. Though, more recently longer terms have become common.
  2. Variable Rate These are essentially 1 month fixed rate plans. Your rate will remain the same for a month, then change from one month to the next. Often you can roll over to these plans if you do not renew your fixed rate plan at the end of it's term.
  3. Time of Use These are fixed rate plans who's price is is set based on the time of day. Typically lower rates in off-peak times (the evening and/or weekends) and higher rates during peak hours (in the afternoon, usually when it's hot outside).
  4. Flat Billing This is a type of plan that advertises a similar pricing structure to other monthly services, such as cable TV, and cellular phone bills. For flat bill plans, a customer's bill is usually determined where in several pricing tiers that the their usage falls within. Regardless of whether the usage is near the top of a tier or near the bottom of that tier, the customer pays the same monthly bill. These may sound good for bill stability, but are not frequently the best deal.
  5. Prepaid Electricity Similar to a prepaid phone plan, if you don't want to have your credit checked, have been rejected by an electricity company due to credit, or prefer to prepay, these are the plans to go with. The way these work is you'll pay upfront for a specific amount of electricity and are re-charged when your deposit is used up. Check out plans from Payless Power for a variety of prepaid electric plans.

Specialty Electricity Plans

  • EV Charging A 'Time of Use' plan, targeted at Electric Vehicle owners. Usually includes an additional segment of time overnight where electricity is cheaper, or may include a separate charge for unlimited or bulk EV charging.
  • Green Electricity These plans provide electricity from renewable sources. Green electricity in Texas is typically from either wind, or solar.
  • Electricity Bundles This is where in addition to your electricity you will recieve other goods or services from your electricity company. This can be something like a smart thermostat, or a service like home warranty or an A/C protection plan. These may be included with the cost of your plan, or may require an additional subscription payment that is included on your electricity bill.
  • Bill Credits These plans will usually have a high energy rate and bill credits that kick in at various usage levels. We do not currently recommend these plans, because they appear to offer a low rate, but your usage pattern must fall into the applicable range to get the bill credit. This means if you use more or less than the expected range, your rate per kilowatt could be significantly higher.

Texas Electricity Providers

We've collected the data and analyzed it from top to bottom you can read what real consumers are saying, check out our Customer Reviews.

In addition to reviews, Texas Electricity Ratings ranks and reviews the best electricity companies in Texas. Here are 2023's top 5:

Lowest Electricity Rates by City

Power To Choose FAQ

What is the Power to Choose?

Texans Have the Power To Choose their own electricity provider, giving you direct access to hundreds of offers and choices, and savings

Who can I trust to have the best electricity rates

TexasElectricityRatings has over 10,000 five star reviews on Shopper Approved and Over 1400 Google Reviews, and has been featured on Channel 2 News in Houston, The Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle

Who has the cheapest electricity rates in Texas?

The cheapest 12 month electricity rate is 11.100. Watch out for month to month and variable rates. For example a super low 5 or 6 cent rate may only be effective for a short term, or for a narrow band of usage, example 1000 to 1200 KwH then the rate JUMPS to 12 cents at 1201 KwH.

How can I get a better deal on electricity?

The Best way to get a better electricity rate is to understand your usage, credit and then compare rates at TexasElectricityRatings.com