“ A commercial airing on many stations, from TXU Energy, is shameful, "Energy free 400" . I sent my information to the major TV stations and only one replied. I was given the response "WE WILL NOT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS US". Broadcast Consumer Advocates seem to be neutered when it comes to protecting the citizens from predatory practices of advertisers who pay them. I sent my information to local radio stations, Tom Tynan, and even mayor Parker. I have not received any response from any of them. Electric bills are a major expense to the consumers and exposing this information would be more beneficial than stories about roaches in a restaurant!
I have had 7 different energy providers in the last 10 years. I have no allegiance to any of them.....it is all about price. Right now I am researching new energy contracts for the old people in my neighborhood. They are on fixed incomes. They rely on me to find the best contract when it is renewal time. Many do not have computer skills and can be easily swayed by misleading commercials such at TXU's. Reliant is not any better in pricing , but many older people still choose them because of name recognition. I have never chose Reliant, since deregulation, because their rates are never close to being the lowest.
Historical data has proven that it is unwise to pay an added premium for contracts more than 12 months. The Power Providers have been raking in extra money by advertising longer-term contracts. The Shale Gas techniques have put natural gas prices in the toilet and that keeps a lid on electricity prices which are dominated by domestic coal and natural gas generating stations.
Most people do not realize that all Power Providers are just "energy resellers". They buy megawatts of power (about 4 cents a kilowatt) and then resell it. CenterPoint controls all the "wires" and is responsible for the infrastructure in the Houston area. Centerpoint's "distribution charge" is blended into the energy charge of the Power Providers.
Since all Power Providers are just billing agents, why would a person not shop for the lowest price? All power- line problems must be reported to Centerpoint for resolution so all providers are equal in that regard.
I obtained the data , for my comparisons, from PowertoChoose.org. I sorted them from lowest to highest rates (per 1000 kW) and used 18 month contracts for "apples to apples" comparisons. I did include a highlighted contract which was for 12 months to show the additional savings. Compared to just 7 of the many Power Providers available, you would see that TXU charges ~40% more, no matter what the usage is! FREE ENERGY!!!!????? I did "chat" with a TXU representative to ensure I understood their billing examples and the data is accurate. Please see attached Spreadsheet and you can go to the TXU site and the PowertoChoose site to verify my numbers.
I contacted PowertoChoose.org (by email) and told them that they should help residents, of our great State, by requiring all of the providers to make their billing charge algorithms available to the PowertoChoose website. CenterPoint's database should also be made accessible.(since it has records of the typical usage from that residence in the last 12 month period). A person could then simply put in their "service address" , select a plan type (3,6, 12, 18, 24 month, etc), and then all the plans would be computed against historical usage at that service address, . The resultant energy charge "totals" would be illuminating. This would immediately alert people to scams like what TXU is running. Perhaps TXU is not the absolute highest, but that is not something to be proud about. This would also make the rates more competitive if people were now very aware of the comparisons and would shop for the lowest price, all fees included. United Way and other volunteer agencies could help people who are in need of saving every penny. I never received a response from PowertoChoose. org
I also contacted the PUC. They said that the consumer has the responsibility to read the "facts label" and " terms of service" carefully. If you ever read those documents, you would know that they can be long and confusing. They do not offer comparisons to other Companies for reference.
I abhor when people are taken advantage of. The smug look of the actor who promotes the plan, sickens me! Most networks are quick to "pick apart" everything people in government say or do, while they ignore the shenanigans their advertisers employ.
— R Bartel
February 21st, 2013