When shopping for a new electric provider, it can be difficult to decide which plan will best suit your needs. There are a variety of ways that you can cut down on the cost of your electricity bill, and it all starts with choosing the right supplier from the get-go.
Finding a cheap energy price on the internet is challenging. There are a lot of energy providers in Texas right now. It’s difficult to know which electric companies are good and which ones to avoid.
We at SlashPlan know the Texas energy market inside and out. In this article, I will walk you through the process of finding the best electric company for your home or apartment.
Who should shop?
Most consumers don’t want to think about their utility bills. They sign up once and forget about it forever. This is a very costly mistake. You should always shop around for a new plan when you have a choice. It may not be cost-effective to cancel your plan and pay a penalty if you are currently locked in a contract. But, there are a few cases where the law permits you to switch plans without such a fee:
Your contract is about to expire
Before your contract expires, your provider will try to sign you up for an expensive plan, or even worse, you’ll be put on a month-to-month variable-rate plan. Before agreeing, always make sure to take action and shop around to ensure you are getting the cheapest price.
You are moving
According to Texas law, when you are moving to a new home, your can choose to keep your current electricity plan or switch, without incurring any penalties or cancellation fees. This is a great opportunity to shop around for a new plan and see if you can reduce your electricity rate.
Know what to ask
Texas Retail Energy Providers offer a range of electricity plans from single-month to three-year contracts. Before you sign up for a new electricity plan, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you moving soon? If so, you may want to consider a short-term contract. On the other hand, if you are a long-term homeowner or renter, you may consider a cheaper 24 or 36-month contract.
- What’s your monthly usage? This plays a key factor in determining which plan you should choose. More on it later.
- Do you expect to significantly change your energy usage habits in the near future? You will want to account for that later when looking at the rates.
- Do you only want to sign up for a 100% Green Energy Plan?
Know your monthly usage
The most important factor for you to consider when shopping for a new energy plan is how much electricity you will use each month. To accurately estimate your bill, you’ll need to compile your monthly usage history over the last 12 months. It’s okay if you can’t get these numbers, but you should at least have your average monthly use, and be conservative.
If you are not sure how to get your monthly usage, simply call your energy company and ask them. Alternatively, if you have a smart meter installed (which most of us do) then create a free account with Smart Meter Texas and grab it from them.
Compare plans the right way
When it comes to electricity, Texans have a lot of options and the internet is making it easier to compare them, you can start comparing plans by simply entering your zip code. The fierce competition between energy providers has created a new set of dishonest marketing tactics, making it appear as if your rates are lower than they actually are. Many of these strategies are gimmicks and can finish up costing you a lot of cash.
You see, not all plans are equal and one might seem like a better deal than another when you read the fine print. Don’t just trust the ads, but remember, even a competitive supplier is out to make money. The companies that advertise the cheapest prices may not be providing you with the lowest rates in Texas.
Disregard all the marketing noise and concentrate on the bottom line. You need to understand exactly how much you will pay every month on your bill after all the fees and credits have been applied.
Read and understand the Fine Print
The Energy Facts Label (EFL) should always be read over. This important fine print in your contract gives you the details you need to compare plans against each other, apples-to-apples.
The most important pricing variables will be explicitly displayed in the EFL, such as:
- Type of energy, variable or fixed
- The prices you pay for electricity
- The length of time that you will remain at this rate
- Any fees or cancellation charges if you switch rates before your term expires
- Renewable content percentage
Every provider in Texas needs to post their plan details on their website in an EFL document. However, some electricity companies advertise low rates without the additional fees that everyone has to pay, like utility delivery charges. Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t realize they’ve been fooled until they get their first bill and it’s too late.
Find out more about the power company or supplier you are considering
There are many electric suppliers in Texas that claim to be the best — but fortunately for us, we can find reviews and information by doing some due diligence and finding out what other people are saying.
Focus on unbiased sources
Texas PUC Website
The Texas Public Utilities Commission publishes a customer complaint report twice a year. This report shows the complaint status and resolution of the company’s customer service.
Inside the PUCT report, you’ll see complaints in different categories:
- Slamming – when your REP is changed without your consent
- Cramming- when you have unauthorized charges on your bill
- Billing issues
- Quality of service
BBB of Texas
The Better Business Bureau publishes consumer reviews about companies or businesses. To access these reviews, visit www.bbb.org/txtexas or type in “electric suppliers” in the search bar on their website.
Folks can still file complaints even if the electric company is not registered, or accredited with the BBB. For that reason, I believe that the Better Business Bureau is one the most reliable sources for honest, unbiased reviews of Texas energy providers.
Use SlashPlan to Shop for Energy Plans and Find Competitive Suppliers
In this article, we’ve explained how to find and compare the best electricity suppliers and plans. You also learned about what you should consider before switching providers, and what to look out for. If you followed along you probably know that this task is time-consuming and tedious. Why not let someone else do that for you — for free?
SlashPlan is a free energy plan finder. Our process is simple and easy. You can find, compare, and enroll in a new plan in 5 minutes or less! and yes, it’s completely free.
Simply enter your Zip Code in the form below. We will instantly find the best electric service for you and display a list with real-time prices from all of our energy suppliers. Each product will show its period and the true cost of electricity.
No payment is needed to start enrollment, just click on any of the plans to begin. If you are moving in the near future, you may also schedule the service to start within 30 business days.
Enter zip code
View all the electric plans that are available in your area
Not all plans are equal. Use our calculator to find the plan that best fits your needs
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Enrollment takes about 5 minutes and can save you $50+ on average every month