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Is there a time of year that is best for shopping electricity rates? I am often asked this question but the reality is that there is no specific time of year that works best.

If there were a specific time of year when rates were lower you could make a fortune in the energy commodities market.

You could trade on the Chicago exchange each year and make a good living knowing when energy would be lower and you would never have to work again.

In reality seasonal weather changes, energy shortages, summer demand spikes are all built into the price of energy already.

For prices to go higher or lower in the summer you would need an abnormality in the weather or supply of energy to occur.

These abnormalities in supply and weather is what you would need to predict in order to price electricity prices correctly each year and come out with the cheapest price of the year annually.

Since nobody can accurately do this consistently this has a lot to do with why there are not thousands of professional energy traders becoming millionaires right now.

Also since you and I cannot do this we also can’t predict electricity prices being lower in the winter or the summer.

In reality your guess is a 50/50 crap shoot each and every time you lock in your electricity price for the year and hope you locked in while prices where near their bottoms and not their tops.

What you can do as a consumer is compare prices using a widget like the one we provide on our website. You enter your zip code and click compare and a list of providers and rates will appear.

Find a good cheap rate and lock in for a year and hope because that’s all you really can do, that prices in the markets are currently near their lows.

A good tip is if prices look relatively low to you or something affordable than that is a likely indicator that locking in for a year might not be a bad idea.

Regardless of the provider you choose they all must pass thru the exact same fees from Oncor. This is a matter of legality. The Pole company can show no partiality to any provider in retail competition in Texas but must pass through the rate as approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. This TDSP charge will always be the same regardless of the provider as there can be no partiality given based on provider.

Reading from the PUC website you can read for yourself similar language as I have described.

“Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs) must offer access to their wires to all REPs on a non-discriminatory basis under standard terms and conditions adopted by the Commission.”

“These areas are open to full retail competition as of January 1, 2002, and these TDUs charge the below rates to REPs.”

To see the rates in the Oncor area of Texas click here

The reason this topic has been brought up on this blog is due to the large amount of sales people out there that use the TDSP part of the bill to confuse customers about their rate in order to get them to switch providers.

You may hear from a retail electric provider sales person that their company does not charge the TDSP charge or that it is much lower than another provider.

Statements like the one above are lies and deceptions geared to getting you to believe a given rate from a new provider is cheaper than the one you have.

There are cheaper providers out there so shopping around is a good thing. When the cheaper rate being discussed is only cheaper because they argue regarding the TDSP part of the rate then take notice because you are about to be had.

Where this deception is most often encountered is through door to door sales people, responding to a newspaper ad in a thrift paper by calling number on ad, or via MLM sales people that may be regurgitating information they themselves do not fully understand.

However you heard about a cheaper rate by getting a lower TDSP charge this is very false information and by no means believe it. These people are either lieing or they have been led to believe something false and are now sending you down their gullible road.

In summary this article was written to help those navigate down a typical issue encountered when choosing an electric rate. If you have further questions please call or use our compare widget.