Houston Electricity Rates Prices and Plans – September 2009

We have compiled a list of some of the cheaper electricity rates, prices and plans from some reputable electricity companies in the Houston area.  The electricity companies in the list below have a track record of offering electricity service in the Houston area for a few years now and with the new PUCT rules in place the bundled electricity rates shown in the chart include all fees and charges including TDSP related charges, advanced meter fees, etc. We have listed monthly base charges to the right of each rate so you can see which electric company charges a base charge and which ones do not. Many times the cheaper electric rate with a base charge will save you more money than going with a higher electricity rate with no monthly base charge.

The confusing issue some electricity service customers still face is with a variable electricity rate. You can be quoted an initial rate in the advertisement when choosing a variable rate but some providers can change that electricity price even before receiving your first months electric bill. To our knowledge none of the Houston electricity companies in the chart below adjust their initial quoted variable rate until after you have been with them for atleast a month. If you choose a fixed Houston electricity rate the rate will not change the entire term of the fixed electricity agreement. We strongly recommend choosing a fixed electricity rate in the Houston Texas area to avoid any surprises.

Most electricity companies in Houston will also notify you before your fixed electricity agreement is up so you can renew before being put on a variable electricity rate. By having advanced notification that your electricity contract is about to expire you can have assurance that you will never have to deal with a fluctuating variable electricity price. Most Houston home owners and renters choose a fixed electricity rate because they have knowledge of exactly what the rate will be. By simply multiplying the rate times the kWh usage used during the month you can confirm you are being charged correctly.

Right now a 1 year fixed Houston residential electricity rate for September 2009 is the most popular fixed electricity rate agreement. We believe that a 3 year fixed rate actually makes sense right now considering Houston electric prices are close to all time lows. We think some electricity service customers in Houston could even consider signing up for something even longer term like the Just Energy 5 year residential electricity agreement. Most people are uncomfortable committing to an electricity price for that long but because electricity rates are this low right now it really isn’t that bad of a choice.

If you are like me 2 or 3 years is about the max amount of time you will want to commit to for a fixed Houston electricity rate. If you pick a longer term rate with a Houston electricity company you are basically buying insurance betting that electricity prices will be going up in the next few years. This keeps you in a low electricity price for several years while prices will likely head back up considering they are near as close to zero as they will probably go. If you choose a 1 month fixed electricity rate you have price insurance only for the first month of the rate, after that the rate can change with fuel prices. If you choose a variable rate plan with no initial 1 month term the rate could do just about anything. Even if you see an electricity price in a quoted advertisement the rate can legally adjust even before your first months electricity usage.

We recommend if you are considering a variable electricity rate in Houston that you atleast choose a 1 to 3 month fixed rate. After the initial term the rate follows a fuel commodity or index price along with the market. There are several choices when picking a fixed Houston electric rate and right now you can pick from 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2, and 3 year terms. Occasionally there will be other alternative fixed terms like a 9, 15, or 18 month fixed electricity rate. You can compare electricity rates for September 2009 using the historical snapshot below. These rates are for historical reference for the month of September 2009 so you can track what electricity companies in Houston were charging during this time. TXU Energy and Reliant Energy in Houston are both falling behind on price when compared with some of the cheapest electric companies in Houston. Although TXU and Reliant remain the two biggest Houston electricity providers they still do not offer low prices compared to some of the other Houston electric providers.

September 2009 Houston Texas Electricity Rates

August 2009 Dallas Electricity Rate Comparison

Today is August 14 2009 and we have gone out to the power to choose website to check on electricity rates from companies like Champion, Startex, Green Mountain Energy, Spark Energy, TXU, Ambit, Stream, Bounce, Texas Power and Reliant Energy.  We checked on some other Texas electricity providers but these energy companies provide a good overall comparison of rates. We have sorted the electricity rates  in order from cheapest to most expensive using the pricing available on the Power to Choose website.

Startex Power, Champion, and Green Mountain Energy, are some of the more popular electricity companies we recommend and Startex and Champion are currently offering some of the cheapest available electricity plans in the Dallas Texas area. There are no hidden fees or charges with Startex or Champion. If you use below 500 kWh per month than a $4.95 monthly service fee will kick in with Startex Power but other than that you are going to be good with the top two cheapest Dallas electricity plans in the chart.

This chart above is a historical snapshot of what Dallas residential electricity rates looked like for the month and day of August 14 2009. These charts sometimes help in determining the track record of a Texas electricity companies overall consistent performance in delivering a low cost electricity price to Texas energy consumers. To see a current comparison of our recommended electricity companies in Dallas Texas please click on our Dallas electricity comparison link by clicking here.

August 2009 Houston Electricity Rates and Plans – Compared

Picking The Right Houston Electricity Company, Rate and Plan

What to Know Before Signing up With Just Anyone

We have compiled a list of some of the more popular residential Texas electricity companies and rate plans. If there is a known issue with one of the residential electricity companies we list that concern next to the provider. There are some providers that have blatantly obvious tricks we know of that shows one rate on their website but when receiving your first electricity bill the rate is much higher due to the TDSP charges not being clearly apparent. A note should be made that these Texas electricity providers are usually involved in leaving off the TDSP charge on their advertised rate. We are not sure exactly how many energy companies participate in this practice as well as they change their practices depending on how much heat they are receiving from PUCT complaints. You can read Consumer Energy complaints from some of these providers customers who can explain what exactly can occur when switching to a gimmicky energy company better than we can.

August 7 2009 Residential Houston Electricity Company Comparison, Cheapest to Most Expensive

Understanding Your Houston Residential Electricity Rate

Most electric providers in Texas will bundle the TDSP charges into the energy only rate giving you an all-in rate that can be compared against other Texas electricity companies like TXU Energy and Reliant Energy. We have listed both TXU and Reliant in our comparison chart in order to compare their electricity prices with other Texas electric providers. You will notice that the two largest energy providers in Texas have much higher electricity prices than some of the smaller but good electric companies. Right now Champion Energy and Startex Power are two reputable electricity providers in Texas offering very cheap fixed electricity rate offers. All fees and charges are disclosed with these two companies. With Startex if a customer uses less then 500 kWh hours a month there will be a $4.95 monthly service fee although most Texas electricity consumers use more then this so it shouldn’t be an issue for most customers. A monthly service fee is simply an additional charge many electricity providers have in addition to their electricity price. It is important that a provider disclose this fee upfront rather than hide it in the contract details. We have made these fees obvious in our rate chart so you can make a clear apples to apples comparison of electricity prices in Texas.

Historical Houston Electricity Rate Snapshot for August 7 2009

Since this Houston electricity comparison chart is an update for August 7 2009 it only represents a historical snapshot of what Texas electricity providers were charging on this date. An updated and daily refreshed electricity rate chart is also provided below with some of the cheapest Houston electricity companies. We hope this historical list of Houston energy providers in prices above will keep you informed of how prices move over the course of several months. If you have any questions or comments about one of these Houston electricity companies please feel free to leave a comment below. If you are interested in a no deposit Houston electricity choice please visit our no deposit electricity page.

Current Houston Electricity Rates, Companies, and Plans

June 2009 Highest Priced Residential Electric Providers

To see a list of the most expensive Texas electric service providers selling residential energy please click on the below link.

Click Here to See the Highest Priced Texas Electric Providers

If you need to see the cheapest residential electric companies you can use the chart below.

These are Some of the Cheapest Dallas and North Texas Area Residential Electric Providers

All fees and charges are included in the below chart and all the electric companies in the chart are reputable stable residential energy companies in Texas. There are no hidden fees or fuel surcharges in these electric rates.

Electric Rates in all deregulated cities in Texas have come down quite a bit since last summer. Last summer a typical low cost electric rate at this time was around 16 cents a kWh for residential home owners and apartments. Now electric rates in the North Texas and East Texas area are priced at 10 – 11 cents per kWh for a 1 year fixed rate term. This is a very low price cosidering when last summer a residential electric rate in Dallas or Houston would cost anywhere from 16 – 31 cents per kWh. First Choice Power had a rate of 31 cents per kWh with some customers. We saw only a few months ago where Nueces Electric Coop was charging one of their customers 34 cents per kWh. We want to encourage residential Texas electric customers to not fall for a too good to be true rate offer but also to sign up for an exbortantly inflated electricity rate. Right now the name brand electric companies most Texas energy consumers are familiar with like TXU or Reliant are charging some of the highest prices in Texas. First Choice Power has come down from their high at 31 cents per kWh but they are still charging a lot when comparing their electric rate with several reputable discount electric companies.

A Quick Warning About Unbundled Too Good to be True Electric Rate Offers

Something to pay close attention to when deciding on a Texas electric rate is if the provider is hiding additional charges they do not make you aware of when quoting you a rate. For instance, Liberty Power advertises on the internet a residential Texas electricity rate that does not have the TDSP charges included in the energy price. We called Liberty Power to confirm what their energy price was on the phone and they did not disclose to us that there would be an additional 4 cents per kWh that would be added to the rate in the form of TDSP charges. We had to specifically ask them after the sales call if there would be an additional TDSP charges tagged on to the rate. Liberty Power also did not make us aware of a monthly service fee when quoting their residential electric rate to us. Their rate at the time that they were quoting was in the 7 cents per kWh range. Imagine thinking you were locking in at 7 cents per kWh to than get your first months bill that also contained 4 cents on top of that rate making the rate 11 cents per kWh and then add the monthly fee of $8.99 to that you have a rate in the 11.5 cents per kWh range.

It would be better for Liberty Power to just disclose to people what their rate is as well as what the customer can expect to pay in TDSP charges since most residential electric customers will pay about the same TDSP charge. Most residential electric companies in Texas will fix the TDSP charges and bundle them into their advertised electric rate. This means that most residential electric providers in Texas make their customers aware of all charges in an “all-in” quoted rate instead of just quoting the “energy only” portion of the rate. We hope this explanation can help you avoid signing up with an electric company that does not disclose all charges in their advertised price.

We visited Liberty Power’s site and they had no hard evidence of what their advertised residential electric rate is although you can sometimes find it on a Google or Yahoo ad that is just the “energy only” price. They had a quote form to fill out but no prices displayed anywhere on their site. We are very curious why they do not provide this pricing evidence on their website? A quick glance on another too good to be true offers shows that “Trickster Energy” (name hidden because of legal) is advertising a “fixed rate” at 7.5 cents per kWh with a $4.95 monthly service fee in their facts label and displays what appears to be a total bundled rate at 10.1 cents per kWh for the Oncor Utility area which is Dallas, Fort Worth, North Texas, and parts of East Texas. When reading their facts label which most customers pass on reading we find that their total bundled rate is really not the 10.1 cents per kWh that it shows. I called Trickster Energy and asked them what their rate was including TDSP charges and they said that the Oncor area rate is 10.1 cents per kWh but does not include the TDSP charges. She also went on to say she has “no idea what those charges are”. The issue is that providers know aproximately what those TDSP charges are for residential energy consumers and can easily give a close aproximate by saying 3 – 4 cents per kWh. Based on this conversation with this Trickster Energy sales lady the rate would be 10.1 + 4 cents in TDSP charges = 14.1 cents per kWh. It doesn’t matter that these additional charges are coming from the TDSP company. The issue is full price disclosure on the main advertised splash page for the residential electric price. The customer should have a clear front page example of the total “bundled rate” that includes all fees and charges including the TDSP charges.

Take a look at a Tricksters facts label as of June 8 2009. You will see that they have a charge showing 7.5 cents per kWh for the Oncor Electric Utility area but then at the top for Oncor they show 10.1 cents per kWh. Now you would assume that the total bundled electric rate is 10.1 since you have a low fee of 7.5 cents per kWh in the document at the bottom but a few cents higher at the top where it says 10.1 cents per kWh. This would be a great all in bundled residential electric rate right now. Now we call Trickster Energy and ask them if the 10.1 cent per kWh rate includes all charges. The lady on the phone says that the rate will be 10.1 cents per kWh but does not include the TDSP charges. She goes on to say that she has no idea what the TDSP charges will be? Even though it is an easy average to tell the customer she claims to not know. If you are a Trickster Energy customer let me finish the sales call correctly. Customer: “So what is the total bundled rate including TDSP Charges?” Sales Agent: “The total charges if when adding an aproximate TDSP charge of 4 cents per kWh will be 14.1 cents per kWh.” Customer: “Why is it that almost all Texas electric providers that sell residential electric service offer a total bundled residential rate in their advertisement that includes TDSP charges but your company does not?” Sales Agent: “Well we know our bosses know what the average cost of these TDSP charges will be but we have been told to state that we have no idea what these charges are.” Customer: “Doesn’t this allow the customer to assume that the rate will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 – 11 cents per kWh when in reality it will raise the electric rate several cents higher?” Sales agent: “No comment!”

Highest Priced Texas Electric Companies

These are the highest priced residential electric providers in the Dallas, Fort Worth, North Texas and parts of East Texas area. This comparison will also serve for showing who is pricing the highest in the Houston area as well although prices will typically be a little higher in Houston than in the Dallas Fort Worth area. The electric companies in the below list are reputable stable energy companies but happen to be offering electric rates at much higher prices than several other residential electric companies. There are also some electric providers in Texas that are advertising much lower rates than these providers but have hidden fees and charges they do not readily disclose on their websites or over the phone. We need to hear from consumers who have been tricked into what appeared to be a low rate but is really much higher.

Click here to see the Cheapest Available Residential Texas Electric Rates

Have You Been Surprised By Undisclosed Fees and Charges on Your Electric Bill?

If you have signed up at a higher electric rate than you were advertised by a Texas electric company than please fill out this form and let us know. There have been several complaints by Liberty Power and Trickster Energy customers that they were locked into an electric service rate much higher than what they were initially told. You may have been misled into an electric rate by one of these electric companies or possibly a different one we do not know about. Please feel free to let us know by filling out this quick form with your information.

Last Summer (2008) Some People Signed up at 15 Cents per kWh

Last summer a company by the name of Just Energy which also goes by the name of US Energy Savings Corp signed up many electric service customers to 5 year fixed residential electricity agreements. The reason so many Texas electricity customers signed up with Just Energy at 15 cents per kWh was because this was the cheapest rate when comparing 1, 2, and 3, and 5 year fixed electric rates.

Many did not realize that the summer of 2008 were some of the highest electricity prices in the Texas electric service markets history. By signing up for 5 years many Just Energy customers had locked themselves in at the highest time in the Texas energy market. Just Energy was not to blame for offering a 5 year fixed electricity agreement but consumers who decided to sign up for this long were strongly recommended by Electricity Bid to sign up for 6 months to 1 year even though the rate would be higher because it was our companies opinion that electricity rates would be coming back down. The summer of 2009 Texas saw some of the cheapest electricity rates we have seen but as of June it looks like the markets are heading back up again. We recommend 1, 2 and 3 year fixed rates at this time while prices are still low.

Last Year at This Time Where Were Electricity Prices?

If anyone was around in Texas last year during this time you probably remember having to pay one of the highest electricity bills you have ever had to pay in history. If you were already locked into a rate with a provider you were one of the smart ones who were protected during this volatile time. I saw a First Choice Power bill over 30 cents per kWh. I saw a few other Texas electric provider bills in the 24 cent per kWh range. Most Texas electricity companies were advertising fixed rates in the 16 cents per kWh range as can be seen in this historical chart: http://blog.electricitybid.com/index.php/2008/05/05/may-2008-houston-residential-electric-rate-comparison

The summer is the hottest time of the year and people begin cranking on that AC unit around May. Many people use double or triple their electric usage during this time. If you were using 2,500 kWh a month at this time and were paying 24 cents a kWh then you might have had a bill that totaled $600. First Choice Power customers may have had an electricity bill that was quite a bit higher. Several energy providers had sold unhedged power to their customers but were selling it as a fixed electric rate. National Power and Riverway Power were a couple of energy companies that did this and attempted to raise their fixed price on their customers when fuel prices went up. These providers no longer operate in Texas.  Some electric companies that were selling fixed energy prices without hedging eventually sold out to companies that had enough capital to take on the weak providers customers, honor the rate they charged and then hedged the energy they sold at a better time in the market.

Oil Prices from May 2008 to May 2009

Oil Prices from May 2008 to May 2009

Texas electricity rates have been coming down the last few months but have been toying with going back up for the past two weeks. These electric rates are down as of today but if you have read the news lately, a barrel of oil is considering going above $60 a barrel. Last year oil was hitting $100 a barrel and went as high as $140 before it tanked back down close to where it is today. We could be in for another disaster scenario this year considering how volatile energy prices can be. No one can accurately predict what energy prices will do but one thing we can say, electricity rates look pretty cheap right now when you compare them to last years prices at this time. You may wonder why we bring up the price of oil when talking about electricity. Oil and natural gas has a pretty strong correlation with electricity prices in Texas which is why we use the oil chart to compare. For instance last year a 1 year electric rate at this time was around 16 cents a kWh. This year you can lock in a 1 year rate around 10 cents a kWh. Now look at the oil chart to the left to see how oil prices were much higher last year then what prices look like today.

Right now a 1 year fixed electricity rate looks like the best rate. When you go out on a longer term fixed contract you will pay about 10% more but for the risk averse this could be worth it. By locking in for 2 or even 3 years you get in at a decent rate and avoid the volatile swings in electricity and fuel prices. When oil and natural gas commodities go up in price so does electricity. To avoid these volatile commodity price swings you should lock into something even if just for a year. You can compare the cheapest available residential electric rates by looking at the top left of this page in the side bar. We have the cheapest offers available there.

If you need a commercial Texas electric rate then please click on our contact link in the navigation bar at the top of this page and send us your information. A commercial energy consultant will call you right back.

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