Electric Rates This Time of Year

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 were 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.

Texas Deregulation Has Lowered Consumer Prices Despite What Opposing Voices Say

electricitmarketsI have read many articles over the last few years of how electricity deregulation in Texas is not working. I hate to jump on conspiracy theory band wagons but the news media always seems to point out that electricity deregulation hasn’t worked and give biased stats to direct the reader to the same conclusion.

When you look at the whole picture the numbers show a different conclusion than what is touted in the news. Electricity deregulation in Texas actually has reduced electricity prices for consumers in Texas.

In reality Texas consumers enjoy shopping for a cheap electric company in Texas and routinely do so and are benefited by lower prices.

If you are an electric service consumer in a deregulated area of Texas and are willing to shop for the best price you will pay far below the regulated prices you saw a decade ago under regulation by the state.

When you add in inflation to the price of electricity it comes out even better for the consumer.

Let’s consider the most competitive city in Texas for retail electricity, Houston. The Centerpoint Energy utility area covers the city of Houston and surrounding cities.

A year ago a 1 year fixed rate could be had for about 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. The variable prices you could find went for around 5.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first month.

Compare these rates from last year with 2001 prices when Texas was still under complete electricity price regulation by the state.

In 2001 the regulated price for electricity was 10.4 cents per kilowatt-hour in the city of Houston and cities surrounding Houston. When you factor in inflation the comparable rate as of today would be 13.6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

As of today a consumer can shop around and save about 45 % less than what you could get in the not so competitive electricity market of 2001.

Think about this for a moment, have you seen a reduction in your cable television bill, phone, groceries, taxes since 2001? In comparison electricity has been declining in price in Texas over the last few years but many other essential services have been going up.

Lower natural gas prices definitely help keep your electricity price cheap but as of right now the Henry Hub spot price for natural gas is actually 40 % higher than it was in December of 2001.

Considering Texas generates much of its electricity using natural gas this should surprise you that in a competitive market we have lower prices even with a disadvantage in the price of the raw resource we use to generate electricity.

You will find some municipalities and Co-ops in the state that charge their customers less for electricity than in retail areas but this is not true in all municipalities and co-ops and often changes. In fact right now many municipalities and co-ops are undergoing rate changes.

I have seen Co-ops and municipalities that have prices below some retail providers as of today that at one time were charging 2 cents per kilowatt-hour higher than everyone else.

I bring up the example of the municipality and Co-op to simply explain that you can’t point to the municipality that happens to be lower in price for a few months as to proof deregulating an electricity market doesn’t work.

Even with a cheaper price coming from a municipality you will still find areas of the state that are deregulated with even cheaper prices than the municipality. The problematic price difference next door such as Tyler Texas’ prices and Longview’s prices don’t give you an accurate picture.

A municipality escapes several expenses a retail electric provider has simply by being a municipality with access to public funds but even still some retail providers in Texas remain cheaper.

A common argument is also that had the state of Texas kept the electricity markets regulated prices would likely have remained unchanged. This is very unlikely when you take into account that utilities have taken on rate increases to build more power plants, upgrade transmission lines and power poles, and simply to fund operations like health care and pensions for employees.

Even under regulation news organizations would likely still banter about that the regulated electricity market has run a muck each time a price increase happens to cover these utility upgrades.

The California energy market manipulation of 2001 that had Reliant Energy charged and Enron trading managers plead guilt to market manipulation is used to explain that an electricity market should never be deregulated.

In reality California is a benchmark case study in what not to do and has allowed other states to set up a system that prevents such manipulations from ever happening again.

The Texas PUCT, ERCOT, and others police the energy market transactions that happen in Texas and have even been blamed for over policing the system causing inefficiencies in the deregulated market. If anything Texas does too much to police the energy wholesalers that deal in these very large energy block trades.

In summary, it should be obvious when looking at the whole picture that deregulation has had a huge benefit to the electricity service customer by actually lowering prices. If you want to make the competitive markets work in your favor you need to shop for the cheapest provider each time your energy contract is up. I always recommend putting a reminder to go off in your phone a month before your contract ends so you are sure to always have the lowest price a competitive energy market is able to give you.

You can read more about this topic by going to this article

Van Texas Electricity, You Can Compare Companies and Save

In Van Texas you can compare multiple retail Texas electric providers rate plans against each other, find the cheapest one, and order electric service at a substantial discount.

Our online comparison tool is easy to use. You enter your zip code in the box and click on “Compare”.

From there a list of Van Texas electric providers and rate plans will appear.

You can rest confidently that all fees and charges are bundled into our electric rates excluding taxes.

We are unlike most electricity companies and aggregation sites in that we take steps to bundle in all fees and charges so you are not tricked into a rate that appears cheaper than it really is.

We have even gone so far as to allow you to adjust your average monthly kilowatt usage in case you use more or less than what we have the default set at to calculate your rate.

We have our rates calculated with all fees and charges built in based on the average Texas energy consumers monthly electric bill so chances are good the rate you see will be at or higher than what you will actually pay.

To crystallize what I am trying to tell you here in simple terms, our rates are straight forward without the standard hidden fees and gimmicks, you can compare multiple discount providers, and you can order your Van Texas electric service online.

If you have any questions our Van Texas energy consultants located in Tyler Texas can assist you. You may call us at 1-800-971-4020.

Haltom City, Texas Electricity Service

One of the best ways to save money on your monthly Haltom City, Texas electric bill is to make the most out of the energy you use.  Reducing energy consumption is a wonderful and responsible thing to do and when combined with energy efficiency it can make for a much lower electric bill.  Try preparing several meals at a time when you are using your oven.  You are already paying for the energy of heating the oven, so pack it full to get the most out of the heat.  You can freeze the extras for quick and convenient meals on those days when your life is just too hectic to worry about meal preparation.

Another fantastic way to save on your Haltom City, Texas electricity bill is to find a lower cost electricity service provider to establish service with.  Use the ElectricityBid online comparison tool to compare rates from all Haltom City, Texas electricity service providers and choose the one that offers the best deal.  Simply enter your zip code and service type to get started.  You can even order your new service right online through ElectricityBid.

We do understand that from time to time you may have questions that simply cannot be answered online.  If this is the case, please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-971-4020 to speak with one of our energy consultants.  We will be happy to help you better understand the Haltom City, Texas electricity market and help you decide which electric company is right for you.

Tips for Selecting a Texas Energy Provider

Independence Day Promo Electric Rate From Bounce EnergyEvery May, our contract with our Texas energy provider comes up for renewal, and we have the power to choose whether to stay with our current provider or switch. In looking for a new provider and/or plan we not only want a good rate, but we first have to decide if we want a contract and what kind, and if we want to use green energy, all the while paying close attention to possible promotions and rewards programs. Here is the process we usually go through.

In order to choose a provider, it is best to start with a plan. The two most common plans are variable rate and fixed rate. With a fixed rate plan you’ll pay the same rate for electricity throughout the term of your contract (which is typically 2 years). The price can change only to reproduce actual price changes that are allowed by Public Utility Commission rules due to changes in law or regulatory charges. This plan is great for people who have a household budget since the rate stays the same, which protects you from rising energy prices; however, if market prices fall you have to wait until your contract is over to switch to a lower rate. If you think you might want to discontinue service after a short period of time, look for a company that does not have contracts or offers short term contracts. Companies that have contract periods often have a minimum term and if you cancel your service before the contract period ends, you might have to pay a penalty.

Variable rate, or often referred to as “month-to-month”, plans have no minimum contract period and are based on current energy market conditions. With this kind of plan, the rate you pay can fluctuate depending on the changes in the electricity market. Which means you can benefit from lowering energy rates and could help you to save on your energy bill. However, just as this type of plan allows you to save money when market prices fall, it could also have a negative affect if market prices rise because so would your electricity rate. For some people, dealing with constant changing electricity rates can be stressful so a fixed rate works best for them. On the other hand, there are others who like being able to always get the best rate and don’t mind searching for it, making a variable rate plan their best option.

Next is to choose between a non-renewable (standard) and a renewable (green) plan. You can check a Texas energy provider’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to see if their plan produces electricity from renewable resources such as solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal, or wind. EFLs allow you to easily compare what each company has to offer to find the best fit for your energy consumption and budget. Each label contains the following information:

  • Electricity Rate: This is made up of the electric company’s average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 1500 kWh, as well as a possible monthly customer service charge and seasonal pricing. Rates can differ depending on the number of kilowatt-hours so it’s important to look at your past usage. With some companies the more kilowatt-hours you use, the lower the rate will be.
  • Contract Terms: Some companies have minimum terms and will charge you an early cancellation fee, while others may not require a contract.
  • Power Generation Sources: The electricity provider should list from what resources the electricity is produced (coal, natural gas, renewable energy, etc.) The percentages will be graphed to compare them to the average usage for electricity generation statewide.
  • Emissions: In this section companies provide details on the types and percentage of emissions they create per kWh of electricity generated. The energy provider’s percentages will be graphed to show if the emissions are better or worse than the Texas average. This might be an important section for you if you’re interested in decreasing your carbon footprint.

Once you’ve decided which plan works for you, then the next step is to compare Texas electricity companies. You can do this by going to ElectricityBid.com where you can compare prices and ratings. Just enter your zip code and then pick the kind of plan you want. You will be able to see different Texas energy providers and their company rating, different plans offered, cancellation fee, if electricity is produced from renewable or non-renewable resources and the terms and rate for each plan. These websites will also show you promotions and incentives offered by each company and if they have a rewards program.

Lastly, review and compare all the possible incentives and rewards programs offered. Some companies offer rewards programs to their customers such as cash back and gifts. For example, Bounce Energy is currently rewarding its customers for paying their bills on-time. Customers who pay their bill on-time for 6 consecutive months receive their choice of 2 movie tickets or a free companion airfare ticket and also gain access to Bounce Energy’s VIP Customer Service line. The longer you pay on time, the more you get in return. Power providers might also offer incentives or promotions for signing up with a new plan such as gift cards, airline miles, charitable donations, or better rates if you sign up online. For example, Bounce Energy’s Express Move plan. This short term fixed rate plan makes moving much easier by not only turning on your electricity, but Bounce Energy will submit your USPS Change of Address form, add your name to the Do Not Mail and Do Not Call lists, give you free identity protection service and give you either a $25 Walmart or Home Depot gift card. Bounce Energy’s Terrific 12 plan gives the customer their choice of $25 gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart, GAP Inc., Shell, or a $25 bill credit.

As you’ve probably seen, there are many Texas energy providers and plans to choose from but by doing some research you will be able to find one that is right for your electricity needs and budget.

Online Resources
http://powertochoose.org
http://www.electricitytexas.com

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