Power to Choose Shows TXU Energy at 13 Cents for a 12 Month Fixed Rate

From time to time we like to check in and see how the larger companies like TXU Energy and Reliant Energy compare to the over 40 different retail electricity providers selling electricity service in Texas. TXU Energy has never seemed like the price leader as their brand is quite recognizable and many people feel safe and secure when choosing a brand name they recognize. Although the TXU Energy retail division has been sold to a new company called Energy Futures Holdings they still have their core billing and customer relationship management tools to give their customers a good experience. The issue is that their electricity rates just are not very good when comparing them to numerous other Texas electricity companies.

TXU Energy as of today (July 27 2009) shows that their 12 month fixed electricity rate is 13 cents per kWh in the Dallas Fort Worth area. This is quite a bit higher than several other electricity companies offering Dallas electricity prices in this area. Although TXU is a well established company there are several electric providers in Texas that now compete very well against TXU and their rates are lower. We have an electricity comparison chart that shows some of these Texas energy providers. What you will see in the chart is a clear apples to apples comparison with all fees and charges disclosed. If one of the electricity providers has a monthly service fee you will see that in the chart along with the rate. Some electricity companies do not have a monthly service but just a rate. The electricity rates compare much cheaper than what TXU Energy is currently offering their Dallas and Fort Worth Texas customers.

Take a look at the electricity rates in our residential electricity comparison chart above and choose a low cost electric company in the Dallas, Fort Worth or North Texas area. If you live outside the Dallas Fort Worth area just choose your area from the area box.

Have You Been Advertised A Low Electric Rate Only to Be Charged More?

chargesFor the most part we have seen that Texas electric companies are very good about advertising all fees and charges in their electric rates and plans. Having said this there are still a handful of energy companies that are basically tricking their customers into an electric rate while staying in the realm of what is considered lawful. There are ways to fashion a rate by using the loopholes available in the PUCT regulations and laws so that a Texas residential or commercial electric rate may look like a low price but as soon as you receive your first months electric bill you notice the electricity price is not as advertised.

This is called bait and switch in the deceptive trade practices law and so you may have more success pursuing a Texas electric company legally by complaining to the Texas Attorney General who investigates these types of crimes. If you have been scammed please fill out the form below so we can allow Texas energy consumers to be warned of potential traps a few electric providers have set for unsuspecting customers. If you are one of the Texas electric companies in the list below and have reason to believe that the customer filing the complaint is mistaken please feel free to comment below and clarify why the customer may be mistaken. We would be happy to retract any FALSE information.

Electric Companies That Do Not Participate in Bait and Switch Tactics

Above is a comparison chart tool that compares electric rates from multiple reputable electric companies in Texas each offering several different electric rates and terms. Some providers offer the cheapest long-term fixed rates while another provider may have a very good short-term rate. Some providers specialize in variable month to month rates that have no long-term commitment. You can compare and pick the electricity company and rate using our compare tool at the top right. When you ready to sign up just click on “continue” next to the provider you want and you will be taken to the sign up page. You will first be able to confirm the rate once more before deciding to commit.

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.

TDSP Pole and Wires Charges, Have You Been Scammed?

Compare several electricity rates and companies in Texas where all fees and charges are disclosed and bundled into the rate. There is no guessing what your final electricity rate will be when using Electricity Bid’s comparison chart to the right. Type in your zip code and click “compare”

Comparing Texas Electricity Rates in a Clear Apples to Apples Comparison Chart

Read the article below about deceptive trade practices regarding advertising a low Texas residential electric rate that does not include all charges such as TDSP charges, pole charges, and pass through charges. After your done reading come back here to this residential electric rate comparison chart that shows all charges in a total bundled rate in a clear apples to apples comparison. You can be confident that the rate you sign up on will be a total bundled electric rate with no surprise charges.

What is at The Root of the Confusion Involving Unbundled Residential Electric Rates?

In Texas you have commercial electricity rates and you have residential electricity rates. These electric rates and charges are all together different animals. Don’t be confused by assuming one is the other and don’t let a retail electric provider convince you that your wrong about a confusion involving TDSP charges added onto your electric bill. Texas commercial electric rates are usually quoted to a energy consumer as an “unbundled rate”. This means that the quoted commercial electric rate does not have the TDSP charges (pole charges) added into the rate. The reason the charges are not quoted initially when receiving a commercial rate quote is because the electric company does not know what they are for that specific business. TDSP charges are figured based on actual or historical usage and differ from one company to the next.

TDSP charges for commercial businesses are not a fixed charge because they are based on the amount of electricity you use on any given month. The charges are past through by the monopoly utility that owns the poles and wires and so the provider isn’t even in control of what these charges will be but only passes them through on their electric bill to the consumer. A  fitness studio gym might spend on average about 7 cents per kWh for TDSP charges on top of their “energy only” rate. A large chemical or manufacturing plant might spend 1 – 2 cents per kWh on average for TDSP charges. Generally the larger the commercial or industrial business the smaller on average per kWh the TDSP charges will be.

How TDSP Charges Work for Residential Energy Prices

Now lets consider residential electric rates and TDSP charges. Most Texas electric providers will quote you an all in electric rate that includes the TDSP charges in the rate. You may wonder how a residential electric provider can quote the TDSP charges as a part of the electric rate if they vary from one customer to the next? The answer to this question is that most Texas electric companies will bundle the two charges together before ever knowing what the residential energy consumer uses because they know on average what the historical average is for most residential customers. Since most home owners average about 1,300 kWh a month a Texas electric company can fix the TDSP charges and go ahead and bundle those charges in their advertised residential electric rate. Now even though we say that most residential electric companies in Texas bundle these pole and wires charges in their advertised rate does not mean that all do. The fact that not all residential electric companies include the TDSP charges in their rate is the issue many Texas energy consumers are facing and it has defrauded them out of hundreds of dollars.

Why do Residential Electric Service Customers Sign up for Unbundled Energy Service Products?

By signing up for an unbundled electric rate you are kind of flying blind with no real knowledge of what the final rate will be. You are not to blame as you probably had no idea that there would be additional pole and wires charges added on to the rate. The confusion comes in when a Texas residential energy consumer compares electric rates from several electric companies and finds a rate that is much much cheaper than all the other companies they have looked at. The rate says that it is a fixed electric rate and the company seems to be a large company in several states so the customer feels reassured that they are signing up on a legit rate. So lets say that the customer finds a 1 year fixed electric rate at 7 cents a kWh. This sounds amazing right now and is several cents cheaper than all the other electric companies. They wait and get their first months Texas electric bill only to find that the actual rate they are paying is 13 cents a kWh. Somewhere along the way they must have missed something when signing up with the electric company so they call to find out what the problem is. The customer calls and the sales agent tells the customer that their rate is 7 cents a kWh but the “pass through charges” also known as TDSP or pole and wires charges are an additional 3 – 6 cents per kWh on top of the “energy only” rate you agreed to. The funny thing is you were never notified about these additional charges and so you argue towards that direction only to hear the provider say, “We are not the TDSP company and only pass through those charges from the pole and wires company that owns the wires. Our charges are the “energy only” charges which is the rate you agreed to.” So all of the sudden the blame goes to the pole and wires company which is Centerpoint Energy in the Houston area and Oncor Electric Delivery in the Dallas Area. The electric provider even encourages you to call the pole and wire company if you want to complain about the charges.

The Pizza Guy on the Phone Gets You Into a Never Ending Circular Argument

Do you see what the electric provider has done? They have shifted the blame over to the pole and wires company for their misleading advertised electric rate. So even though you were under the impression that your total bundled rate was 7 cents per kWh the electric company is blaming you for not understanding that there was an additional pole and wires charge. If you complain to Johnny Pizza Guy that you were not notified about the charge the Texas energy provider may even shift the blame over to the pole and wires company so they get you off the phone and continue signing up more suckers for their misleading electric rate. Do you really think Johnny who gets paid $9 an hour really cares about your plight over your higher electric rate? He probably doesn’t and needs to keep his calls under 15 minutes so that he keeps his job and the energy provider meets their call center metrics.

You Take the Bait and Call the TDSP Company Which Gets You No Where

So you call the pole and wires company and they are no help at all as they don’t even deal with the retail side of the market. They handle disconnects, turn on’s, move in’s, new construction and such. These TDSP companies do not sell electricity and so when you call complaining that you were charged a very high TDSP charge they direct you back to the retail electric company that did not properly notify you of the charge. So you call the retail electric provider that sold you the misleading residential electric rate and the argument starts all over again. You complain that you were told the rate would be 7 cents per kWh but the bill states the rate is 13 cents per kWh. They explain that “their rate” is 7 cents per kWh but the “TDSP Charges” are 6 cents per kWh and come from a different company. You explain that you just called the TDSP company and they told you to call back your retail electric provider to complain. The electric provider blames the pole and wires company for requesting you call them back and explains again that they only pass through the TDSP charges but have no control over what those charges will be.

Only a Handful of Electric Companies in Texas Advertise an Unbundled Residential Electric Rate

So what is really going on here? There are only a handful of Texas electric companies that do this practice of misleading the customer into an electricity rate that seems several cents cheaper than it really is. If we were to name some of these energy companies in this article we could potentially get into some legal trouble as we have made some rather troubling statements that may not be within the necessary realm of legal accuracy. For the time we will refrain from naming names of exactly which electic companies in Texas participate in offering a rate that only appears low but is really much higher. Instead we encourage any customer that has been defrauded to post a comment with your exact experience in order to warn other consumers to stay away from the electricity providers who practice this slimeball advertising tactic.

Challenge the Electric Company With a Sound Argument About Pole and Wires Charges

If you engage in an argument with a Texas electricity provider that operates in this manner you will go round and round in a circular argument about how their rate is accurate and is the “energy only” rate and that the TDSP charge is something they are not responsible for. You might want to ask this provider, “why do most Texas electric companies go ahead and bundle the TDSP charge into their advertised fixed residential electric rate so that Texas energy consumers know exactly what they will be charged?” Who knows what the pizza guy will tell you on the other side of the phone from here but you get my point. They really won’t have a good answer for you. If you want to compare residential electricity rates that have all fees and charges, TDSP, and pole and wires charges disclosed without the hidden fees and unquoted pass through charges then please use the comparison chart at the top of this page. We have all fees and charges included in the electric rates in the chart and the companies in the comparison chart are reputable quality energy companies to do business with. By comparing Texas electric rates in an apples to apples comparison with multiple other energy providers you can make a clear informed decision and truly go with the cheapest electric provider in Texas. Again we promise you will not experience the surprises that you may have had with a disreputable electric company that did not disclose your TDSP charges in their advertised energy price.

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Houston Electricity Rates Compared With Trustworthy Energy Providers

Compare Houston Electricity Providers

It isn’t always enough to compare all Houston electricity providers to find the cheapest electricity price. Some of Houston’s energy providers actually have additional hidden fees and charges that are not made known to the energy consumer in the initial advertisement. We have even tested out some of these Houston electricity rates and providers by calling the number on their ad and asking about the Houston electricity rate they have displayed on a Google ad, billboard, or newspaper ad. The chart below includes all fees and charges with the cheapest Houston electricity rates and offers. Just pick the plan you want > Click “Get Rates” > Then click “Continue” with the provider you want to sign up with.

Why Don’t Some Electric Companies Disclose TDSP Charges

About 9 out of 10 times we found that the Houston energy provider in question would not disclose the additional charges when speaking with them on the phone. Only after getting to the end of the sales pitch and asking specifically what additional charges will I have to pay were we sometimes told that there would be an additional 4 cents per kWh added onto the electric rate due to TDSP pass through charges. The provider would go on to say that these are not their charges and they are only passing them through from the pole and wires company but this doesn’t answer the problem.

Bundled Charges Shows Total Electric Rate

Most Houston residential electric providers bundle these TDSP charges into their advertised rate. The customer knows exactly what their total electric rate looks like. If that isn’t enough most electricity providers will also disclose exactly what their monthly service fee is as well (if they have one).

A Good Comparison Chart Will Show You What You Need to Know

So picking the very cheapest will usually put you in a too good to be true electric service rate because there is probably a reason they are several cents cheaper than all the other providers. Picking a Houston electricity company that is cheap and lays out the different charges next to other energy companies gives you an apples to apples comparison. A Houston electricity rate comparison lets you sign up with the Houston electric company with some confidence. Knowing that you are with a quality energy service company that also offers a cheap electric rate is the way to go. We have provided a comparison chart above that lists all fees and charges. We have outlined these different companies and their fees next to each other so that you can choose an electric rate with confidence.

Reliant Energy Electric Rates Just Don’t Compare With Cheaper Providers

If you compare these electricity rates with what Reliant Energy is offering you will find that Reliant Energy Rates are a few cents higher than the cheapest electric company in our comparison. Reliant Energy Houston is a good company but they are no where near the cheapest energy provider in Houston. We encourage you to pick an electricity company in the chart above that is more in line with where market energy prices are instead of going with a brand name that charges you a little extra because you recognize the name.

Electricity Bid helps you find an electric rate and provider to save you money and keep life simple.

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