October 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rates

Hurricane Ike, Electric Comparison, and Relief from Summer Rates

Houston had a major issue with hurricane Ike this last month and surprisingly it had little effect on electric rates. A lot of oil and gas infrastructure was shut down but nothing was destroyed. This still usually has a negative impact on the price of electricity but because oil and natural gas is being swayed by several other factors in the trading commodities market the electric rates did not spike up.

Electric rates in Houston have come down way below their highs this summer when rates were at historical all time highs. That price spike in the summer was related to natural gas prices rising in the commodities sector beyond any level they have seen before. This had about a 90% correlation with the price of electricity. To complicate matters Houston residential electric rates were higher then usualy because several providers had bought electricity on the MCPE ERCOT market and could not meet their financial responsibilities. These electric companies also had no hedging in place so if an electric customer in Houston was on a variable electric rate they may have seen their rate tripple during this time.

Electric Rates Look Much Better From Summer Prices

Take a look at our Houston Texas electric rate comparison. We have rates listed from cheapest to most expensive. Most rates are fixed and there is a designation in the chart to differentiate between a fixed rate or a variable rate. I do not recommend signing a variable Houston electric rate contract as it is subject to change without notice. You may click on the links in the chart below and sign up online at these discounted online electric rate prices.

Houston Residential Electric Rate Comparison Chart

October 2008 Dallas Residential Electric Rates

If you are confused about electric rates in Dallas and surrounding Oncor utility area we have a great comparison chart below comparing mostly fixed rates with several different electric providers. These electric rates are residential rates. There are a few variable rates in the mix because those companies only offered a variable electric rate so we listed their only option. The rates are designated as to whether they are a fixed electric rate or a variable rate. I recommend to avoid signing up on a variable rate because the month after you sign up on that rate plan the electric rate could do just about anything. A variable electric rate has taken many residential customers by surprise this summer when rates trippled in price. A fixed electric rate is a much safer way to lock into an energy rate because you know exactly what price you will pay the entire term of your contract.

Current October 2008 Residential Electric Rate Comparison

These rates are updated as of October 2 2008. Because residential electric rates change every few weeks these rates will be a little higher or lower as the month continues. This comparison chart will serve as a good indicative comparison of where residential electric rates are at for the month of October 2008. You may click on the links on this comparison chart and sign up online to receive a slightly lower electric rate then calling these providers on the phone. By signing up for electric service online you keep the electric companies costs low for aquiring a new customer and they reward you by giving you a slight discount then if you were to call and speak to a customer service rep over the phone. Signing up online also allows you to take advantage of online discounts that are not promoted when calling the providers on the phone. When you call an electric provider on the phone they expect to close about 70 % of those customers who call in. Because of this most providers will try to sell you a higher electric rate then is available via online discount offers.

The companies offering the cheapest rates for the month of October are Startex Power – Sign up Now

August 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rates

List of Providers from Cheapest to Most Expensive in Houston

We have put together a list of the electric providers in Texas from cheapest to most expensive. The top 3 Texas electric providers in the list all happen to be a little cheaper then what those companies normally advertise. We worked out discount electric rates with these providers and Startex (the cheapest right now) has a high rating from the public utility commission of Texas in regards to customer satisfaction. Because these companies have the cheapest rates and have a high reputability factor we are listing them for our readers to sign up with. You will receive their discount rates provided you sign up online using the links in the list below. These rates were updated on August 20th so between now and September rates could go up or down with the market so these rates may be a little higher or lower as the month proceeds.

Congestion Problems in Houston Texas

If you are in or around Houston Texas you will notice that your city has higher rates then the rates in Dallas Texas. The Houston area has some of the highest electric rates in Texas across the board. The reason electric rates are higher in Houston has to do with congestion and line loss issues. The state of Texas is working on resolving the congestion and line loss issues in Houston Texas. Until the givernment comes up with a good plan for this you will continue to pay a little higher for your electricity then the rest of the state.

List of Electric Companies in Houston

 The city of Houston has some of the highest electric rates in the state due to line losses and congestion issues. This issue effects your electric rate regardless of the electric provider you choose. These issues are included in the non-negotiable  TDSP charges also known as pass through charges that are fixed by the PUCT and bundled into the residential electric rate. The nodal system the PUCT and ERCOT are working to implement in the state of Texas and Houston will help to alleviate this issue.

The only other place in Texas with higher electric rates then Houston is Brownsville Texas and surrounding AEP service area. Brownsville Texas is faced with the same issues that effect Houston and cause electric rates to be higher then they are in cities like Dallas or Laredo Texas.

August 2008 Dallas Fort Worth and North Texas Residential Rates

Volatile Texas Residential Electric Prices

As many people know by now, in Texas, electric rates can change over the course of the week if the energy commodities market goes through a volatile swing. Such has been the case this month. Just as oil, electricity and natural gas fears were getting the worse of everyone prices plummeted down. Many people locked in for 2 – 5 year electric contracts at close to the top of the market. Only two weeks later and many of these consumers are kicking themselves for locking into a long term contract as a sales person of an electric company scared them into it. Unfortunately this is the case for some but others waited it out and for you I must say give yourself a pat on the back. You picked a good time to be shopping for a competitive electric rate. Rates still don’t look as good as last summer around June 1st 2007 but they seem to be getting there. The electric rates in the list below were updated on August 18th. The market could go up or down between now and September so the rates below may be a little lower or higher then what is shown as we approach closer to September.

What monthly fixed term do you recommend?

I would recommend signing up for a 12 month fixed rate right now. The statistics when looking at natural gas futures is that Texas electricity prices will be lower sometime between 13 and 24 month from now. Because of this I would sign a 12 month fixed energy contract and try again next year. For those who are wondering why I mentioned natural gas when talking about Texas electricity it is very simple. Texas electricity has about a 90% correlation with natural gas prices. Most of our Texas power plants create electricity through steam driven natural gas power plants. Because of the reliance on natural gas to create electricity in Texas you could just follow NG out at www.nymex.com to keep track of what Texas electricity might be doing.

List of Electric Companies from Cheapest to Highest

Below is a list from cheapest to most expensive of Texas residential electric companies in Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding North Texas. These rates were updated as of August 19 2008. They could be a little higher or lower as the month moves out further. If you live in Houston these rates will be a little higher across the board with all providers. Also keep in mind that the top 3 electric companies in the list below are discount offers with reputable electric providers, a little cheaper then what the electric companies typically offer. Provided you sign up with them online using the discount electricity links in the chart below you will get their special 12 month fixed discount offer.

Additional Electric Bill Charges Blamed on TDSP Pass Throughs

Residential Electric Customers Complaining about Additional Fees Crammed In

I have started to receive some calls the last few days from a few residential electric customers complaining that a certain retail Texas electric provider and recent start up in Texas has been cramming in additional charges in their fixed rate. The customers were told by the provider that they still have a fixed rate but the TDSP charges were raised on their rate plan. The electric company past the issue on to the non-negotiable TDSP charges as they are past through on an electric bill. The issue is that residential customers who lock in on a fixed electric rate are also locking in the TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Charges) charges. The TDSP charges cannot be changed as they are regulated by the Texas government so Texas residential energy customers can have some price protection for a certain term.

Commercial Rates are Different then Residential Rates

Texas commercial electric rates are different in that the TDSP charges differ from one business to the next. For instance, a Smoothie Factory store may pay 8 cents kWh on average for TDSP’s on top of their Energy Provider Generation Charge but a manufacturing facility may only pay 1 cent kWh. So commercial companies are protected on the Energy Provider Generation Charge but not on the TDSP charges. The issue at hand here is that some providers are trying to make it sound like the same thing applies for residential electric customers. Residential electric customers in Texas that sign up on a fixed electric rate should have both their TDSP charges and Energy Provider Charges locked in to one fixed rate that will not change the entire term of the contract.

Don’t Be Fooled

If an electric company in Texas tries to tell you that the reason your residential fixed electric rate has gone up so much is because of TDSP charge increases you need to quickly write a detailed complaint and send it in along with the electric bill in question via fax to the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

You can fax your issue to the PUCT at fax number: 512-936-7003

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