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

Liberty Power, Residential Electric Company

Don’t be Mislead, not all Electric Companies Play Fair

If you have been researching Texas residential electric rates on the net there is one provider I have noticed that is advertising on some pay per click advertising and they have some very misleading residential quotes they are telling people who call in to request a quote even if the company is not intentionally being misleading it confused me as well as my customers. A customer of ours who almost switched to Liberty Power on their 24 month electric rate called me first and we discovered their rate wasn’t what it appeared to be at first look. Although most electric companies bundled in all charges including TDSP charges in their rate some do not and they are not required to do so either by the PUCT.

Some Residential Companies Leaving off the Generation Charges

July 9 2008 we confirmed on two seperate instances that Liberty Power was quoting residential electric customers a rate that did not include the transmission and distribution service provider charges. If you look on the state power to choose website you will notice that all rates are quoted as a total bundled rate that includes the generation charge. Most people are familiar that residential rates are normally quoted as an all in rate as everyone pays the same pole charges as a residential customer.

Called Electric Company 3 Different Times to Verify

I called Liberty Power and found out they are misleading those who call even if unintentional as they are not required to bundle in TDSP charges if they do not want to. It is a Fixed Rate with an $8.95 monthly service fee but they would not tell me about the additional charge until the end of the call and only after I asked if there was a monthly service charge. The monthly fee isn’t the main issue. The main misleading part of the electric rate with Liberty Power in my opinion is that they also have a TDSP delivery charge of: $0.04 that they do not bundle into the rate when quoting you the rate on the phone. I went the whole sales call without being told of this as well as one of my customers. I called them back and asked after another sales call with them if a TDSP charge has been left out and they told me I would need to add approximately $.04 to the rate. This makes their supposed 12 month 0.1210 rate actually 0.1610 cents kWh. This makes their 24 month 0.1145 electric rate actually .01545 cents kWh. Once you add this and average in the monthly service fee the rate actually ends up being a much higher rate then quite a few competitive electric companies in Texas. It must be noted that the PUCT rules does not require that retail electric providers show the total bundled rate including TDSP charges in advertisements. Although Liberty has not broken a PUCT rule many public energy consumers will think they are signing up for an “all-in” rate when it really is only the “energy only” portion of the total rate.

Reputable Electric Companies in Texas

You can check on the top of this page above for a competitive fixed rate discount offer that includes all fees charges, and TDSP fees. The comparison chart will bring up a detailed list of energy providers along with all charges bundled into the rate. We keep this updated daily so you can check back to see what reputable electric company we recommend for the time being with a straightforward low cost Texas electric rate.

July 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rates

Heads up on What is Going on in the Market This Month

Right now the market is still close to a 3 year high. We saw electric rates in Texas go up the entire month of June and now in July we still see energy prices rising higher. Most people have noticed in the news of how oil has reached $148 setting an all time historical record. The energy sector is up across the board and Houston electric rates are the highest in the state of Texas. Houston must pipe in their energy from far off causing line losses. The power consumption and demand of Houstonians causes congestion and they just don’t turn on enough power plants in your town to meet peak demand periods. Because of these issues you pay ridiculously high prices. Last year rates were around 10 – 11 cents kWh. If you are now trying to renew an energy contract or lock in again you will be surprised to see Houston electricity rates about 5 – 10 cents higher then last year.

July 2008 Electric Rate Chart

We have Houston, Harris County, Brazoria County, and surrounding Centerpoint Energy utility areas electric rates listed here from best to worst. A 12 month fixed Houston electric rate is recommended as rates are expected to travel back down. Long term contracts are cheaper, however you would be locking in at the top of the market when the expectation is that electric rates will be coming back down before 24 and 36 months. Many of the electric rates in the chart below are discount 12 month fixed electric rates. By clicking on the links below and signing up online you will achieve a slightly better rate then what that company normally advertises.

Dallas Fort Worth July 2008 Residential Electric Rate Comparison

Residential Electricity Close to a 3 Year Historical High

The market is way up right now and a question on a lot of peoples mind is if they should sign up on a 12 month fixed rate contract or a longer term such as a 24 or 36 month fixed rate contract. Right now a 24 month and 36 month fixed rate contract is cheaper then a 12 month fixed rate. The reason you get a cheaper rate as you go longer terms is due to a correlation with the natural gas market. Natural gas futures contracts are cheaper as you go out on a longer term. You can verify this by looking at futures contracts for natural gas on one of many commodity broker quote sites. The key to what you should do is in the contract. The reason they give you a cheaper rate is because they believe rates will come down between now and 24 months or 36 months from now. Because the commodities traders expect rates to come down they have a strategy to sell you on a longer term contract at a cheaper price. Many people fall for this but keep this in mind, you would be locking in at the top of the market.

We recommend signing a 12 month fixed electric rate agreement and trying again next year. We have a comparison chart listed below of multiple electric companies in North Texas, Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, McKinney and the rest of the Oncor Electric Utility area of Texas. Compare and pick a provider. Some of the links below are discount 12 month rates, cheaper then what the Texas electric companies generally offer. Simply click the provider you want to go with and sign up online. The Texas government will automatically take you off your current electric provider and put you with your new one. You will not need to call your current provider to be taken off as this happens automatically.

Find a rate you can be confident about for the next year and try again next year. The market is very high right now so these rates will be much higher then what they looked like last July. The rates are updated as of July 6 2008. Many times the market will go up or down within a few weeks. You may click on the links below and possibly find the company offering a slightly higher or lower electric rate as we move further into the month of July.

May 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rate Comparison

What is Electricity Doing Right Now?

As of May 2008 Electric rates are currently close to a 3 year high and because of this Texas residential electric rates do not look so good right now. Many people would like to wait and renew when rates drop down but there is just no way to know when this will happen. Electric rates could hover at historical highs for several months before they drop back down to prices many people are comfortable paying.

Who We Recommend

We recommend signing a 12 month energy agreement and then trying again next year. Notice: Riverway Power recently cancelled their residential electric customers agreements in mid April according to several people who called in and left comments regarding them so we do not recommend using them as their fixed electric rate is subject to change. Our preferred electric providers at this time are Affordable Energy, Startex Energy and Bounce Energy Guaranteed No Deposit. All of these Texas electric companies have accurate billing, good customer service and low rates.

We are now approaching the end of the month of June and since writing this article rates have continued up along with a barrel of oil and natural gas. Oil and natural gas are trading at all time historical highs and the analysis shows that traders are hedging against a falling dollar by buying energy. The rise in prices can best be attributed to investors and traders trading up the price. This price spike will most likely be a bubble we will see fall but we have no idea when that will be. If you are buying Houston electricity you are exeriencing the worst of it. Houston electric rates are higher then they have ever been right now and higher then the rest of the state.

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

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