US Energy is Now Known as Just Energy

Just Energy also known as US Savings Corp has decided to go with the name “Just Energy” going forward but last summer of 2008 they were known as US Savings Corp and were one of the only Texas electric companies offering a 5 year fixed rate agreement. Last summer was historically significant for the Texas energy market as we experienced the highest electricity prices in Texas history. The summer of 2008 was not a great time in the market to sign up for 5 years on a fixed electric rate although the summer of 2009 makes perfect sense to sign up with Just Energy for a 5 year rate. Electricity prices are low across the board right now so signing up long term even if you pay a little more will give you price surety.

To compare Just Energy’s electricity rates with other energy service providers you may use the zip code electricity company comparison box above. Just type in your zip code and click on continue.

The summer of 2008 we saw a First Choice Power bill that was 31 cents per kWh and about the cheapest 1, 2, or 3 year fixed electric rate you could find was around 16 cents per kWh. Just Energy was offering the cheapest electricity rate for a 5 year fixed electricity agreement. The catch was that you had to sign up for 5 years. It is important to note why Just Energy was cheaper on a 5 year agreement than say a 1 year agreement. It is a little counterintuitive to most energy consumers why a longer term contract would be higher than a short term so most assumed that Just Energy was giving you a price break for signing longer term. The reason Just Energy had a cheaper rate had to do with the futures market. Texas electricity providers hedge their energy on the commodities market by buying natural gas futures. Sometimes the longer term contracts are cheaper and sometimes they are more expensive than shorter futures contracts like the 1 year. Just Energy is the only electricity company we know of that offers a 5 year fixed electricity rate agreement. Although last year when people would call us asking if they should sign a 5 year fixed electricity agreement regardless of the company we told those people not to do it. With all our customers we were recommending short term options only and to then wait for us to provide a go ahead when electricity rates had come down. This year (summer 2009) we believe Just Energy is a perfect fit for those needing to lock into a long term electricity rate even if it is for as long as 5 years.

A 3 year electricity rate in my opinion right now is the perfect fit for most but a 5 year is another safe way to go and will keep you locked in before electricity prices start heading back up. We always recommend that you shop around first before picking an electricity company but when choosing a 5 year residential electricity rate Just Energy is your only choice.

Texas Energy Prices Were Their Highest the Summer of 2008

Last year when prices were peaked out near there tops and a barrel of oil was trading at $140 you could get a cheaper long term futures contract like the 5 year contract. Just Energy had their rate advertised on the state run Power To Choose website and several other locations and many people were convinced after calling Just Energy that locking into a 5 year contract was the way to go because the rate was the cheapest. A few of their potential customers had called me to ask if signing Just Energy’s 5 year fixed rate was the way to go. I politely told several of these residential electricity customers that it would be unwise to sign a 5 year agreement, regardless of the company they were choosing!!! at the TOP!!! of the market. Amazingly none of these customers who talked to me agreed with me that a 6 month or 1 year agreement made more sense and as far as I could tell they all hung up with me and signed for 5 years at the highest rates in the history of Texas residential electricity service. I tried very hard to explain that these electric rates were based on commodities futures but none of them were really wanting to hear that advice at the time. A 5 year fixed rate was the cheapest for the summer of 2008 and for many people this was the way to go especially considering no one can accurately predict what energy prices will do.

Customer Confusion Over 5 Year Fixed Electric Rates

I remember one lady in particular I had spoken with and I told her she would be kicking herself a year from now because rates will likely come back down and you will have to stay on your 5 year fixed rate with Just Electric Company. At the time (summer 2008) I did not know that Just Energy allows customers the option of blending their current rate with a new market rate if electricity prices were to drop in price. A blend option is a very good option for those who feel like they are paying too much when prices come back down. Just Energy gives those customers the option of refiguring the higher electric rate to a much lower price once blended with the market rate.

The confused lady in 2008 asked me why she would have to stay on Just Energy’s contract and I explained that most electric companies offering fixed electric rates will have some type of early termination penalty. The penalty is usually to recover the investment in hedging the fixed energy for the customer and usually has a little profit margin in there for the provider. A 5 year fixed Texas electricity agreement would have a very steep early termination penalty and anyone who signed up last year with Just Energy would likely be very discouraged from canceling that early in an energy agreement. A better option would be to choose Just Energy;s blend option that figures the lower market price with the higher rate from last year. There is no need to consider cancelling an electricity agreement when the provider allows you to blend it down to a cheaper price.

We have had some calls and comments from people asking if canceling their electricity contract would be a good idea. We do not recommend cancelling your agreement with Just Electric Company or any provider. We do want to warn customers with any electric company that canceling an energy contract would not be worth it. It would be better to wait and hope that over the course of 5 years your energy rate ends up being worth it over the long haul especially when taking advantage of blending the rate with a lower price.

Jumping in and out of the stock market, electric rates, gold commodities and other such investments with no technical expertise in the markets is usually a bad idea. At this time we have seen no problems in the Just Energy contract, terms of service, or their advertised electricity price. From what we can tell everything looks good and legit from here. We do not have a business relationship with Just Energy and because of this we have limited experience on how the operate. Because of this we can only say that from our limited perspective and based on PUCT information they appear to be a solid and good electricity company.

If you are a Just Energy customer and have a question about your electric bill you can feel free to fax us a copy along with your question and we would be happy to investigate and do a bill audit. Also if inquiring about cancelling (which we do not recommend) let us know the early termination penalty that you have been quoted by Just Energy as we will not be able to figure out this part of your charges. You will need to call Just Electricity Company and ask them what it would cost to terminate the agreement early. Note: We do not recommend you cancel your Just Energy contract (try having them blend your rate with a lower price) but are only letting Just Energy customers know that we cannot provide this information.You can fax your Just Energy electric bill to 1-903-484-9222

As an example of what many Just Energy customers might be thinking this summer of 2009 we have provided a recent comment from a Just Energy customer who is now experiencing some second thoughts about signing up for 5 years. As you can see her situation seems dire as a “single mother” but for some reason as of last year a 5 year contract at over 15 cents per kWh was something she was interested in? The rate was a very good price as of last summer (2008) and this lady’s decision to lock in this long at the top of the market is not the fault of Just Energy. We are writing about this issue because Texas electricity customers many times are confused about why longer term rates are sometimes more expensive or less expensive than short term rates for what appears to be no reason at all. The technical reasons listed above will hopefully clarify this for some.

I have signed a 5 year contract with US Energy/Just Energy for 15.3 kilowatt a year ago in Houston Texas and see that everyone is offering better deals.  I am a single parent on a FIXED income and my electric bill for May/June was $500.00!!  The month before was $350.00.  My home is as 10yr old modest home with 2,167 ft and think this is weigh too much!

I would like to break the 5 year contract but I know I will be penalized.  Can you tell me what they would do to me?  I just wish I could sign on with the company of my choice after 1 year!  Please advise.

Concerned single parent homeowner,

Comments (7)

  1. Elizabeth

    Just Energy is a big scam, they tell you that the rate is locked for 5 years and then charge you all kinds of extras, including the “pass through charges”. they don’t tell you that the “pass through charges will be more than 50% of the rate.
    I signed a contract for a 7.8c kwh and I ended up paying from 12 to 14c kwh.
    It is the biggest scam, I am planning to take them to court or initiate a class action in Texas since I found out that other people had falled for the same scam

  2. Amanda

    Just Energy is a massive scam I myself work for First Choice Power and I have seen the bills and They have them locked them at a rate of 12.7 cents per kilowatt hour. Just energy has too many charges like GEO even a monthly customer charge. With first choice power we do not have those extra charges. It is a set rate we actually have a+ ratings unlike just energy who has a F rating. I hope soon enough people will switch from Just Energy.

  3. Well Read

    Just Energy is not a scam, the problem is that we as consumers dont really pay attention to the details and we fail to read the contracts that we sign. I myself did have questions when i enrolled with them but then realized that all the information had been given to me I just didnt pay attention. For example, the GEO stands for green enrgy OPTION, meaning that its optional and you can choose not to participate if dont wish to, the monthly customer charge is actually charged by all providers some just include it in the prices they quote you or just dont tell you about it. If you actually look at your bill with Just Energy, it actually gives you the breakdown of every single penny you are paying and where its going. Its not “extra” charges it just seems that way because we are so used to companies just telling us what we need to pay without a full explanation as to what we are being charged for. Its the same thing when you pay for your phone bill, do you actually know exactly what youre being charged for and where its going and if any or all of the charges are for optional services? Probably not. In regards to the monthly customer charge, you have to consider that the major part of your billing amount is for your consumption ( your rate x the kWh you consumed) you then have to pay taxes ofcourse for which no one has control over, and if for some reason your meter needed to be replaced or your tree damaged a power line then your TDSP ( which is the owner of the powerlines, meters, etc.) will charge you for any services they have to provide including connecting or disconnecting your service, because what we dont keep in mind is that providers like Just Energy only sell the electricity itself so they can only control the RATE and nothing else. So after you have paid for all of the above, how do you suppose the services Just Energy provides ( customer service line, sending orders to the TDSP for the customer, processing the billing, processing the payments, explaining your bills, setting up payment plans. etc..) gets paid for? With the monthly customer charge. Just think of it as other businesses put it, as a “processing fee” or “administrative fee” or “maint. fee”. It all boils down to us as consumers educating ourselves and paying attention so that we dont end up feeling like we are being robbed, because in the end we only make ourselves look foolish for simply not knowing.

  4. Joseph

    It is a scam. I signed up for their services after kidnapping their sales person for over two hours. He compared my current bill with theirs and specifically told me that just energy does not add on any charges. You pay for what you use plus taxes. My first bill was more than double my previous bill for the same amout of usage. So I waited for the three month period to allow for an averaging out. Sadly,it kept going up. Cancelled with them returned to previous carrier abd now it is back to normal. I am stuck with a big bill from them and they have to wait until I can straighten my finances because I live on a fixed income.

    About not readind contracts. I for one have a problem readind the small print and made it known to the sales person. I told him I needed this because of eyesight. We even had a long conversation about small print contraccts and I was reluctant because of this. He assured me and explained it all. I signed and got suckered.

    Locked in at 12.5 % but billed at 14.5%. How is that a locked in rate.

  5. jamesn

    To Just Energy ( US Savings Corp )__3/08/2012__I'm posting a complaint against US Energy Saving Corp ,who is also know as Just Energy.__On Wednesday, 3/07/2012, I used my credit card online to place a payment in my electric service account that I have with Just Energy. In the confusion over the company names,my payment was placed in an account with US Energy . Just Energy sent me an email stating no payment was ever made or placed in their account. I have a confirmation number on this transaction of a payment being made on3/07/2012 in the amount of $50.00. I have gotten no help at all from either office. These two seperate company names are one and the same,and I'm sure is causing much confusion among many other customers besides myself. __ I've spoke with customer representatives at both offices and recieved no help whatsoever.

  6. Harshal Patil

    Rates increase–$310 termination fee even if you move—Liers
    We used them in texas for 3 years. I moved to Ohio. When we signed the contract the person who came on the door said when you move the contact terminates and there is no termination fee. When we moved and sold our house and cancelled the service, they sent me a bill with $310 for contract cancellation fee. I called the CS and told them about the move, she asked me to send the doc proving the move and assured everything will be settled. I got call another day for the same reason, I explained the person on the phone, he said that you will get a final bill with $0 balance and gave me the confirmation #. Even afetr this they kept calling me everyday (automated calls ask you to press #1 and put u on hold for 3mins to talk to real person). These people were very rude and kept asking for $310 even if i explained that the account is settled. I don't know what to do as they are complete liers.
    Don't ever even consider their service. They knock your door give you the best rate which is only good for 6months. Don't sign anything just by bilieveing the person who knocked on your door or on the phone.

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