Understanding Your Grand Prairie, Texas Electric Bill

grand prairie texas electricity CompanyNothing is quite as annoying as reading your Grand Prairie, Texas electric bill and not understanding the charges. Knowing the basic charges and their meaning will help you to know where your money goes when you pay your bill.

Customer charges – this flat fee covers meter reading, customer service and use of equipment
Recurring charges – these charges include any non-electric related charges that occur each month
Non-recurring charges – these are one-time charges, such as late fees or restoration fees
Total current charges – this is a summary of your total charges, including past due balances, credits from payments made and current charges due
Changes in rates – this notifies you of any rate changes
City sales tax – this is the tax charged by your city, Grand Prairie, Texas
Late payment penalty – this is the fee you have to pay if you miss a due date
Advanced metering systems surcharge – this charge is shared between all customers and pays for the advanced metering system used by electric service providers

Other charges may appear on your bill, which involve the itemized cost of your electricity, including transmission and distribution. Many providers simply bundle the costs into their current electric rates. You can use our comparison chart to compare the electric rates of Grand Prairie, Texas providers. Our handy chart makes the electric rate comparison process fast and easy. Type in your zip code and see if you are getting the best rate or if there is room for improvement.

April 2009 Houston Electricity Rates

We have compiled a list of some of the best and worst residential electricity rates in the Houston Texas area. You will find this detailed list below. The best Houston electric rate at this time is with Champion Energy. Reliant Energy and TXU Energy again remain at near the bottom of this list. Trickster Electric Company is near the top although we have received several complaints that Trickster raises the electric rate through TDSP related charges once the customer gets the electricity bill. Because of this we want to warn customers about the potential of Trickster’s (name withheld by legal) electric rate being higher then what it appears. If you are one of Trickster’s customers that thought you were going to be charged one rate but once you received the energy bill were charged a much higher energy price then please feel free to comment below. Read below from one of our readers and a customer of Trickster (name withheld by legal):

Stay away!! 9.7 cent plan kept going up 13,14 and finally to 16 cents!!! Ridiculous!!

Trickster Energy (name withheld by legal) is a rip off. SIgn up for .12 kilowatt, but have been billed up to .17/kw. Also the customer service is horrible. Stay away !!

If TXU Energy or Reliant Energy called asking you to renew at an electric rate several cents higher then where the market is currently at we recommend checking out our recommended Houston electric providers on the top left of this page. All fees and charges are disclosed.

Ambit Energy’s Variable Rate Plan

Ambit Energy Lone Star Fixed Rate Plan

Today I checked with Ambit Energy on what their electric rate is for the Lone Star Fixed Rate plan. They explained that as long as you use 501 – 1000 kWh you will pay 10.99 cents kWh for 12 months. Basically you will pay 11 cents kWh for a 12 month term. They will only waive the $9.99 monthly customer service charge if you use 1000 kWh of electric usage or more. Let’s say you use 900 kWh of electric usage a month. This means the $9.99 charge a month would equal .0111 cents a kWh. So if you are quoted 10.99 cents a Kwh you can go ahead and add 1.11 to that which gives you a rate of .1210 cents a kWh. This makes their apparent very cheap rate actually over 12 cents a kWh provided you use over 500 kWh a month.

Comparable Electric Rates To Ambit Energy

Spark Energy
6 Months at 11.3 cents a kWh | No Monthly Customer Service Charge
12 months at 12.0 cents a kWh | No Monthly Customer Service Charge

Startex Power
6 Months at 10.8 cents a kWh | No Monthly Customer Service Charge
12 Months at 12.3 cents a kWh | No Monthly Customer Service Charge

Best Rate Winner for November 2007 – Champion Energy

Champion Energy
12 Months at 11.3 cents a kWh | $4.95 Monthly Customer Service Charge
Lowest Electric Rate averaging .1185 cents including the Customer Charge

Should I Go With Ambit’s Variable Electric Rate?

If you call Ambit Energy they will quickly try and get you on their month by month variable electric rate. They make the argument that you are not locked into a contract term so isn’t that great! Basically the idea that you are not locked into a rate is attractive to most people. The problem lies in the fact that an energy company offering a variable electric rate will likely raise the rate gradually over time until you are averaging the same or even higher then a fixed rate. The electric provider is protected in case rates go down but you are not protected either way. The electric company could charge you the same or higher regardless of what the market is doing. The best thing to find out when being asked to switch to a variable energy rate is what the rate is made up of. Sometimes it will be partially a fixed rate and maybe 15% will follow the natural gas commodities market or perhaps the ERCOT grids MCPE index. If they have something in the energy rate that says they can raise the energy rate for any reason they so desire then I would stay away from it.

Ambit Energy Rate In Houston Texas

Right now the month to month variable rate with Ambit Energy is called the Heart of Texas Month to Month. In the Houston area they are charging 12.99 cents kWh if you use 501 kWh or more in energy each month. If you use 500 kWh or less you will be charged 13.99 cents kWh and after the first month they can change the rate to whatever they want. Be careful with variable energy rates or you may get a bill that has a much higher electric rate then you expected. It’s always best to stay with a fixed electric rate. 6 Month fixed rates are the cheapest right now followed by 12 month electric rates.

A comparable variable rate that provides a disclosure of what the variable rate has done historically is listed below.

Startex Power Variable Rate and the historical rate disclosure.

After the 1st month which is just a promo rate you can track what the next month’s rate will be here on a monthly basis from the link below:

Track Historical Variable Rate With Startex

 

Apartment Electricity in Texas

Is Your Credit Bad? Do You Need a No Deposit Electric Rate Plan?

For those who have tried signing up with a couple electric providers in Texas only to discover that they want you to pay an outrageous deposit for electric service at your apartment, you now have a better choice. Bounce Energy is a reputable electric provider in Texas offering a “Low Deposit Plan” that allows you to sign up for electric service with no deposit required based on credit. If you want a flat out “NO DEPOSIT” electric rate please use our compare tool at the top right of this page.

The electricity rates in our chart are some of the cheapest available. Considering you will be turning on your lights for little or no deposit down you can be even more confident about your electricity provider choice since you will have a competitive electricity rate as well. If you are in a bind these prepaid plans get you electric service quick without the need to come up with a fortune to pay a large deposit amount.

 

Moving Into A New Apartment

When moving into a new apartment you will likely be given a paper with the main utilities in your area. For Houston this may be Reliant Energy and for Dallas this could be TXU Energy. The problem arises sometimes when you call them thinking they are the only energy provider in that area and they ask for a $300 – $500 deposit. Your head starts to spin and fumes begin to come out of your ears. This is the time when someone needs to tell you to stop and pay attention because you don’t have to call TXU or Reliant to setup electricity at your apartment. There are over 40 retail electric providers in Texas and over 200 different electric rate plans to choose from.


What Electric Company Should I Call Then

If you want to avoid the deposit that makes since but you also want a low rate and good terms and conditions with the contract. If possible you want to have any type of customer service charge waived because this could be as much as $15 extra a month would eat up any type of energy savings you thought you were achieving. So get the customer service charge to zero and then look at the energy rate. The electric rate for a residence in September 2007 is about 11 cents kwh. That is about as low as it has gotten this month. It actually came down to 10.6 cents kwh for a couple days. As you can see electric rates in Texas are volatile but you can lock in on a fixed rate anywhere from 3 months all the way to 36 months with most energy providers. The 12 month rate is the recommended term to get on as it is low and will insure you a decent electricity rate as energy in Texas is expected to go higher for the long term.

The best way to find the right company is to start by using the tool in green at the top of this page.



Tyler Texas Electric Rates Compared

Comparing Rates

I called Texas Power today to find out what their residential electric rates were. I heard an interesting radio advertisement from them and even saw a billboard with an ad that appeared to show that they had a lower electric rate then several other energy companies in Tyler Texas. So I call Texas Power Electric Company and ask them what their residential electric rate is. They tell me they can lock me in on a rate at 11.9 cents kwh. They explained that this is not an introductory rate but it is a variable electric rate (meaning it can change). They explained that it changes price based upon the Natural Gas price. If Natural Gas goes up then their rate will go up. If it comes down then their rate should come down. It sounded fair enough but I checked into natural gas and discovered that natural gas is at a 2 year low and is currently heading up. Not only that but they want $10 a month if you don’t use over 1,000 kwh a month in customer service charges. This charge would easily eat up any savings I thought I was getting. I past on this deal as I found another rate plan that is fixed for 12 months at 10.8 – 11.8 cents kwh depending on your area and has no monthly customer service charge regardless of how much or less energy you use. This rate plan was with Startex Power. Update: As of February 2009 Startex 12 month electric rate is 10.8 cents kWh in the Dallas area. This was a promotional electric rate with Startex Power. You could sign up on this promo rate at a link in the past but we now have other offers and providers available through the use of our compare tool.

Looking for a No Deposit Plan?

If you have a low credit score or bad credit you may have noticed most electric companies in Texas want a very high deposit. We have a no deposit or low deposit choice available with Acureed Energy and several others. Use the compare tool at the top right to check all prepaid offers out and order online.

What Would Be The Best Electric Rate Plan

If you are going to pick a plan in Tyler Texas then it really isn’t any different then other areas of Texas. Different regions in Texas have different pricing but this is regulated by ERCOT (A Texas Agency) and not something the energy provider controls. Your concern should not be the brand name of the company or how they market their product. If you go out to the Texas website www.powertochoose.com they will show you several electric company rate plans along with the Facts Label. The Facts Label is like the government required nutrition label on the back of a can of food. You can’t go wrong by comparing an energy plan’s facts label with another energy plan’s facts label.

Here is an example of Spark Energy’s Facts Label:  Facts Label

More about Tyler Texas Electric Companies

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