Amarillo, Texas Benefits from the New Nodal Market Structure

amarillo texas electric rates

Xcel Energy Services Inc. on behalf of Southwestern Public Service Company is headquartered in Amarillo Texas and is a fully integrated investor-owned electric utility that generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric energy to approximately 386,000 energy consumers in the Panhandle and south plains of Texas and eastern New Mexico. Amarillo is not within the Texas Electric Reliability Council of Texas footprint. Amarillo Texas is outside the main electric grid that is used by the rest of the state of Texas.

Because Amarillo Texas is a part of the Southwest Power Pool and not ERCOT they are not subject to participate in the advanced meter program ERCOT is doing or the nodal market system that is revamping the ERCOT electric grid.

A new wholesale market structure will bring positive changes for consumers outside of Amarillo, Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is set to change the current zonal market to a more efficient nodal market. You may be wondering exactly what this is and what it means to you.

In essence, the transmission grid in a zonal market is divided into different zones. The electricity in all of the units within one zone is dispatched at one price. A nodal market is laid out to match the transmission grid instead of breaking it up into zones. The value of electricity for every location, outside of Amarillo, Texas, is determined by various factors.

As confusing as this sounds, the benefits of a nodal market include more efficient dispatch, better price signals and the ability to “lock in” prices for electricity the day before it is actually delivered. The nodal market is much more precise and advanced than the zonal market.

If you have not compared electricity rates for Amarillo, Texas lately, now would be a good time although because Amarillo does not participate in the competitive Texas electric market you will not be able to change providers. The new market is sure to bring changes in the rates of area providers surrounding Amarillo. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can compare rates with our comparison chart but keep in mind if you are in Amarillo you can compare but you cannot switch to a new electric provider because Amarillo Texas has not opted into electric choice at this time.

Our unique comparison chart lists area electricity providers and their current rates outside of Amarillo Texas. You can see at a glance who has the lower rates and we even connect you to each provider’s website for further investigation.

If you prefer you may also call us at 1-800-971-4020

Take advantage of the new nodal market being implemented in Texas by using our comparison chart to find the provider that fits your electricity needs and budget outside of Amarillo Texas.

Champion Electric

Champion Energy

Cheapest recommended residential Texas electric company rates are listed in the compare tool to the right. To compare Champion Energy with other electricity providers in TX please type in your zip code to the right and click on “Compare”. If you do not live in either Dallas or Houston you may still click on the button and enter your zip code to check rates in your area.

Champion Energy offers only one term for their residential electric plan, we currently recommend Startex Power over Champion Energy at this time. They have the cheapest electric rate and there is no monthly service fee. As of February 2009 their electric rate is 11.3 cents kWh with no monthly service fee and this is for 12 or 6 months fixed(as of Feb 23 2009). I have yet to see a better offer then this.

Since these electric rates have been published electric rates could come up across the board among all providers if the energy market makes a move up. Feb 2009 represents a fresh low in energy prices.

If you would like to see the cheapest electric providers rates and terms of service in comparison to Champion Energy’s current electric rates you may click on the yellow gold boxes above. Enter your zip code and all available terms with Startex Power will come up at their lowest available prices. This is their promotional electric rate and you can sign up on this promotional offer using the promo box above. The promo code is built into the link so their will be no need to enter it as it will be filled in for you.

Since we wrote about this offer in February the Texas electric market could have gone up or down since then. Because of this the discount rate now could be higher or lower from what was offered in February 2009. Once you lock in to the electric rate it is fixed but Texas electric rates change quite frequently with the commodities market so it is important to lock in at the right time.

Texas Residential Electricity Explained

Residential electric companies competing in Texas have begun to offer several different electric rate products that are a mix match of both fixed terms and variable rates. What first looks to be like a great offer can come back to sting you later. The latest issue I have seen is with Texas Retail Electric Providers requesting that you sign a 12 month contract to be on their variable rate. The issue we have with this is that these energy companies are working with a base energy rate that they do little in the form of hedging.

This means if the rate skyrockets they pass that issue on to you and you end up paying a really high bill one month when the variable market goes through the roof. To request that the customer sign a contract to a rate they have no guarantee on is a bit insulting to me. Most electric companies out there however will have you sign a 6, 12 month or longer contract for a fixed electric rate.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as they have bought and hedged this energy at this term in order for you to buy it and insure that you pay that same rate the rest of the year. There is an actual service being performed here and a reason you need to sign a contract. If you were to break the contract early if perhaps energy rates went down and then signed up with a different electric company your previous electric company would be out of pocket for the difference in the rate they sold you and where the market is at now. Since they bought this electricity back when the market was higher they now have to sell it back at a lower price then they paid for it.

They end up losing money on you leaving and going somewhere else. The variable market rate however is not hedged and is basically just an index price. The retail electric provider adds their adder onto the index price and that is their margin. They don’t hedge the energy but allow it to go up and down and sell it as a market rate with you carrying the risk. There is no reason to sign a contract on this type of rate as the risk is past on to the customer.

Learn more about Texas Electricity

Champion Energy Retail Electric Provider

Saving Money On Electricity In Houston

Champion Energy has a very low cost electric rate in the Houston area but current rates now available may be even better so be sure to compare their prices with the many providers and rates listed in our chart. You can find our compare tool at the top right of this page. Back in Jan 8 of 2008 Champion’s price was lower than any of the other electric companies I had seen so far except for Startex Power. Currently there are new providers out there that may beat them both.

As of Jan 8 2008 they only offer one term at 12 months but this is the most popular term for most people so it usually works for most peoples needs. The rate for January is at 11.1 cents a kWh with a $4.95 monthly service fee but Champion’s electric rate has gone up since then. If you add in the service fee into the rate goes up about .004 cents kWh which is still a lower rate then the most competitive providers offering residential electric service in Houston. For a more competitive electric rate then Champion Energy with no monthly service fee we recommend Startex Power. Depending on your area in Texas their rate will be higher or lower.

If you live in Dallas Texas, Tyler Texas, Alpine, Fort Worth or other cities on the other side of the state there are cheaper providers then Champion. You can find out more here. Learn more about Texas Residential Electricity.

North Texas like Dallas and the cities around Dallas have some of the lowest electric rates in the state in comparison to Houston. We have a comparison chart for commercial customers and a more straightforward comparison for residential customers. If you go to the page for your county or city you will see an advertisement with the lowest cost energy providers for that city on the top left.

Learn more about Texas electricity

Learn more about Champion Energy


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

 

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