August 2009 Dallas Electricity Rate Comparison

Today is August 14 2009 and we have gone out to the power to choose website to check on electricity rates from companies like Champion, Startex, Green Mountain Energy, Spark Energy, TXU, Ambit, Stream, Bounce, Texas Power and Reliant Energy.  We checked on some other Texas electricity providers but these energy companies provide a good overall comparison of rates. We have sorted the electricity rates  in order from cheapest to most expensive using the pricing available on the Power to Choose website.

Startex Power, Champion, and Green Mountain Energy, are some of the more popular electricity companies we recommend and Startex and Champion are currently offering some of the cheapest available electricity plans in the Dallas Texas area. There are no hidden fees or charges with Startex or Champion. If you use below 500 kWh per month than a $4.95 monthly service fee will kick in with Startex Power but other than that you are going to be good with the top two cheapest Dallas electricity plans in the chart.

This chart above is a historical snapshot of what Dallas residential electricity rates looked like for the month and day of August 14 2009. These charts sometimes help in determining the track record of a Texas electricity companies overall consistent performance in delivering a low cost electricity price to Texas energy consumers. To see a current comparison of our recommended electricity companies in Dallas Texas please click on our Dallas electricity comparison link by clicking here.

New Age Power Brokers and Glacial Energy not an MLM Company

New Age Power Brokers sounds a bit uhh? new age I guess 🙂 So they have a little bit of a hippie name so what lets learn more about this company. Apparently from what I can tell New Age Power Brokers primarily sells for Glacial Energy which is licensed to do business in quite a few states. Altogether it looks like they can sell natural gas and electricity service in the following states:

New York Connecticut Illinois Michigan
Texas Rhode Island Washington DC Pennsylvania
Maryland Massachusetts Delaware Coming Soon: California
New Jersey Maine New Hampshire Coming Soon: Ohio

Not an MLM Energy Company, More Like a Power Brokering Opportunity

New Age Power Brokers and Glacial Energy Brokering MCPE Prices for Commercial Businesses in Texas

New Age Power Brokers and Glacial Energy Brokering MCPE Prices for Commercial Businesses in Texas

New Age Power Brokers offers an opportunity that they say is not an MLM opp but instead 40% on the commission they receive when a sales associate of their’s brokers a commercial electricity deal for Glacial Energy through New Age Power Brokers. So basically it appears that New Age Power Brokers is building a large work from home commercial energy sales force using a straight forward business model of paying these sales associates a percentage on the commission Glacial Energy or another provider gives them. My only concern is that as a “broker” New Age Power Brokers should be going out to more electricity providers than just Glacial otherwise the term “broker” is a little misleading. We assume that New Age Power Brokers receives bids from several REP’s in the pricing process but the concern is not out of place as many brokers in Texas end up just being a shil company for one or two electric companies. We looked around on the web and found that Glacial Energy is the main brand being offered by New Age Energy Brokers and would like to know other REP’s they offer when pricing electricity rates for their customers. It is important that when using a broker a Texas business receives multiple bids to get a complete shopping experience.

After a closer examination it looks like they have a compensation plan they call a business to business referral program and according to commenter Stacy in the comment section below she explains that the New Age compensation plan is a “Direct Marketing Business Model”. “New Age is not an MLM because while they do earn a commission on sales, it is a set rate ALL the time. There are no levels. That is called a Direct Marketing business model.” The obvious thing people look at are the levels going down to 7 but what sets New Age a part from an MLM business plan is that there are no requirements for earning commissions on different levels. If your business referrals stretch down multiple levels you get paid on those without having to meet any additional requirements. The fact that it goes down to 7 levels which sounds a lot like several MLM companies I have heard about does not make it an MLM business plan but does share in the “direct marketing” aspect that both MLM and New Age’s compensation plan use. My previous question about how is this not an MLM company, am I missing something has been answered by Stacy in the comment section below? As you can see New Age does not offer an MLM compensation but a direct marketing sales compensation plan. The example chart showing a perfect world scenario of what the commissions could turn into do look a little sensational, I think everyone can agree that direct marketing will never have a perfect world result as in the example below.

To watch an educational video of what an MLM or pyramid related business is feel free to watch below.  Also look at their compensation plan and see how as the numbers get bigger the chart starts to resemble a pyramid. Although the New Age compensation plan does not fit in the MLM category you can see that the compensation structure looks a bit like a pyramid in their business direct marketing payment structure.
[kaltura-widget wid=”mza9oi1uuc” width=”410″ height=”364″ addpermission=”0″ editpermission=”3″ /]

How is this not an MLM Pyramid?

How is this not an MLM Pyramid?

Glacial Energy Offers MCPE Rates Which is a Texas Variable Electricity Price

Glacial Energy can be easily mistaken as Glacier Energy like the thing the Titantic ran into. Most people will need a reminder as it isn’t often that people refer to things as being “Glacial”. Another possible source of confusion is what exactly 40% of what is the commission a sales associate is paid? 40 percent commission is 40 percent of usually 3 mils if they charge industry standard commission. Some brokers charge whatever they can get away with although 3 mils is pretty standard. So lets figure out commission on a business using 400,000 kilowatt hours a year. We take .003 and multiply that times 400,000 = $1,200. The sales associate with New Age would get 40% of that which would be $480. If the sales associate signed up a commercial business like a hair salon or paint supply store the usage would be more like 40,000 kilowatt hours on the high end. Lets figure the commission on that. 40,000 kWh x .003 = $120. New Age will pay their sales associate 40 percent of that which would be $48. They will probably pay this out over the course of the year which means 48 divided by 12 months is $4 a month for a small retail store. If your not planning to sign up large commercial facilities you might get discouraged signing up the little retail shops like this.

Unbelievable Wholesale Prices or Just Your Standard High Risk MCPE Price?

Glacial Energy has unbelievable electricity prices as low as 4 – 5 cents per kWh according to what an energy consultant told me today that he heard from someone who just spoke with a Glacial rep. I also spoke with an MLM work from home junkie who mentioned the name Glacial Energy as a “wholesale electricity company” offering 4 cent rates and said that this is a new opportunity that pays 40% commission. Glacial Energy’s customer that called today believed they were on a fixed electricity price at around 4 cents per kWh. We were quite amazed as this is way outside the retail margins of the most business savvy Texas electricity provider. The company also offers no deposit commercial energy in Texas. Needless to say most of the energy consultants in the office made some kind of remark that the rates smell of something fishy. Giving Glacial Energy the benefit of the doubt we must assume their customers might be misunderstanding something. After closer examination it appears the 4.5 cent per kWh rate is an MCPE variable price. These prices fluctuate with the balancing energy market and can double and triple in price in just a few days. Last summer they doubled and tripled in price and stayed there for 3 – 4 months. When signing a customer to an MCPE price there are also TDSP charges and line loss and ancillary charges. I am not sure if Glacial Energy is including line losses or ancillary charges in their quoted price but we will assume they are unless we hear otherwise. MCPE is a great thing to sign up for as a commercial business but you definitely want to make sure you know the risks and what options are available to blend the MCPE price with a fixed rate. You could also lock in something called “heat rate” or lock in “natural gas” prices which is 45% of the fuel that generates Texas electricity. By doing a little hedging when signing up for a variable electricity price like MCPE a large commercial or industrial business can limit the amount of exposure of an MCPE electricity price.

More About MCPE Prices and Additional TDSP Charges

Usually when we get several customers calling us saying that they are receiving a too good to be true offer from a provider we see a few months later that customers are calling instead saying how they have been ripped off by that provider. It takes a few months for the customer to get the bill and notice that the price they thought they had is quite a bit higher. We see that Glacial Energy really is offering Texas electricity rates that are this low which is good news for those considering signing up with Glacial Energy. Based on what you can hedge energy for, 4 cents seems out of the ballpark unless it is an MCPE electricity rate. Since we now know Glacial Energy is advertising an MCPE rate we can recommend to potential electric customers that it is ok to sign up with Glacial on an MCPE price provided you understand the risks and check on what TDSP charges, line loss charges, and ancillary charges have been included in their rates. One way to check on these additional charges to be bundled onto the MCPE electricity price is to get a break down of their “energy only” price all “TDSP charges” and then the total “bundled electricity rate “including all fees and charges. Make sure anything that is obscure in the contract is explained in a dollar amount.  A provider should be able to break down all charges although the TDSP charges will be a very close estimate based on your previous years usage history or a close estimate on estimated usage if you are a new company just starting up.

Learn More About a Reverse Auction Process That Puts a Businesses Usage in a Competitive Bid Process

We encourage Texas electricity customers to check out Glacial Energy and see what their total bundled electricity price looks like compared to a few other providers. It could be that Glacial is offering an MCPE rate that is low cost by nature when fuel prices are low. The issue with MCPE is that if not combined with a fixed rate product can spiral out of control. Last summer (summer of 2008) MCPE prices reached triple their average prices. Texas commercial businesses that were not combining their MCPE rate with a fixed rate paid dearly. A risky MCPE electricity rate can be low risk for some smaller businesses that will only see a few hundred dollar price increase per month in their electricity costs but for a large business it could be several thousand dollars in unprepared for energy costs.

To learn more about wholesale electricity rates in Texas please visit our Texas commercial energy page and fill out our form. An energy consultant would be happy to take your commercial electricity usage through a reverse auction process with 10 – 15 different Texas electricity companies that will compete to win your business.

Texas TDSP Charges Hard on Some Businesses

 

Mathew Tomlinson is sick of looking at his electric bill and being overcharged beyond the normal rate he has been paying his electric provider.

He is not alone as several other people in his business location have called angrily to their Piney Point Village electric company to express outrage at the higher electric rates.

Many residents have thought about drafting a petition regarding the higher electric rates and mailing it to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to try

and do something about the higher energy costs. ERCOT has had plenty of corruption in their ranks in the past and many have wondered if the tariffs and TDSP

charges have been done with the Texas consumer in mind. Kickbacks and a network of commercial bribes have caused operations at ERCOT to look a bit like

something you might see in Russia although the corruption element at ERCOT is all supposedly cleaned up now. Many were surprised the Texas ERCOT organization

created to oversee the electric grid in Texas would come up on corruption charges. Could there possibly be something to the claim that some of ERCOT’s rules

and regulations were created from past corruption and commercial bribery. If there is any hint of truth to this then all those Texas consumers fed up with higher rates may eventually feel vindicated when they get to say, “I told you so.”

ERCOT insists they are doing as much as they can to keep electric customers costs low. The nodal system that ERCOT is implementing across the state should

alleviate some cities from paying higher congestion and line loss related charges that the bigger cities in the region cause. This will help lower costs in some areas and give an incentive for larger cities to work on improving their efficiency in the electrical within buildings, with new pole and wires infrastructure, and lowering overall KW electricity demand from business to business.

Line items on an electric bill have caused confusion underneath the TDSP charges section. Many times for commercial customers the TDSP charges can make up 50% or more of a companies electric bill. This has caused many commercial companies to have to close shop as the electricity to run the business is too expensive to continue to stay in business.

Residential TDSP charges only make up a small percentage of the electric bill. Residential electric customers spend about 2 – 3 cents kWh in TDSP charges

while the remainder of the electric rate is from the Retail electric provider. The 2 – 3 cents in TDSP charges are past through from the pole and wires

utility company with no additional markup. There is currently no law in place in Texas that does not allow marking up the TDSP charges so some electric

providers have lowered their “energy only” rate only to then raise their “TDSP charges” higher then the normal pass through with no markup. This trick has

caused many people to second guess their electric bill when changing to the supposedly cheapest electric provider in Texas.

Natural Gas has been going up steadily which makes up most of the fuel that powers the electricity generation plants in Texas. Because natural gas is tied so

closely to Texas electric rates you see a very close correlation. Natural Gas hit a 3 year high not to long ago and electric rates in Texas also hit a 3 year

high at the same time. Having more alternative power generation plants can even out the erratic Texas electric prices and give Texas consumers a cheaper electric.

Building clean coal powered electric generation facilities as well as nuclear will help stabilize the electric prices in Texas. The United States is the

Mideast of coal if you were to compare us to the amount oil the Mideast controls. Texas should start building more coal power plants that can burn the coal

and a clean way. Clean coal power is a possibility and would drastically lower the states electricity rate.

Electric rates right now are so high because of the energy commodities market but that is not to say that there could still be some funny business going on

with some the PUCT’s (Public Utility Commission) and ERCOT’s tariffs and regulations. ERCOT did have a recent history of corruption and not everything is known about what all went on. The PUCT has no corruption related charges against them and in fact enforce strict rules and penalties against electric companies that do not obey by the rules.

Jim from Texas City said, “I have an electric bill where I pay about 16 cents kWh just in TDSP charges for my business. This became so high I could no longer

afford to stay in business. I eventually had to close my bed and breakfast and work for somebody else.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for about 75 percent of the state

Most commercial business owners in Texas paying the amount in TDSP charges as Jim was paying would be willing to sign a petition and send it to ERCOT. The issue is that small business owners sometimes get hit with a TDSP charge that just doesn’t justify keeping the doors to their business open any more. “The electric rate for a business in this situation is just to high” says, Jim.

“Texas commercial businesses I talked to said they would sign a petition even though they imagined it probably would do absolutely no good.” he said.

Jim, wasn’t confident that having a petition signed by several business owners in Texas would do any good but he wanted to go on record that he was not happy with electric rates for businesses in Texas.

Most people don’t say anything to the government, ERCOT or the PUCT about how they feel but I think somebody should say something to show people are beginning to take notice”, he said.

ERCOT maintains they are operating at the highest ethical and professional conduct and have done everything in their power to remove corruption in their ranks. The PUCT’s tariffs and regulations related to TDSP charges have been fashioned based upon the fairest business model they could agree upon that considers several different tiers of energy usage. Some companies demand more energy at one particular time in the day but do not use that many kilowatt hours throughout the day. These companies get hit with a TDSP charge that is made up of about 90% in demand charges. Companies that find themselves in this situation should hire an electrician to come in and audit the electrical in the building for ways to become more efficient and to lower their peak electric demand KW.

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

Amigo Energy Houston

Need a Texas Electric Provider with a Guaranteed No Deposit Requirement?

Bounce Energy is currently offering a “no deposit or low deposit plan” that will allow those with bad credit scores to qualify for a no or low deposit electric rate depending on credit score. The rate is a cheap Texas electric rate and many times cheaper than some of the bigger brand name electricity providers in the state.

If you are looking for a no deposit plan please use our compare tool at the top right of this page.

Compare Amigo With The Others

Amigo Energy has an updated electricity facts label on the www.powertochoose.org website. Their electric rate continues to be one of the lowest electric rates with pretty fare terms and agreements when comparing with some of the other discount electric providers in Texas. For instance, as of 9-12-2007 they have a 12 month rate at 10.7 cents kWh but if you add the $6.95 monthly customer charge you will be paying a rate of about 11.4 cents kWh cents. Because there is a $6.95 cent monthly base charge this would actually make the rate a little higher then Spark as they do not charge a monthly customer charge. Spark Energy which is offering a 10.3 cents kWh rate for 6 months and a 11 cents\kWh rate at 12 months has no monthly customer service charge. If you want to sign up with them you can click here and do it online immediately – Spark Energy 11 cents kWh | No Monthly Customer Service Charge | Very Low early termination fee | No Hidden Charges | No Deposit Under Most Situations

Amigo Energy Facts Label

Here it is, Amigo Energy’s Residential Electricity Facts label. The Facts Label is the equivalent of the nutrition label on the back of a can of food. It is really all you need to compare rates prior to signing a contract. They can’t mislead you on the facts label and then offer a different electric contract or they would be in serious trouble with the (PUC) Public Utility Commission.

Electricity Facts
Amigo Energy Services
Electronic Offer 12-mo Commitment Program featuring E-Billing and direct debit payments Rate Code: ONLINE-12
9/12/2007

Electricity
Price

Average monthly use: 500 kWh 1,000 kWh 1,500 kWh
Average price per kilowatt hour:
TXU (Oncor) Area: 10.7 ¢ 10.7 ¢ 10.7 ¢
Centerpoint (Houston) Area: 11.2 ¢ 11.2 ¢ 11.2 ¢
AEP Central (CP&L) Area: 10.8 ¢ 10.8 ¢ 10.8 ¢
TNMP Service Area: 11.1 ¢ 11.1 ¢ 11.1 ¢
AEP North (WTU) Area: 11.5 ¢ 11.5 ¢ 11.5 ¢


This price consists of the price per kWh charge plus a $0 fixed monthly charge for meters using at least 500 kWh per billing period. At or above 500 kWh per billing period your average price per kWh for electric service will not vary regardless of usage.

This price consists of the price per kWh charge plus a $6.95 fixed monthly charge for meters using less than 500 kWh per billing period. Your average price for electric service per kWh will vary according to how much electricity you use.
 

 

 

2 Average Months: JUN &SEP
Average Month kWh Charge: above
8 Off-Peak Months: OCT-MAY
Off-Peak kWh Charge: 0.23 ¢ off-peak discount
2 On-Peak Months: JUL-AUG
On-Peak kWh Charge: 0.57 ¢ on-peak charge


Contract

Minimum Term: 12 Months Early Termination Fee: $69.95

See Terms of Service for a full Listing of fees, deposit policy, and other terms.

Sources of
power
generation

 Â

Texas

Â

This Product

(for comparison)

Coal and Lignite

32%

32%

Natural Gas

51%

51%

Nuclear

10%

10%

Renewable Energy

4%

4%

Other

3%

3%

Total

100%

100%

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