Weird Electric Rate Comparison Sites To Stay Away From

As most of us, when we go into business we do it to make money. This site makes money by offering a great tool for verifying and comparing electric rates from multiple providers.

We always try and put companies to compare on our chart that are strong viable companies for the long term. We have likely met their CEO and have researched their history.

Our chart is made so that you can quickly compare no-nonsense rate plans like most all “fixed rate” plans.

What I have seen lately are some comparison sites that are owned by one electric supplier with ownership in multiple brand names.

These comparison sites are tricky because it looks like you are comparing prices from multiple providers but in reality the ownership is all by one company.

I am not saying that it is evil to make money in business by selling an online electric rate but it is important to be transparent to your customers and not present yourself as an unbiased comparison site when in reality all the providers on the comparison are actually one company.

I am shocked that there are sites out there like this as it seems like an extreme form of deceptive trade practices for an electric company to be involved in but I can only assume they know the risk and are willing to do it anyway.

Here at Electricitybid.com we are here to make money but we do business with the ultimate goal of living a life of integrity, treating our customers like we want to be treated, and simply doing a great job at what we know how to do.

We want to thank our customers for coming back and using us again and again, and please let us know if you have anything you would like to see on the comparison chart that is not there already or other suggestions.

In case you don’t know, you can use our chart by typing in your zipcode in the green box at the top right.

Nations Power Prepaid Texas Electric Company Review

I discovered a new prepaid electric company opened up in Texas today called Nations Power. This company offers a fixed kilowatt hour rate as well as a variable pay what you can plan.

Regardless if you go with a traditional electric company that gives you 30 – 45 days to pay your bill or you go with a prepaid provider where you pay in advance I would choose the fixed rate every time.

Many electric companies will not hesitate to raise your variable rate on you beyond what you were expecting.

It is true not all variable rate plans are bad but to be on the safe side a fixed electric rate with Nations Power is probably the way to go.

The reason you would want to order electric service through a prepaid electric company like Nations Power is if you know you will not be able to afford deposits by other providers.

The Texas government does offer assistance to low-income families for deposits and rate subsidies but for most of us the hassle in qualifying for these assistance programs is simply not worth it.

If your credit is okay or bad you will likely have to pay a deposit with most all the Texas electric companies.

For instance, if you call TXU and Reliant they will likely both ask for a deposit ranging from $200 – $500 depending on how bad your credit is.

Of course if you have good credit no deposit is needed. Now lets say you have called these two large electric companies, TXU and Reliant, if you go on to call Bounce, Green Mountain, and Texas Power they will likely ask for a deposit as well.

Why would all these providers ask for a deposit? They all work from a credit checking service to manage their risk. There is about a 50% customer default rate below a certain credit score number and what score this is remains a tightly held secret.

There is simply no way of working with a provider that bills you 30 days out for service in negotiating a deposit and that is why a company like Nations Power can come in handy.

By going with a prepaid electric company you avoid the deposit but will sacrifice on price. Most prepaid electric companies have higher prices than traditional electric companies that check your credit.

Nations Power is based out of Allen Texas and has recently launched their company as a Texas prepaid electric provider. You may reach them at (866) 356-6850.

If you have used this prepay electric company please give our community feedback in a review format in the comment section below.

Interesting to note, the company with the same PUCT license number is Catalyst Energy Inc. which is a PA oil and gas exploration company. The activities of Catalyst encompass the exploration, development, production, transmission and processing of oil, natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons. Since Texas relies on natural gas for the production of much of the electricity it is worth noting that Catalyst now has a stake in both the production and retail aspect of natural gas. There is often an inverse relation to the cost of producing electricity using natural gas and the actual cost of natural gas. If these two factors of natural gas price and “heat rate” are managed well there can be a big payoff in being in the production and retail side of natural gas. Most important is to not gamble to much in the process of doing both.

Don’t Get Bitten This Winter By Your Variable Electric Rate

Variable electric rates are not all bad but there are problems with them that if not understood can leave you like many others, very confused when your rate goes up.

As the name implies a variable price does not guarantee by any means that your price will always stay the same or go down but never up.

The variable price is just as likely to go up as it is to go down.

Most electric companies in Texas will give you an introductory rate when getting you to switch to their variable price. The rate looks exceptionally low compared to locking in at a much higher fixed contract for 12 months.

Many people simply see that cheap variable intro rate and sign up. Once your rate goes up and you realize it has gone up it is usually too late to switch away before you get a sticker shock electric bill in the mail.

It is possible that 45 days of electric usage could have accumulated during the time your price was jacked up. Since you get billed every 30 days you will likely disconnect a week or so after that.

You will get billed at the higher rate for over a month before you can switch away and this may have caused you to spend $200 or more than you were planning on.

If your price follows an index like natural gas you can rest confidently when your rate is high because you know you will be rewarded when commodity prices come down.

The problem is that most providers do not make it very clear how their variable price works and so you really have no assurance of anything.

To save you all this headache try a fixed rate like what I usually go with. I sign up for 12 months on a fixed plan and have no worries for a year. At the end of the year I get a reminder email to shop prices and I simply renew with who I consider to be the best provider for another year.

Houston electricity rate plans offer flexibility to the energy consumer

In Houston Texas electricity service customers are beginning to see that choosing a variable electric rate plan and waiting for it to eventually go up is not the best choice.

The wait and see game works for awhile but eventually you can get stung as did Steve Smith who remodeled my house not but a few months ago.

We needed some drywall hung in the living room and some electrical rewiring done and me and Steve started talking. He mentioned that he used to get on a the cheapest variable electricity rate in Houston and wait and see.

If his rate started to go up to high he would simply shop around again and choose the next best offer out there at the time. He did this until one month electricity rates in Houston were sky high.

He could not find a good low priced variable electricity rate plan or fixed plan for that matter. He started to see how doing the wait and see game may work for a little while but you will eventually get burned.

He went ahead and bit the bullet and signed up for 6 months at a pretty high price for that time in Houston Texas. Fortunately after 6 months rates came back down to normal price levels.

He now is on a fixed electricity rate in Houston Texas and enjoys the price assurance a fixed rate offers and the time saved not having to continuously shop for Houston electricity companies every few months.

Steve is now out of the home remodelling business and has started a small sub sandwhich shop in the East Texas area. He used ElectricityBid to procure his commercial electricity rate and we look forward to working with him in the future when his contract comes up for renewal.

If you need to shop for commercial or residential electricity in Houston TX please use the compare tool at the top right by entering in your zip code. You can compare multiple Houston TX electricity companies and find the rate plan that makes the most sense for your situation.

Tips for Selecting a Texas Energy Provider

Independence Day Promo Electric Rate From Bounce EnergyEvery May, our contract with our Texas energy provider comes up for renewal, and we have the power to choose whether to stay with our current provider or switch. In looking for a new provider and/or plan we not only want a good rate, but we first have to decide if we want a contract and what kind, and if we want to use green energy, all the while paying close attention to possible promotions and rewards programs. Here is the process we usually go through.

In order to choose a provider, it is best to start with a plan. The two most common plans are variable rate and fixed rate. With a fixed rate plan you’ll pay the same rate for electricity throughout the term of your contract (which is typically 2 years). The price can change only to reproduce actual price changes that are allowed by Public Utility Commission rules due to changes in law or regulatory charges. This plan is great for people who have a household budget since the rate stays the same, which protects you from rising energy prices; however, if market prices fall you have to wait until your contract is over to switch to a lower rate. If you think you might want to discontinue service after a short period of time, look for a company that does not have contracts or offers short term contracts. Companies that have contract periods often have a minimum term and if you cancel your service before the contract period ends, you might have to pay a penalty.

Variable rate, or often referred to as “month-to-month”, plans have no minimum contract period and are based on current energy market conditions. With this kind of plan, the rate you pay can fluctuate depending on the changes in the electricity market. Which means you can benefit from lowering energy rates and could help you to save on your energy bill. However, just as this type of plan allows you to save money when market prices fall, it could also have a negative affect if market prices rise because so would your electricity rate. For some people, dealing with constant changing electricity rates can be stressful so a fixed rate works best for them. On the other hand, there are others who like being able to always get the best rate and don’t mind searching for it, making a variable rate plan their best option.

Next is to choose between a non-renewable (standard) and a renewable (green) plan. You can check a Texas energy provider’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) to see if their plan produces electricity from renewable resources such as solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal, or wind. EFLs allow you to easily compare what each company has to offer to find the best fit for your energy consumption and budget. Each label contains the following information:

  • Electricity Rate: This is made up of the electric company’s average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 1500 kWh, as well as a possible monthly customer service charge and seasonal pricing. Rates can differ depending on the number of kilowatt-hours so it’s important to look at your past usage. With some companies the more kilowatt-hours you use, the lower the rate will be.
  • Contract Terms: Some companies have minimum terms and will charge you an early cancellation fee, while others may not require a contract.
  • Power Generation Sources: The electricity provider should list from what resources the electricity is produced (coal, natural gas, renewable energy, etc.) The percentages will be graphed to compare them to the average usage for electricity generation statewide.
  • Emissions: In this section companies provide details on the types and percentage of emissions they create per kWh of electricity generated. The energy provider’s percentages will be graphed to show if the emissions are better or worse than the Texas average. This might be an important section for you if you’re interested in decreasing your carbon footprint.

Once you’ve decided which plan works for you, then the next step is to compare Texas electricity companies. You can do this by going to ElectricityBid.com where you can compare prices and ratings. Just enter your zip code and then pick the kind of plan you want. You will be able to see different Texas energy providers and their company rating, different plans offered, cancellation fee, if electricity is produced from renewable or non-renewable resources and the terms and rate for each plan. These websites will also show you promotions and incentives offered by each company and if they have a rewards program.

Lastly, review and compare all the possible incentives and rewards programs offered. Some companies offer rewards programs to their customers such as cash back and gifts. For example, Bounce Energy is currently rewarding its customers for paying their bills on-time. Customers who pay their bill on-time for 6 consecutive months receive their choice of 2 movie tickets or a free companion airfare ticket and also gain access to Bounce Energy’s VIP Customer Service line. The longer you pay on time, the more you get in return. Power providers might also offer incentives or promotions for signing up with a new plan such as gift cards, airline miles, charitable donations, or better rates if you sign up online. For example, Bounce Energy’s Express Move plan. This short term fixed rate plan makes moving much easier by not only turning on your electricity, but Bounce Energy will submit your USPS Change of Address form, add your name to the Do Not Mail and Do Not Call lists, give you free identity protection service and give you either a $25 Walmart or Home Depot gift card. Bounce Energy’s Terrific 12 plan gives the customer their choice of $25 gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart, GAP Inc., Shell, or a $25 bill credit.

As you’ve probably seen, there are many Texas energy providers and plans to choose from but by doing some research you will be able to find one that is right for your electricity needs and budget.

Online Resources
http://powertochoose.org
http://www.electricitytexas.com

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