Choosing a Houston Electric Utility Company in Texas

How to pick a Houston electric utility

You may use the comparison chart on the left to compare several Houston electricity compainies. We pride ourselves in going a few steps further than some Texas electricity providers by disclosing every charge in the advertised electric rate and averaging those charges together so you no exactly what you will be paying. We offer no tricks or gimmicks just a clear easy to understand comparison. You will need to enter your zip code in the box to the left to get started.

Picking a Houston Retail Electric Provider

Texas Retail electric providers must be certified by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. There are several energy providers in Houston Texas but only a few offer truly competitive rates. There are literally about 200 different electricity rate plans out there but your best bet is to stay on a fixed electricity rate for a term of atleast 12 months.

Learn more about the deregulation of electricity in Texas, shop electricity rates and compare offers from Houston electricity providers by visitng Power to Choose.

Follow these instructions, and save money buy picking a cheaper provider:

  1. Go to the Texas government website PowertoChoose.org
  2. Compare the Offers on the site
  3. Put your zipcode in the Zipcode box
  4. Verify the quoted electricity rate by reading the facts label carefully.
  5. If you are still uncertain there are a couple we know of that offer a low electricity rate and the best way to find out is to use our compare chart at the top right.

Texas Commercial Electricity

Texas Commercial Electricity

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Comparing Electricity Rates among the major providers

What we have seen when comparing electricity rates among some of the major electricity players in Texas is that most electricity companies wish to compete but the conservative energy trading policies in place do not always allow for them to lower or match a competing electric providers prices.

Problems a company may face when shopping for electric rates

Let’s make up a scenario, Let’s say John with ACME inc. decides to shop around for the cheapest electric rate. He goes to TXU and asks them to give him their best rates for 12 months, 24 months and 36 month terms. TXU comes back and quotes him some great rates. TXU even offers to give him the possibility of an even lower rate if they can have the option to extend that rate out an additional year if they so choose. John doesn’t bite as that would mean he gets a good rate but he is in no way protected on the down side. If rates go down further he has to maintain his existing rate and do you really think TXU would excercise that option if the rates were to go up?

So John goes over to Reliant energy to see what they can do. They offer competitive electric rates but not good enough to beat TXU. TXU however is requiring a large deposit and Reliant is not requiring this. This makes John a little more inclined to go with Reliant but not until he checks out a few not so familiar electric companies.

Comparing multiple Electric Providers

John calls up Champion Energy, Spark Energy, and Green Mountain Energy company to see what type of deals they have going. Each company lags far behind TXU and Reliant except for one. It looks like Green Mountain Energy is willing to compete and has the energy trading policy that has them pricing near the bottom of the Retail margin available to make a profit. Green Mountain Energy is willing to make a small profit on the sale because they have been told by the customer what TXU is pricing at.

Going back to the best electric bid

John goes back to TXU and asks for better terms regarding the deposit requirement and a better price. Now TXU realizes this customer is beginning to receive some competitive prices. Because John is a facilities manager for a company that uses 10,000,000 kwh of power TXU decides to price below the Retail Margin that they could have made a profit and collect an additional customer at absolutely no profit. The sales manager explains that these large sales are needed prior to a possible merger with another energy company and will look good on paper. They also assure that we may be able to add profit onto the Electric Rate when their term is up next go around.

Energy Risk Management and the likely outcome to working in this box

This is a typical behind the scenes look at what may go on during the process of obtaining a competitive electricity rate. Many times it doesn’t happen like this and the customer is confused as to why their appears to be no competitive fight from provider to provider. The Electric Suppliers are just not able to match prices as a Retail Product Chain could do because the energy market has a Risk Management side to it similar to someone buying stocks for their retirement portfolio. If they were to break their energy trading policy it would be similar to a typical bad investor who puts his money into random stocks only to see the stocks plummet beyond his means. Eventually, not only does the investor not make a profit he is liable for a margin call or mortgage payment on a house. The energy trader is liable to stock holders, the Board of trustees and management. If they were to break policy they could cause serious consequences to the company.

Champion Energy offers a low 12 month rate as Natural Gas travels down

Champion Energy

Affordable Texas Electricity for residential electric service consumers.
Save 30% off of what most Texas energy companies are charging.

Low Residential rates following Natural Gas movement down

During 2007 we saw electric rates travel down with natural gas prices all the way up to January 1st 2008. Not but a few days after the 1st electric rates spiked up to their mid level historical average from the previous 12 months. Electric rates are still relatively low and a 12 month contract still makes good economical sense.

Champion Energy Residential Electricity

Champion Energy has made quite a swing down with their Texas residential electricity rate. Startex Power has come down even further and does not charge a monthly service fee unless you are using under 500 kWh a month. Most residential energy consumers use over 500 kWh. You can learn more about the cheapest electric provider in Texas by clicking here. Energy has become competitive among the residential electricity providers as many new companies enter the market. On power to choose we see over 40 Retail Electric Providers all offering a different branded product with its own little gimmick to sway you into signing up on their service. There are several hundred different electric rate products but in order to establish some benchmarks when comparing it is best to stick with a fixed rate electric product that doesn’t change during the term of the energy contract.

Residential Electricity Choices

There is the “Market Tracker” with TXU, the “Green Earth” plan with Green Mountain Energy, the Reliant “Power Tracker” and several other branded products to hook you in one way or another. The plans each have their merit but many consumers just want to know, “what is the cheapest plan?” If these Retail Electric companies just sell you the energy while you still receive your power from TXU or Centerpoint Energy as you always have then why not find the cheapest electric company and just go with them?

Going with the cheapest electric provider

I like this kind of logic myself and would start off by recommending you stay away from TXU and Reliant at this time as their products are not very competitive next to the competition. They rely a lot on their big names and it seems to be working. That means they do not have very much incentive to go lower or offer you a lower rate if for instance your contract comes up for renewal.

What is Champion Energy’s Residential Electric Rate?

Champion Energy has a 12 month rate that is 11.6 cents as of August (as of January 27 2008 they are now at 11.1 cents kWh)(Natural gas now trading around $9 – $10 raising Champion’s 12 month fixed electric rate to 12.6 cents kWh as of April 3 2008). The rate came down a lot due to Natural Gas trading around $6 MMBtu. This Natural Gas closing price is not typical and so locking in for atleast 12 months could be a wise choice for a household. They charge a $4.95 monthly service fee which for a house that uses 1500 kwh a month would bring the average electric rate up to around 11.93 cents kwh. This is still very low next to the other competitive providers and you can count on very good customer service, accurate billing and over 100 years of business knowledge in the industry. As of February 2009 electric rates have changed again and Startex Power currently has a better offer on several different fixed rates with no monthly service fee. You can learn more about the cheapest Texas electric rate by clicking here.

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