TXU Parent Gets Burned Again!

Energy Future Holdings is the Dallas based company that controls TXU and if you remember was the entity purchased in the largest leveraged private equity buyout in U.S. history. The Energy Future Holdings private equity buyout now ranks as the number 2 biggest ever as RJR Nabisco beat them out. The deal was a cool $44.37 billion to buy up Energy Future Holdings by buyers KKR, TPG, and Goldman Sachs.

The former secretary of the state was appointed to run this big massive company and now facing a 5th consecutive quarterly loss I start to wonder about the too big to fail concept. Is this loan guaranteed by the government in one way or another. How does this get handled if government has to step in?

I kind of doubt these companies would get into this buyout if there weren’t some pretty strong guarantees in place for this leveraged loan.
Being burdened by all this debt Fitch Ratings downgraded Energy Future Holdings’ debt to 8 levels below junk and said a default is very likely a possibility.

The company faces increasing troubles in trying to generate cash and their debt is only going up along with their interest payments. Sales fell 27% to $1.22 billion in the first quarter and interest expenses increased 22% to $785 million from a year earlier.

I wonder who has a protective stake in this buyout and what investors will end up being screwed? The report seemed to blame falling power prices on EFH’s downfall so far. I wonder if the problem has anything to do with the EPA and environmental activists that stopped all those state of the art coal power plants that were expected to be built by TXU?

Power generation is a big part of the EFH business. Their retail side, TXU, sells retail electricity service but this is a carefully balanced business that has other worries unrelated to the generation side of the business.

Trying to keep this big company going with all the government regulation and competitive deregulated market in Texas seems like a huge undertaking and add to that the pressure of all that debt.

I see this as a long uphill climb into positive territory.

Momentis is a new Electric Service MLM Work From Home Energy Company

Momentis I just found another MLM energy company today called Momentis. I clicked on the link and the person who signed up for this opportunity must have already quit because the link was invalid.

This company is powered by an electric company that has been around for awhile now called, Just Energy.

I have talked to commercial businesses about Just Energy in the past and from my knowledge they have been very aggressive. They had feet on the street sales guys canvasing business districts offering their rates.

This practice is typical of even TXU and Reliant Energy so there is nothing wrong with this I just say this to explain Just Energy has and will try anything to be competitive hence why they are in MLM.

Momentis is an MLM company powered by Just Energy and they don’t just sell electric service but also natural gas, TV, internet, and phone.

If you are wondering about this opportunity and how it compares to the rest I have news for you. As far as I am concerned I already kind of know what the compensation plan will look like before even looking.

It has become increasingly predictable what these companies compensation plans look like. The main thing I would worry about is if the company will allow you to keep whatever ranking you achieve when they eventually change their compensation plan or add more positions.

Think about this, most of these MLM energy companies adjust their plans by adding a new rank in the mix. This dilutes your stake in the money pool and continuously makes it harder for you to remain at the top.

Some MLM companies will vet you and keep you in whatever position you achieve and will not allow a new rank to push you down but will in fact promote you to that new level that did not exist when you first joined.

What companies look out for you in this way? Not many.

Regarding the compensation plan it appears it looks similar to many, such as Ignite Energy, The Green Mountain Energy MLM, and a few others. You basically get very little compensation for actually signing up electric service customers directly.

You get bonuses for signing up customers within 30 day time slots. For each 5 additional customers you get in 30 days it appears they pay you $100. That means you are getting $20 a customer one time. You also get $1 a month for each active customer you personally maintain that you have signed up directly.

Overall the compensation you get for the direct work you put into getting active customers is very little compared to other MLM companies I know about.

The real money comes in by building large active down-lines of representatives that are selling the opportunity. The reason this is where the good money comes in is because large bonuses are paid out when new recruits join.

The site does not go into how much the Myteam bonuses are or how much the myLeadership bonuses are which is curious to me but I suspect they are fairly big in the $100 – $300 range.

Keep in mind to get these bonuses your recruit has to pay a large upfront membership fee and sign up 2 customers in 30 days. Once this happens you get the initial $100 mentor bonus. The additional bonuses are paid out as your recruits qualify for more levels and are trained.

This compensation plan is very similar to many others. The hard part is in building a down-line that is very active. This is very hard to do but can be done. I produced a video that explains what the long term goal should be with anyone considering joining an MLM company. For most of us including myself it is far beyond something I would want to get involved in.

 

TXU Energy Lost 8 Percent of Their Customers in 2011

Based on TXU’s parent company report from Energy Future Holdings the energy division known as TXU Energy lost 8 percent of their customers during 2011. I have to assume the reason TXU is losing so many customers has to do with how competitive the retail electricity markets have been in 2011.

There are many retail electric companies that actively send people on the street knocking on doors at homes and businesses offering incentives to sign up with their electric company.

TXU Energy and Reliant Energy feet on the street crews have been seen in each others backyards offering offers to switch away from the other service to theirs but even still when 10 other providers are doing the same thing and offering even cheaper prices it is hard for customers to stay loyal to such an old trusted brand name like TXU Energy.

I look back at some of the ad campaigns I have seen from TXU and I must admit they seem smart such as when they tried to differentiate themselves as the company with only fixed rates that do not change.

I remember seeing ads that made it clear that a customer can find price predictability and assurance that their rate won’t change when on TXU. The safety of a locked in secure rate that will not fluctuate sounds great to me and a good way to set yourself a part from the competition but it seems to have not had the desired effect.

An 8 percent drop in customers is significant for a company like TXU that has over 1 million retail electricity customers.

Even with a loyalty rewards program that offers customers prepaid VISA gift cards ranging from $50 – $150 customers still were leaving TXU.

The assumption is that when the economy gets hard people start to look at the bottom line numbers and the simple quick solutions.

Customers may not make the most rational decisions in a quick fix and so rather than wait for a year to get a customer rewards VISA card many want that immediate cheap bill.

With so many competing electric companies offering an immediate lower electric rate compared to TXU many customers simply choose to compare and switch away at whatever rate they deem to be the cheapest.

The negative to the customer is that if they pick a short term variable rate with a different electric company they compare against TXU it will likely go up on them even higher than what they paid with TXU.

The reason the price increases is because a variable price is usually only locked in for 1 month and than goes up.

If customers do decide to switch away from TXU it is important that they compare their fixed TXU rate with other fixed rates provided by competing electric companies.

By comparing fixed rates with fixed you will end up saving money over TXU and will not end up on a quick savings offer that saves you money for only 1 month.

Constellation Energy buys Startex Power in Texas

Constellation buys Startex Power 142 million

Startex Power has been one of those success stories in Texas because of their fast growth as a privately held retail electric company competing against giants like TXU Energy and Reliant Energy.

Now Startex Power is one of these giants as they were bought for 142.5 million in cash and will now be a very big strong brand for Constellation in the state of Texas.

Startex started out from an executive that came over from Gexa Energy by the name of Marcy Zlotnik to start her own retail electric provider.

She did very well as CEO and eventually reinquished her position to her husband Robert Zlotnik. These two were finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award for 2008 in the Houston and Gulf Coast area.

The buyout amount will let Constellation continue where Startex left off and continue to build a very well respected brand in the state of Texas.

No information was given as to whether Startex Power was experiencing any negative things that were hurting their overall business to require a larger company to buy them out as was the case with Amigo Energy and Starlight Power.

August 2009 Houston Electricity Rates and Plans – Compared

Picking The Right Houston Electricity Company, Rate and Plan

What to Know Before Signing up With Just Anyone

We have compiled a list of some of the more popular residential Texas electricity companies and rate plans. If there is a known issue with one of the residential electricity companies we list that concern next to the provider. There are some providers that have blatantly obvious tricks we know of that shows one rate on their website but when receiving your first electricity bill the rate is much higher due to the TDSP charges not being clearly apparent. A note should be made that these Texas electricity providers are usually involved in leaving off the TDSP charge on their advertised rate. We are not sure exactly how many energy companies participate in this practice as well as they change their practices depending on how much heat they are receiving from PUCT complaints. You can read Consumer Energy complaints from some of these providers customers who can explain what exactly can occur when switching to a gimmicky energy company better than we can.

August 7 2009 Residential Houston Electricity Company Comparison, Cheapest to Most Expensive

Understanding Your Houston Residential Electricity Rate

Most electric providers in Texas will bundle the TDSP charges into the energy only rate giving you an all-in rate that can be compared against other Texas electricity companies like TXU Energy and Reliant Energy. We have listed both TXU and Reliant in our comparison chart in order to compare their electricity prices with other Texas electric providers. You will notice that the two largest energy providers in Texas have much higher electricity prices than some of the smaller but good electric companies. Right now Champion Energy and Startex Power are two reputable electricity providers in Texas offering very cheap fixed electricity rate offers. All fees and charges are disclosed with these two companies. With Startex if a customer uses less then 500 kWh hours a month there will be a $4.95 monthly service fee although most Texas electricity consumers use more then this so it shouldn’t be an issue for most customers. A monthly service fee is simply an additional charge many electricity providers have in addition to their electricity price. It is important that a provider disclose this fee upfront rather than hide it in the contract details. We have made these fees obvious in our rate chart so you can make a clear apples to apples comparison of electricity prices in Texas.

Historical Houston Electricity Rate Snapshot for August 7 2009

Since this Houston electricity comparison chart is an update for August 7 2009 it only represents a historical snapshot of what Texas electricity providers were charging on this date. An updated and daily refreshed electricity rate chart is also provided below with some of the cheapest Houston electricity companies. We hope this historical list of Houston energy providers in prices above will keep you informed of how prices move over the course of several months. If you have any questions or comments about one of these Houston electricity companies please feel free to leave a comment below. If you are interested in a no deposit Houston electricity choice please visit our no deposit electricity page.

Current Houston Electricity Rates, Companies, and Plans

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