Houston Electricity Rates Prices and Plans – September 2009

We have compiled a list of some of the cheaper electricity rates, prices and plans from some reputable electricity companies in the Houston area.  The electricity companies in the list below have a track record of offering electricity service in the Houston area for a few years now and with the new PUCT rules in place the bundled electricity rates shown in the chart include all fees and charges including TDSP related charges, advanced meter fees, etc. We have listed monthly base charges to the right of each rate so you can see which electric company charges a base charge and which ones do not. Many times the cheaper electric rate with a base charge will save you more money than going with a higher electricity rate with no monthly base charge.

The confusing issue some electricity service customers still face is with a variable electricity rate. You can be quoted an initial rate in the advertisement when choosing a variable rate but some providers can change that electricity price even before receiving your first months electric bill. To our knowledge none of the Houston electricity companies in the chart below adjust their initial quoted variable rate until after you have been with them for atleast a month. If you choose a fixed Houston electricity rate the rate will not change the entire term of the fixed electricity agreement. We strongly recommend choosing a fixed electricity rate in the Houston Texas area to avoid any surprises.

Most electricity companies in Houston will also notify you before your fixed electricity agreement is up so you can renew before being put on a variable electricity rate. By having advanced notification that your electricity contract is about to expire you can have assurance that you will never have to deal with a fluctuating variable electricity price. Most Houston home owners and renters choose a fixed electricity rate because they have knowledge of exactly what the rate will be. By simply multiplying the rate times the kWh usage used during the month you can confirm you are being charged correctly.

Right now a 1 year fixed Houston residential electricity rate for September 2009 is the most popular fixed electricity rate agreement. We believe that a 3 year fixed rate actually makes sense right now considering Houston electric prices are close to all time lows. We think some electricity service customers in Houston could even consider signing up for something even longer term like the Just Energy 5 year residential electricity agreement. Most people are uncomfortable committing to an electricity price for that long but because electricity rates are this low right now it really isn’t that bad of a choice.

If you are like me 2 or 3 years is about the max amount of time you will want to commit to for a fixed Houston electricity rate. If you pick a longer term rate with a Houston electricity company you are basically buying insurance betting that electricity prices will be going up in the next few years. This keeps you in a low electricity price for several years while prices will likely head back up considering they are near as close to zero as they will probably go. If you choose a 1 month fixed electricity rate you have price insurance only for the first month of the rate, after that the rate can change with fuel prices. If you choose a variable rate plan with no initial 1 month term the rate could do just about anything. Even if you see an electricity price in a quoted advertisement the rate can legally adjust even before your first months electricity usage.

We recommend if you are considering a variable electricity rate in Houston that you atleast choose a 1 to 3 month fixed rate. After the initial term the rate follows a fuel commodity or index price along with the market. There are several choices when picking a fixed Houston electric rate and right now you can pick from 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2, and 3 year terms. Occasionally there will be other alternative fixed terms like a 9, 15, or 18 month fixed electricity rate. You can compare electricity rates for September 2009 using the historical snapshot below. These rates are for historical reference for the month of September 2009 so you can track what electricity companies in Houston were charging during this time. TXU Energy and Reliant Energy in Houston are both falling behind on price when compared with some of the cheapest electric companies in Houston. Although TXU and Reliant remain the two biggest Houston electricity providers they still do not offer low prices compared to some of the other Houston electric providers.

September 2009 Houston Texas Electricity Rates

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

January 2009 Houston Residential Electric Rate Comparison

Click Here and Compare January 2008 Houston Residential Rates

Houston residential electric rates have steadily come down this month and when comparing to the summer of 2008 they are several cents cheaper. This last summer we had one of the worst electricity rate spikes in the history of Texas. Because residential electricity rates in Texas have come down so much since this summer we recommend signing up for atleast 1 year. A 1 year fixed electric rate insures that your Houston electricity rate is locked in for the duration of the term.

Houston Electric Service More Expensive then Dallas Rates

In Houston rates are a little higher then they are in the Dallas Texas area and other deregulated electric service cities in the state. Houston’s congestion and line loss issues on their poles and wires contributes to a higher electric rate in comparison to other cities regardless of the electric provider in Houston you go with.

TDSP, Pole and Wires Charges, and Comparing Electricity Rates

When comparing residential electricity rates in Houston do not be confused when looking at commercial energy prices. Commercial energy prices usually just show the “energy only” portion of the rate. When you look at a rate comparison chart showing several commercial energy providers the rates will look much better then they do when looking through residential electric service rates. The reason for the difference in price is that the Texas residential electric rate is an all in rate that includes the pole and wires charges and the “energy only” charges. The commercial rate isn’t any cheaper it just doesn’t have the pole charges included.

Are Commercial Electric Rates Intentionally Deceptive?

Commercial energy providers in Houston are not trying to be deceptive when the rate that is quoted does not have the pole and wires charges included in the energy rate. The reason for this difference is because the electricity provider does not know what the pole and wires charges will be immediately for a Texas business. A Texas chemical plant may pay a penny on top of the “energy rate” while a Curves fitness studio may pay 9 cents kWh for their pole charges. The pole charges are not known until an accurate estimate is completed based on several specs of the facility or the historical electricity usage is pulled from the electric utility in Houston.

All-In Energy Prices

The below Houston residential electric prices include the pole charges and energy only charges. These electric rates are all in rates that include all charges. You may browse through and pick the company, term and electric rate that meets your specific residential electric service needs.

Compare Houston Residential Electric Rates Below

January 2008 Update

October 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rates

Hurricane Ike, Electric Comparison, and Relief from Summer Rates

Houston had a major issue with hurricane Ike this last month and surprisingly it had little effect on electric rates. A lot of oil and gas infrastructure was shut down but nothing was destroyed. This still usually has a negative impact on the price of electricity but because oil and natural gas is being swayed by several other factors in the trading commodities market the electric rates did not spike up.

Electric rates in Houston have come down way below their highs this summer when rates were at historical all time highs. That price spike in the summer was related to natural gas prices rising in the commodities sector beyond any level they have seen before. This had about a 90% correlation with the price of electricity. To complicate matters Houston residential electric rates were higher then usualy because several providers had bought electricity on the MCPE ERCOT market and could not meet their financial responsibilities. These electric companies also had no hedging in place so if an electric customer in Houston was on a variable electric rate they may have seen their rate tripple during this time.

Electric Rates Look Much Better From Summer Prices

Take a look at our Houston Texas electric rate comparison. We have rates listed from cheapest to most expensive. Most rates are fixed and there is a designation in the chart to differentiate between a fixed rate or a variable rate. I do not recommend signing a variable Houston electric rate contract as it is subject to change without notice. You may click on the links in the chart below and sign up online at these discounted online electric rate prices.

Houston Residential Electric Rate Comparison Chart

August 2008 Houston Residential Electric Rates

List of Providers from Cheapest to Most Expensive in Houston

We have put together a list of the electric providers in Texas from cheapest to most expensive. The top 3 Texas electric providers in the list all happen to be a little cheaper then what those companies normally advertise. We worked out discount electric rates with these providers and Startex (the cheapest right now) has a high rating from the public utility commission of Texas in regards to customer satisfaction. Because these companies have the cheapest rates and have a high reputability factor we are listing them for our readers to sign up with. You will receive their discount rates provided you sign up online using the links in the list below. These rates were updated on August 20th so between now and September rates could go up or down with the market so these rates may be a little higher or lower as the month proceeds.

Congestion Problems in Houston Texas

If you are in or around Houston Texas you will notice that your city has higher rates then the rates in Dallas Texas. The Houston area has some of the highest electric rates in Texas across the board. The reason electric rates are higher in Houston has to do with congestion and line loss issues. The state of Texas is working on resolving the congestion and line loss issues in Houston Texas. Until the givernment comes up with a good plan for this you will continue to pay a little higher for your electricity then the rest of the state.

List of Electric Companies in Houston

 The city of Houston has some of the highest electric rates in the state due to line losses and congestion issues. This issue effects your electric rate regardless of the electric provider you choose. These issues are included in the non-negotiable  TDSP charges also known as pass through charges that are fixed by the PUCT and bundled into the residential electric rate. The nodal system the PUCT and ERCOT are working to implement in the state of Texas and Houston will help to alleviate this issue.

The only other place in Texas with higher electric rates then Houston is Brownsville Texas and surrounding AEP service area. Brownsville Texas is faced with the same issues that effect Houston and cause electric rates to be higher then they are in cities like Dallas or Laredo Texas.

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