Centerpoint Energy, Houston Electric Utility Contact Information

Questions About Electric Meter Usage Data in Houston

If you are an electric customer with an electric service retail supplier in the Harris County Texas area chances are high that Centerpoint Energy services your poles and wires and reads your meter. Have you ever received an electric bill that had an abnormally high TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Provider Charge)? Sometimes electric meters go haywire and misread your electic usage. In these situations it could have been years since the TDSP company has actually tested or performed maintenance on your electric meter.

Electric Meters do from Time to Time Malfunction

If you believe your meter was not read correctly in the Centerpoint Energy service area (Most of Houston) then we have phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information to assist you in tracking down someone at Centerpoint to assist in testing your meter. Be aware that if they have performed maintenance on your meter recently and you still ask them to come out they may charge you for the visit. Be sure to try and negotiate for them to come out with no charge if you believe it is their fault. If they determine that the issue is not their fault but is an accurate meter reading you will likely be charged for their effort.

If you want to confirm your electric bill with your raw electric usage data as Centerpoint Energy reads it you can use the usage file number below to ask for this information to be emailed to you. You will need to have your account information ready as they will need to verify it is you.

Reliant Energy

Reliant Energy Rates Remain Unreasonably High in the Houston Area

As of May 2009 Reliant Energy still has very high electricity rates in comparison to other reputable electric companies in the Houston area. Reliant electric company is a good provider with great customer service but their electric rates are too high in comparison to the Houston area electric companies listed below. You can compare cheaper residential electric rates below with other energy service providers that not only have cheap prices but great customer service and accurate billing. Once you have found a plan that fits your situation just click on the continue button.

The Break Up and History of Reliant and Centerpoint Energy

In Houston TX one company owned and maintained the poles and wires that delivers the electric to your home or business as well as sold you that energy. In 2002 the state of Texas through the facilitating agency set up to regulate utilities in Texas (The PUCT) broke up Reliant Energy (Retail sales company) off of Centerpoint Energy (The pole company). Reliant was known as Centerpoint Energy but was renamed to Reliant in order to differentiate the retail electric provider from the TDSP company otherwise known as the poles and wires company. Reliant Energy must now compete in a newly known element as a non monopoly Texas electric company. Reliant began to competitively price their electric rate to compete with over 40 other Texas electric companies trying to win the business of commercial and residential electric customers in Texas.

How Does Reliant Compare with the Other Texas Electric Providers?

Reliant now prices in comparison with the other Texas electric providers and sometimes has competitive rates. Texas power companies drop in and out of being competitive as their energy risk management policies change on their trading desk. On any given month one electric provider could go from being one of the least competitive to being one of the most competitive by changing their pricing models from recently accepted risk management and pricing policies. Because electric rates change their competitiveness from one provider to the next it is important to reshop rates at the end of an energy contract. Reliant Energy may have a competitor out their that could offer your residential home or business a better electric rate. Whether you live in Houston TX, Dallas TX, or somewhere else in the state you can review updated Houston Texas commercial electric rates or view updated residential electric rates to compare with Reliant Energy. If you would rather speak to an energy consultant you can call at the number below and have someone walk you through the process.

Feel free to call us with questions at 1-800-971-4020

Your Home’s Energy Use

How We Use Energy in Our Homes

Heating and Air Conditioning Typically Accounts for the biggest portion of electricity consumption for a homes utility bill.

To begin you want to locate the areas in the house that use the most electricity. Pie chart shows energy use in a typical home: 34% space heating, 34% appliances and lighting, 13% water heating, 11% electric A/C, 8% refrigerator.This type of approach is known as the wholehouse energy efficiency approach. You can bring in a home energy audit specialist who can determine where the energy is escaping from holes and cracks in the homes ducts and exterior entrance and exit ways. Cracks and openings in windows and door seals are a few easy locations to look at. Single pane windows and attics and walls not properly insulated or updated with Radiant Barrier can also cause substantial energy loss. Many regional utilities in Texas such as Oncor Delivery and Centerpoint Energy provide free home energy efficiency programs to assist in making your home a more efficient and bring needed money savings to the bottom line for your families needs. Everybody could use a little extra money and these tips could give you more then just a little extra. Of course, many of these suggestions you could perform yourself but some of them require a utility or energy expert to take a look at. You can learn more about energy tools and audit’s that can help you in your search for energy savings by checking out the Electricity Guide or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) member page.

Tips On Auditing Home Energy

  • See if the attic insulation is at the proper level, as well as exterior and basement walls, floors, ceilings, and crawl spaces. Go to the Electricity Guide to learn how to properly check your insulation levels.
  • Locate holes and cracks around ceilings, walls, doors, windows, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can cause are to come in and out of a home.
  • Close any open fireplace dampers.
  • Receive yearly air conditioning maintenance and take advantage of HVAC promotional maintenance programs in your area as they come available. You can find the recommended maintenance time frame in the owner’s manual of the air conditioner you bought.
  • Install energystar lighting and switches and monitor how your family uses lighting especially in high traffic areas. You can use lighting controls like dimmers, occupancy sensors, and timers to help reduce lighting usage levels. Replace outdated lightbulbs with compact or standard fluorescent lamps.

Creating a Reliable Plan

At this point you have located everywhere energy is being lost in the house. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much do you spend on electricity?
  • Where do you loose the most energy?
  • How long will your energy efficiency investment take to recoup?
  • Are there any additional perks for you that will come from the energy standards you put into place (a more comfortable living space could be one possible example)?
  • How long do you plan to live in your current house you will be updating?
  • Are you able to do these energy saving ideas without needing to hire additional help?
  • How much money can you spend and have you checked what type of maintenance and repairs might be needed?

After you have put your plans in the proper order and know where your top priorities are you can start the energy efficiency project. Hopefully your plan will create an order so that you can buy affordable products that will pay off the most to make your home more efficient for the money. A few phone calls to some experts in town like, Home Depot or Lowes could answer some difficult questions in a few minutes. MaCenterpoint Energy and Oncor Electric Delivery both conduct free energy audits because by helping you they are able to reduce energy demand and not build as many power plants as they would need to otherwise. An energy expert can compare a homes energy bill to the energy system’s in place to see how much each costs a year to run the home. This however is quite easy by just reading the energy label on each appliance and doing a couple simple calculations. You can also hire an energy expert who specializes in performing various energy tests using blower doors, infrared cameras, and surface thermometers to find leaks and drafts. There are many different theories and devices recommended on how to properly test a house and you can research this by googling terms like “blower door”. The energy expert can give you a list of affordable solutions to make the home more energy efficient although most of the things they will recommend are common sense like, cracks around windows being filled, door seals, duct leaks, and updating or maintaining A/C Units. The expert will also calculate the return on investment when compared to older systems being used.

Photo of a ranch style house in winter.
Thermal photograph of ranch style house shows heat escaping through windows, doors, and front porch.

Heat Finding Its Way Out Of Your House
When you heat your house you want to make sure it all stays inside because most spend a majority of their energy dollars on heating their home. This image shows what happens and where it happens in this type of scenario. The  colors show white, yellow, and red which is in order of the least amount of heat loss to the greatest in thermal energy. The red color represents the most in heat loss from the house.

Tips to Find the Best Contractor For The Job

  • Word of mouth is best from family and friends
  • People pay a lot to be in the yellow pages so check it out
  • Find a local company as they are cheap and just as good as going out of town to find someone.
  • Find a licensed and bonded contractor.
  • When receiving bids be sure to get the details in writing and have atleast 3 company bids.
  • Get referrals and ask about experience
  • Call the companies references
  • See if they have any complaints with the Better Business Bureau

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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