Electricity Company Rate Plans

Electric Company Rate PlansWhen picking a rate plan for a residential home or apartment you need to understand how energy providers choose to market.

Every electric provider will have a few good deals on certain plans. It may be a 3 month rate or a 15 month rate but what you will see is a slightly cheaper price for that term than a typical contract term.

Compare Electricity Company Rates

It will not always be the 3 month and 15 month fixed rate plan that offers the best electricity price but this serves as an example so I can explain what is going on here.

Many times a standard 12 month fixed rate will offer the best deal but a provider can steer you to a different rate plan by making look better.

Even if certain things about an electricity company rate plan are bad for the customer an electricity provider will market it in such a way that you may see the bad aspects as positive.

These energy suppliers are simply featuring the bad parts of their plan and making you pay more for it. Don’t fall for these tricks as you end up losing in the end.

Below are some points to consider when choosing an electricity company and one of their rate plans.

  • Choose a standard electricity rate plan such as 6 months, 12 months, 24, or 36 months.
  • Don’t always go with the cheapest plan especially if it is a short term 1 – 3 month deal. That price will go up.
  • Lock in to a fixed rate and skip going with the cheaper variable price. Variable rates are always subject to change.
  • If a company leaves off TDSP charges, surcharges, and other hidden fees in their rate don’t trust that they have your best interests in mind. Go with a different provider.
  • Stay away from electricity rate plans that say they are fixed but also have a fuel surcharge that can adjust with the commodities market. This is a trick and it simply means your electricity company rate is not truly locked in as fixed.

Clute TX Electricity Rates and Plans

In Clute Texas there are several electricity companies competing to win the business of both commercial and residential electric service customers. Not all companies will be cheaper than Reliant Energy but many are. Before just going with the cheapest Clute electric provider it is important to understand the plans available.

Our electricity rate comparison chart categorizes the electricity rate plans based on term. There are variable electricity rates and fixed rates. Don’t just sign up with a variable price because it is the cheapest. Variable prices change each month and the positive aspect to a rate like this is that you will not be locked into the Clute electric rate for any specific term.

To get started click here to use our residential electricity comparison chart

This means with a variable rate you will find it to be worthwhile if you will only be at a location for a short time. A variable electricity price follows the energy commodities market up and down. If you are risk averse it is best to get on a fixed electricity rate instead.

A fixed electric rate can be anywhere from 3 months to 36 months out. A fixed Clute TX electricity price simply means that the rate will not change on you for the entire term of the contract. For most people a 6 month – 1 year fixed electricity rate is the best choice. You will not have to worry about the electric rate fluctuating in price every month.

We recommend comparing Reliant Energy’s prices with the electricity rates in this chart. We think you will find substantial savings. All fees and charges are included in the prices in our comparison chart. The only think not in the rate are taxes and this is industry standard.

When looking at too good to be true offers elsewhere on the internet you may see some energy suppliers leaving off TDSP charges or line loss and ancillary charges. This means that although their fixed electric rate appears the cheapest in their advertisement you will see a completely different rate when you get your first months electric bill.

Our company does not have a business model based on tricking customers. Our comparison chart averages in all fees in the rate so you know what you will be paying. Since everything but taxes is in the electric rate you will be able to compare apples to apples with Reliant Energy and other reputable electricity providers in Clute TX.

To get started click here to use our residential electricity comparison chart

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

Additional Electric Bill Charges Blamed on TDSP Pass Throughs

Residential Electric Customers Complaining about Additional Fees Crammed In

I have started to receive some calls the last few days from a few residential electric customers complaining that a certain retail Texas electric provider and recent start up in Texas has been cramming in additional charges in their fixed rate. The customers were told by the provider that they still have a fixed rate but the TDSP charges were raised on their rate plan. The electric company past the issue on to the non-negotiable TDSP charges as they are past through on an electric bill. The issue is that residential customers who lock in on a fixed electric rate are also locking in the TDSP (Transmission and Distribution Charges) charges. The TDSP charges cannot be changed as they are regulated by the Texas government so Texas residential energy customers can have some price protection for a certain term.

Commercial Rates are Different then Residential Rates

Texas commercial electric rates are different in that the TDSP charges differ from one business to the next. For instance, a Smoothie Factory store may pay 8 cents kWh on average for TDSP’s on top of their Energy Provider Generation Charge but a manufacturing facility may only pay 1 cent kWh. So commercial companies are protected on the Energy Provider Generation Charge but not on the TDSP charges. The issue at hand here is that some providers are trying to make it sound like the same thing applies for residential electric customers. Residential electric customers in Texas that sign up on a fixed electric rate should have both their TDSP charges and Energy Provider Charges locked in to one fixed rate that will not change the entire term of the contract.

Don’t Be Fooled

If an electric company in Texas tries to tell you that the reason your residential fixed electric rate has gone up so much is because of TDSP charge increases you need to quickly write a detailed complaint and send it in along with the electric bill in question via fax to the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

You can fax your issue to the PUCT at fax number: 512-936-7003

TDSP Charges | Terms To Understand


TDSP (Transmission Distribution Service Provider) Glossary

A | B | C | D |E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M  N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

ACTUAL METER READING. A Meter Reading whereby Company has collected information from the Meter either manually or through a direct reading, through telemetry, or other electronic communications.

AFFILIATED RETAIL ELECTRIC PROVIDER. A retail electric provider that is affiliated with or the successor in interest of an electric utility certificated to serve an area.

BILLING DEMAND. Demand used for billing purposes as stated in the applicable Rate Schedule or Rider.

BILLING DETERMINANTS. Measured, calculated, or specified values used to determine Company™s Delivery Charges that can be transmitted to the CR on an approved TX SET electronic transaction. These values may include, but are not limited to, measurements of kilowatt-hours (kWh), actual monthly Non-Coincident Peak (NCP) Demand, annual NCP Demand, annual 4-CP Demand (coincident peak for four summer months), Billing Demand, Power Factor, fixed charges, number of lamps, Rate Schedules, and rate subclass.

COMMISSION, PUC, or PUCT. The Public Utility Commission of Texas.

COMPANY’S DELIVERY SYSTEM. The portion of the Delivery System that is owned by Company.

COMPETITIVE RETAILER (CR). A Retail Electric Provider, or a Municipally Owned Utility, or an Electric Cooperative that offers customer choice in the restructured competitive electric power market or any other entity authorized to provide Electric Power and Energy in Texas. For purposes of this Tariff, a Municipally Owned Utility or an Electric Cooperative is only considered a Competitive Retailer where it sells retail Electric Power and Energy outside its certified service territory.

CONSTRUCTION SERVICE CHARGE. Commission authorized charges to recover costs associated with Construction Services.

DELIVERY. The movement of Electric Power and Energy through Company’s electric lines and other equipment, including transformers, from the Point of Supply to the Point of Delivery.

DELIVERY CHARGES. Commission authorized rates and charges for the use of Company’s Delivery System. Delivery Charges comprise Delivery System Charges and Discretionary Charges.

DELIVERY SERVICE. The service performed by Company pursuant to this Tariff for the Delivery of Electric Power and Energy. Delivery Service comprises Delivery System Services and Discretionary Services.

DELIVERY SERVICE AGREEMENT. The standard, pro-forma document set forth in this Tariff in which Company and Competitive Retailer agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of Company’s Tariff.

DELIVERY SYSTEM. The electric lines, and other equipment, including transformers, owned by Company and the Meters, including Non-Company Owned Meters, used in the Delivery of Electric Power and Energy.

DELIVERY SYSTEM CHARGES. Commission authorized charges to recover costs associated with Delivery System Services.

DELIVERY SYSTEM SERVICES. Delivery Services whose costs are attributed to all Retail Customers that receive Delivery Service from Company and charged to Competitive Retailers serving Retail Customers under the Rate Schedules specified in Section 6.1.1,

DELIVERY SYSTEM CHARGES. Delivery System Services are all Tariffed Delivery Services provided by Company that are not specifically defined as Discretionary Services.

DEMAND. The rate at which electric energy is used at any instant or averaged over any designated period of time and which is measured in kW or kVA.

DISCRETIONARY CHARGES. Commission authorized charges to recover costs associated with Discretionary Services.

DISCRETIONARY SERVICES. Customer-specific services for which costs are recovered through separately priced Rate Schedules specified in Chapter 6.

ELECTRIC POWER AND ENERGY. The kWh, the rate of Delivery of kWh, and ancillary services related to kWh that a Competitive Retailer provides to Retail Customers.

ELECTRIC SERVICE IDENTIFIER or ESI ID. The basic identifier assigned to each Point of Delivery used in the registration system and settlement system managed by ERCOT or another Independent Organization.

ERCOT. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.

ESTIMATED METER READING. The process by which Billing Determinants are estimated when an Actual Meter Reading is not obtained.

FACILITY EXTENSION POLICY. The Company policy that covers such activities as extensions of standard facilities, extensions of non-standard facilities, extensions of facilities in excess of facilities normally provided for the requested type of Delivery Service, upgrades of facilities, electric connections for temporary services, and relocation of facilities.

FACILITY EXTENSION AGREEMENT. The Service Agreement pursuant to this Tariff that must be executed by Company and the entity (either a Retail Customer or Retail Electric Provider) requesting certain Construction Services before Company can provide such Construction Services to the requesting entity.

KILOVOLT AMPERES or kVA. 1000 Volt-Amperes.

KILOWATT or kW. 1000 Watts.

KILOWATT-HOUR or kWh. 1000 Watt-hours.

LOAD FACTOR. The ratio, usually stated as a percentage, of actual kWh used during a designated time period to the maximum kW of Demand times the number of hours occurring in the designated time period.

METER or BILLING METER. A device, or devices for measuring the amount of Electric Power and Energy delivered to a particular location for Company billing, CR billing and as required by ERCOT. Meters for residential Retail Customers shall be Company owned unless otherwise determined by the Commission. Commercial and industrial Retail Customers required by the Independent Organization to have an IDR Meter may choose a Meter Owner in accordance with P.U.C. SUBST. R. 25.311, Competitive Metering Services and other Applicable Legal Authorities.

METER DATA. All data contained within the Meter.

METER OWNER. Entity authorized by the Retail Customer to own the Meter. Entity could be Retail

  Customer, Competitive Retailer, or other entity designated by the Retail Customer as permitted by

  Applicable Legal Authorities. If the Retail Customer is not eligible for competitive metering or does not

  choose to participate in competitive metering the Meter Owner shall be Company.

METER READING. The process whereby Company collects the information recorded by Meter. Such

  reading may be obtained manually, through telemetry or other electronic communications, or by

  estimation, calculation or conversion in accordance with the procedures and practices authorized under

  this Tariff.

METER READING SCHEDULE. No later than December 15 of each calendar year, Company shall post

  its schedule for reading each meter on its website so that Competitive Retailers and Retail Customers may access it. Company shall notify Competitive Retailer of any changes to this schedule 60 days prior

  to the proposed change. Company is responsible for reading the Meter within two Business Days of the

  date posted in this schedule.

METERING EQUIPMENT. Required auxiliary equipment that is owned by Company and used with the

  billing meter to accurately measure the amount of Electric Power and Energy delivered. Metering

  equipment under this definition does not include communication, storage, and equipment necessary for

customer access to data.

MUNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITY. A utility owned, operated, and controlled by a municipality or by a

  nonprofit corporation, the directors of which are appointed by one or more municipalities, as defined in

  PURA §11.003(11).

NON-COMPANY OWNED METER. A Meter on the ERCOT-approved competitive Meter list that is

  owned by an entity other than the Company. Unless otherwise expressly provided herein, a Non-

  Company Owned Meter shall be treated under this Tariff as if it were a Meter owned by the Company.

POINT OF DELIVERY. The point at which Electric Power and Energy leaves the Delivery System.

POINT OF SUPPLY. The point at which Electric Power and Energy enters the Delivery System.

POWER FACTOR. The ratio of real power, measured in kW, to apparent power, measured in kVA, for

  any given load and time, generally expressed as a percentage.

PREMISES. A tract of land or real estate or related commonly used tracts, including buildings and other

  appurtenances thereon.

PROVIDER OF LAST RESORT (POLR). A REP certified in Texas that has been designated by the

  Commission to provide a basic, standard retail service package to requesting or default customers.


RATE SCHEDULE. A statement of the method of determining charges for Delivery Service, including the

  conditions under which such charges and method apply. As used in this Tariff, the term Rate Schedule

  includes all applicable Riders.

REGISTRATION AGENT. Entity designated by the Commission to administer settlement and Premises

  data and other processes concerning a Retail Customer’s choice of Competitive Retailer in the

  competitive retail electric market in Texas.

RETAIL CUSTOMER. An end-use customer who purchases Electric Power and Energy and ultimately

  consumes it. Whenever used in the context of Construction Services, the term Retail Customer also

  includes property owners, builders, developers, contractors, governmental entities, or any other

  organization, entity, or individual that is not a Competitive Retailer making a request for such services to

  the Company.

RETAIL CUSTOMER’S ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION. All conductors, equipment, or apparatus of any

  kind on Retail Customer’s side of the Point of Delivery, except the Meter and Metering Equipment, used

  by or on behalf of Retail Customer in taking and consuming Electric Power and Energy delivered by


RETAIL CUSTOMER’S ELECTRICAL LOAD. The power and energy required by all motors and other

  electricity-consuming devices located on Retail Customer™s Premises that are operated simultaneously

  using Electric Power and Energy delivered by Company.

RETAIL ELECTRIC PROVIDER or REP. As defined in PURA §31.002(17), a person, certificated

  pursuant to PURA §39.352, that sells Electric Power and Energy to Retail Customers.

RIDER. An attachment to a Rate Schedule that defines additional service options, pricing, conditions,

  and limitations for that class of service.

SCHEDULED METER READ DATE. Date Company is scheduled to read the Meter according to the

  Meter Reading Schedule.

SERVICE AGREEMENT. Any Commission-approved agreement between Company and a Retail

  Customer or between Company and a Competitive Retailer, which sets forth certain information, terms,

  obligations and/or conditions of Delivery Service pursuant to the provisions of this Tariff.

SERVICE CALL. The dispatch of a Company representative to a Delivery Service address or other

  designated location for investigation of a complete or partial service outage, irregularity, interruption or

  other service related issue.

SWITCHING FEE. Any fee or charge assessed to any Retail Customer or Competitive Retailer upon

  switching the Competitive Retailer that does not relate to recovering any utility cost or expenses already

  included in Commission-approved Delivery Charges included in Chapter 6 of this Tariff.

TAMPER or TAMPERING. Any unauthorized alteration, manipulation, change, modification, or diversion

  of the Delivery System, including Meter and Metering Equipment, that could adversely affect the integrity

  of billing data or the Company’s ability to collect the data needed for billing or settlement. Tampering

  includes, but is not limited to, harming or defacing Company facilities, physically or electronically

  disorienting the Meter, attaching objects to the Meter, inserting objects into the Meter, altering billing and

  settlement data or other electrical or mechanical means of altering Delivery Service.

TARIFF. The document filed with, and approved by, the PUC pursuant to which Company provides

  Delivery Service. It is comprised of Rate Schedules, Riders, and service rules and regulations. The

  service rules and regulations include definitions, terms and conditions, policies, and Service Agreements.

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