Residents can save on their energy bills with various plan and rate options. Since deregulation, utility companies have lost their monopoly over the electricity supply, opening up competition among independent energy service companies (ESCOs).
When shopping for your next business or home power plan, there are many factors to consider. This guide will help you navigate contract rates and understand your options for the best energy solution.
Look at Your Current Electricity Bill
When shopping for an electricity provider, your first step is to look at your area’s current rates. You can look at your utility bill and find the supply charges section. This will show you the rate per kilowatt-hour that you are paying for the electricity to power your home or business. Once you know the number, it’s easy to compare it to other electricity rates and choose the best provider.
Next, consider whether your current plan is fixed or variable. Fixed plans will keep your price steady for the duration of your contract. This can help with budgeting and will protect you from any market fluctuations. Variable plans will fluctuate based on where the energy market is daily and monthly. This can help you save when prices are low, but it’s important to remember that your bill could spike if energy demand is high.
Another thing to look at is the customer service reputation of your prospective REP. Online reviews and testimonials can give you a good idea of how a company treats its customers and how responsive they are to inquiries. Also, consider the length of wait times on their live chat or phone line and how quickly they respond to emails.
Look at Your Electricity Usage
Knowing your average usage is important when shopping for the best electricity rates in Texas. This will help you compare plans and find the right rate per kWh for your needs. You can use your recent bill to estimate how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume monthly. From there, you can look for plans offering competitive prices per kWh in different increments.
It’s also helpful to know your usage in case you’re considering a plan with variable rates. These rates fluctuate monthly based on weather conditions and energy demand or are tied to a market index, such as natural gas prices. A fixed rate can give you peace of mind that your monthly bills will stay consistent.
When shopping for the best electricity provider, look at the supplier’s generation price—the number of cents per kilowatt-hour—on your current utility bill or the Power to Choose state shopping site. This is known as the “price to compare” and should be your primary focus when comparing electricity rates. Then, look for other considerations, such as special add-on offers, contract terms, and provider reputation. For example, you may want to avoid a company with a bad customer service track record or high complaint levels.
Look at Your Options
When shopping for an electricity plan, hundreds of providers are out there. Many of them are offering low rates and are competing hard for your business. Unfortunately, a few bad apples will use any means to rip you off. One of the best ways to find a reliable supplier is by checking their reputation with the Better Business Bureau. This non-profit market analyst organization has a great database of complaints and reviews that can help you choose wisely.
Once you’ve researched the reputation of different suppliers, it’s time to look at their rates and plans. The easiest way to compare their prices is by looking at the electric supply charges on your utility bill. This will show you the current price per kilowatt-hour, called your Price to Compare. You will use this number to determine if you have any good options for cheaper electricity.
Other important factors to consider when looking at your options include whether they have special add-on offers. What type of energy source do they use (i.e., renewable or natural gas), their contract terms, and other factors that may be important to you? For example, some providers offer a discount for pay-on-time or direct debit payments. These discounts usually have a limited duration, so check when they expire.
Look at the Fees
If you want to compare electricity rates and choose the best provider for your home or business, then it’s important to understand how the prices are calculated. This means looking at the bill breakdown sections, analyzing your average usage, and reviewing the rates offered by the various providers in your area.
Electricity is priced per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is how much electricity your home or business uses in one hour. Your utility company will read your monthly meter and calculate how many kWh you used that month. This information will be included on your utility bill in the Usage Profile and Meter Information sections.
Your electric rate is the cost you pay per kWh of energy use, and it can vary by provider and plan type. Some providers offer tiered rates according to the energy you use. Other providers may charge extra for certain services, such as online payment or auto-pay options.
You can choose an electricity provider with deregulated markets and get cheap electricity rates. Choosing the right plan for your needs is easy when you know how to review your bill and compare prices. If you’re in a deregulated market, enter your zip code below to see current retail electricity rates in your area. You can also compare natural gas rates to find the best rates for your home or business.