If your monthly use hovers around the 2,000 kWh mark, you’ll be spending around $2,000 per year on electricity bills no matter which REP you choose. With that level of investment, you may be tempted by an offer to get something extra in return — like rewards. Direct Energy is notable because it’s a part of American Express’s Plenti rewards program. For every dollar you spend on your Direct Energy plan, you earn a “Plenti point,” which you can then redeem on purchases with retail partners like Macy’s, AT&T, and Exxon.
Fixed-Rate Plans: These plans are steady and predictable; the price per kWh you sign up for will remain that same for the entirety of your contract. (The only changes in your bill will be from forces outside of your REP's control, like changes in TDU fees, or changes in federal, state, or local laws.) Often fixed-rate plans will have a slightly higher price per kWh than others, but you're paying for the predictability. They're great if you live by your budget – and even greater if you happen to sign up when rates are low. The fixed-rate plans of our five Texas providers typically started at 12 months, with some extending up to three years, but we spotted a couple from Reliant that offered fixed rates for six month contracts as well.
In a competitive market such as Texas, energy providers sometimes offer alternatives that help you reduce the carbon footprint your home or business' electricity use leaves on the environment. Such companies offer you the opportunity to purchase an energy plan that helps offset your carbon footprint by buying power generated by renewable resources that don't negatively impact the soil, air or water. Preserving the earth and all of its resources is becoming a priority for a lot of Americans. An easy way to do your part is to ask about green energy plans from your electric provider.
Likewise, if you opt for a plan like our StarTex Power example, but in some months only hit 990 kWh of energy use, the $35 discount for cresting $1,000 kWh won't apply — and your bill is going to show it. Picking the right plan for you requires two things: an intimate knowledge of your home’s typical energy use, and a critical eye on any plan’s fine print.
If you've never changed Texas energy providers, you might get surprised every month when you get your electricity bill. You may not realize that a family member set the thermostat to 60 degrees on the hottest day of summer and then left the house or that in your rush to get to work early, you left on every light. At least you might not realize it until you get a bill that is double what you expected.
When you enroll in Wise Buy Conserve 12 Plus, our 12-month fixed price plan, not only will you get the same great price for a full year, but also the convenience of automatic payments and paperless billing. Usage Credit: $25 per billing cycle when usage is greater than 999 kWh and less than 2001 kWh. For new customers. Cancellation Fee: $200. PUCT# 10177
Variable Rate Plans: Designed as month-to-month contracts, these plans are in total control of your energy provider, which can shift the price you pay per kWh at its discretion. This means you, the consumer, are in a better place to reap the benefits when the energy market falls — but it also means you're at risk for hikes in prices, whether as a result of natural disasters or the provider's bottom line. Variable plans always offer a full year of price history to show the average price per kWh so you can get a sense of what you're getting into (like this one from Reliant) and know this: Variable plans don't have cancellation fees. You can cut your service at any time — a huge incentive for REPs to keep their prices reasonable.
Veteran Energy began in 2010 with the idea that an energy company could do more than just provide low electricity rates and exceptional customer care. The company wanted to give back to our country’s biggest heroes—our veterans, military members and their families. And that’s just what Veteran Energy works for every day through its program, The Power to Give Back™.
The PUC’s mission is to protect customers, foster competition, and promote high-quality infrastructure. In addition to regulating the states electric utilities and implementing legislation, the PUC offers Texas residents assistance in resolving consumer complaints. If you have a complaint with your electricity company you can go to the official PUC website and file an informal complaint.