Based in Houston, TX, Direct Energy operates as a residential energy retailer in 11 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Centrica, plc, Direct Energy is now the largest residential energy supplier in North America. Various packages and plans are available to residential customers in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Texas and Massachusetts.
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Even when you think you’ve found the best Dallas electricity rates there’s still one more thing you’ll want to look at: Make sure the energy company doesn’t charge you if you don’t use a specific amount of electricity (usually 800 – 1,000 kWh per month). If anything, you’ll want to choose a company that offers you a discount for exceeding this amount. You just need to be careful to make sure that you don’t end up paying for electricity you don’t use. This is just one of the fees you need to watch for though. Other things that you may pay extra for, include:
7. Pick your poison. Deeper in the website you see a search box along the left side. Under “Plan Type,” a recommended pick is fixed, but you can also choose a variable or an indexed market rate. (The Watchdog likes fixed since market conditions can grow volatile.) Under “Price,” type in a range from 4 cents to 12 cents. That’s a good spread. Pick a contract length. Fill out the other boxes. Then hit “Refresh Results” on the bottom. Keep trying different combinations to see what the prices are that day. They change often.

Not understanding the system, I overpaid — but I quickly grew tired of that. I decided to educate myself. Eventually, I figured out a system. My Watchdog Nation Guide to Electricity Savings is built on the idea that companies should be judged two ways — by lowest rate and by company reputation. When the stars align, the right company is obvious. (Note: This doesn’t apply to customers in mandatory electricity co-ops or municipal-owned utilities.)

Fixed-rate, long-term (contract) plans provide stability in electricity rates. If market energy costs suddenly trend upward where you live, you can rest assured that you won’t have to pay more out of pocket. However, if you want to switch to a different, lower-cost plan before the end of the contract term, you’ll likely have to pay a cancellation or early termination fee.
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