Lantern’s founder, Elisa Kaplan, started her energy career in 1994 as a programmer for an energy software firm. She was responsible for creating a library of utility rates that allowed users to recalculate their bills and compare the results to what they were actually charged. This library offered electricity, natural gas and water/sewer rates from the smallest municipalities to the largest investor owned electric companies throughout the United States. The creation of this library resulted in an extraordinary understanding of how companies charge their customers. This evolved into a utility bill auditing service that successfully recovered millions of dollars in overcharges. The deregulation of the Texas electricity market in 2002 enabled additional savings recommendations to her many clients.
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1. Legacy providers no longer rule. Get over the idea that original providers are the only companies that can offer solid, uninterrupted service. And don’t believe the fallacy that customers of legacy providers get serviced first when power goes out. Oncor Electric Delivery is responsible for maintaining the transmission system. Everybody uses Oncor to handle repairs in our region.
If you don’t want to commit to a two year fixed-rate plan, then Gexa also offers the Gexa Saver Supreme with an energy charge of 12.5 cents per kWh. At 1000 kWh of usage, the average rate of this plan is only a penny more than Gexa Saver Supreme 24 or just 8.8 cents per kWh. But with those slightly higher rates, comes a much cheaper early termination fee of only $150.
Most Dallas residents live in the Oncor Electric Delivery service zone for Dallas residents. Oncor serves more than 7.5 million customers and currently stands as America's sixth largest deliverer of electricity. When it comes to Dallas energy suppliers, though, consumers have a variety of choices. Choose Energy partners with only the best providers, such as TriEagle Energy, TXU Energy and Direct Energy. More choices help create competition among providers and better prices for the customer. The best way to find the most competitive rate is to shop and review a variety of the services offered by each provider. Click here to look for the best rates.
Legislation deregulating the energy market for most of the Lone Star State, including Dallas, took effect in January 2002. This means that, while a single utility provider will continue to deliver the electricity, consumers now can compare prices offered by several suppliers. Customers also can choose from different variable-rate and fixed-rate plans. Energy deregulation in Dallas has stimulated competition between providers. This has led to lower rates relative to the national average. Check rates out here.
9. Check out your favorite. After you find a company with a rate and contract length you like, learn more about it. One way is to do an Internet search of the company. Place the company’s name in various searches beside these search terms: scam, rip-off and complaints. If the company has a troubled history, find out before you sign up. If only a few results come up from disgruntled customers, don’t worry. But if there are several dozen, continue with a quick search of the company’s Better Business Bureau record. And then, most important, return to powertochoose.org and below the name of the company, you’ll see “Complaint Scorecard” and “Complaint History.” Click on those links and learn more about the company.
If you’re only going to be living in your current home or apartment for a short period of time, you may want to consider a 12 month plan which typically has better rates than shorter term plans. If you move during the term of your contract, you can either transfer your electricity plan to your new address (if possible) or cancel your contract. According to the rules of the Texas Public Utility Commission, your provider cannot charge you a cancellation fee if you provide proof of a change of address.
In 2002 Bill 7 was passed and electricity in the area became deregulated. This means that residents in Dallas, Texas can shop for an electricity provider of their choice. As such, you’ll have the ability to choose who you get your electricity from and how much you’ll pay for it. Of course, this means that there’s now competition in this area for who can provide you with the cheapest electricity rates. At the same time, you’ll enjoy more control over your electric bill. Together everyone will benefit from greater flexibility.
To enroll with an electric company, your credit history will be reviewed. Be sure to have your driver’s license number or social security number handy when completing your enrollment on the electricity provider’s secure site. Electricity companies have different credit requirements and change them periodically. At most, the electricity provider may request a deposit equal to two months of estimated billing.
You might be unsure about how to decide between a big signup bonus and a low rate. At this point, you need to think about the length of the contract you’re signing. Some companies offer variable Dallas electricity rates, while others want you to sign a one- or two-year fixed agreement. Whatever rate structure the company is advertising, think about the fact that you’ll have to pay this rate for the duration of your contract. And if you’re getting a great signup bonus, double check to make sure it’s worth the commitment.
Whether you live in a large city or small town, we can save you money! Where do we provide Texas electricity? We service customers in more than 400 deregulated communities in Texas. We work with principal utilities throughout the state of Texas to provide prepaid electricity. The utilities are: Oncor in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex and various parts of West Texas; CenterPoint Energy in Houston and the surrounding areas; AEP Central in Corpus Christi and surrounding areas; AEP North in Abilene and other North Texas communities.
6. Conduct a thorough search. Go to this website: powertochoose.org. (If you don’t have an Internet connection, visit your public library and ask a librarian for help. Or ask a friend or relative to help you.) Enter your ZIP code and start searching. When you find an offer you like, make sure to go to the company’s website. Sometimes the company’s price might be cheaper than what’s shown on powertochoose.org.
Elisa has always delivered the information her clients need to make informed decisions. She has been published in industry journals, interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio, and has spoken at numerous town hall meetings to encourage legislation for corporate accountability. She remains accessible and engaged with her clients, via electricity brokering services.
The nice thing about choosing a fixed, long-term contract is that your electric rates are more stable. This means that if there’s a sudden rise in energy you won’t find yourself responsible for a higher bill. However, you do need to realize that the opposite is also true: If electricity rates suddenly decrease, you’re locked into a contract and can’t switch to a lower rate plan without paying either a cancellation or early termination fee.