CenterPoint Intelligent Energy Solutions LLC, IES, which manages TrueCost, is not the same legal entity as CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp. (CERC) or CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CEHE), nor is IES regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas or the Public Utility Commission of Texas. You do not have to buy products or services from IES in order to continue to receive quality regulated services from CERC or CEHE.
The local electric company is the utility – that’s the company who owns the infrastructure, including the poles and power lines that deliver electricity to your home. They are who you call if your power goes out or there's an emergency. But in almost every city in Texas, you must choose another company to supply that energy, called a Retail Electric Provider (REP). These REPs, like Spark Energy, allow you to choose electricity plans that offer competitive prices and plans to meet your needs.
The threat of price spikes have been long in the making, the result of changing economics of power production. The shale drilling boom produced record amounts of natural gas, which pushed prices to all-time lows and made gas-fired plants cheaper to operate than coal. Renewable energy such as wind is also producing abundant amounts of electricity at a lower cost than coal.
Another unwelcome side effect of not knowing your average monthly kWh usage level is that you may end up paying more than you expect. This can occur when a customer inadvertently shops an electric rate based on a higher usage level than they actually use. Electricity suppliers commonly advertise their electric rates associated with the highest (2000 kWh) usage levels since those tend to be the lowest rates.
In summary, fixed-rate plans provide a level of certainty and stability in your energy charge since the price will not fluctuate over the life of your contract. If prices suddenly spike, you are protected because your rate is locked in. The flip side is that if rates drop over the life of your contract, you’ll be stuck paying the higher rate. You can incur steep cancellation fees if you change electricity plans or providers before the end of your contract term.
Texas electricity deregulation has given millions of Houston residents and businesses the power to choose the cheapest electricity rate. According to ERCOT, over 92% of Texas homes and businesses who live in deregulated areas have switched electric companies since deregulation began in 2002. Even though electric choice in Texas has been hugely successful for energy savings, customers are still confused by the options, terminology, and overall process of switching electric providers.
TXU is high because they charge their customers for the "fuel" to run their power plants - that's what the supervisor told us when we called to complain about my godmother's bill. Her actual usuage was $350 and they charged her an additional $350. And she didn't understand the bill so she had been paying it for months until we started looking at it. They are a rip off. Would never recommend them.
I was unwillingly and unknowingly signed up by a Green Mountain energy Sales Advisor who approached me at a career event.I was approached by a guy who asked if he could just talk to me about what Green Mountain has to offer, even though I told him no. Although I am currently in a contract with my provider, and very satisfied with my current service, I decided to give this guy the benefit of the doubt and listen to his sales pitch (I'm in sales as well and was interested to see how effective he was)He informed me about some of the rates they offered and how they are "environmentally conscious" blah blah blah. He then asked if he could have my email address in order to send me rates, along with a 10-day promotional period where IF I decided I wanted to make the switch, I would be able to do so by clicking the link in the email. He guaranteed that they would handle everything with my current provider and make the switch a smooth transition. I reiterated the fact that I was not interested in switching, and that the contract I have in place is in my roommates name anyways. He said "No problem! This is NOT a promise of service. This is simply an option for you if you DO decide to switch.". Well, after reading all of these wonderful Yelp reviews on Green Mountain (sarcasm), I decided hell no, I'm staying with my current provider. 10 days later, I have an email from Green Mountain stating that I was now a customer. I immediately called them and told them I never gave consent to be a Green Mountain customer. Keep in mind, THIS GUY ONLY HAD MY NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS. I could literally sign my dog up for Green Mountain, that's how easy it was for them to do it for me. Anyways, now I'm in a mess trying to get my other service turned back on, which they're charging $410 for a reactivation fee along with the early termination fee from this scam artist. Bottom line - do not speak with any sales associates from this company and if you do, don't give them ANY information.
Many states require contractors to carry some form of insurance along with their license. Insist that whomever you hire has the proper amount of insurance for the work you need done and call the insurer to check the policy. See that whom you hire for the job has liability and workers' compensation insurance so you don't pay for injuries or accidents caused by the company's work.
You can sort, filter, and shop by pricing at YOUR specific usage level, which lets you shop and compare electricity plans based on the rates you’ll actually experience on your bill, inclusive of hidden fees and taxes. This ensures you’re not misled by the cheaper rates often advertised by electric providers…those “teaser rates” associated with higher usage levels that many households never enjoy because their usage level never reaches that pricing tier.