Consumers in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Corpus Christi were promised bargains on electricity when the Texas Legislature deregulated the electricity market. But 16 years later they're still paying more for electricity than their counterparts in cities Texas lawmakers exempted from deregulation such as Austin and San Antonio, according to the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power which analyzed federal electricity pricing data.
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.
How does that work? Spark Energy buys electricity and competes in the market for the best price -- a competition that ultimately drives prices down and allows us to deliver more value for your money. In Texas, switching to a different electricity provider is kind of like changing to a different long distance company. When you switch to Spark Energy, the utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home but Spark Energy will handle all the billing, including the utility’s delivery fees and the electricity you actually use.
The cheapest rates are going to have shorter contract terms. For instance, a 3 month term is cheaper than a 6 month term and a 6 month term is cheaper than a 12-14 month term. So if you are able to remember to call before your contract expires (they will notify via mail you that your contract is about to expire), then the 3 or 6-month term is your best bet. If you don't call to renew/cancel, you will be charged a much higher variable rate on a month-to-month basis. If this is you, sign for a 12-month contract term with the cheapest rate.
Comparing electricity plans in Houston means more than just looking at plans to find the lowest rate. Be sure to take a look at each plan's Product Details to get a better idea of what each one entails. These fact sheets are more than just supply rates per kWh and term lengths; they include information on base charges, utility fees and cancellation fees. They also can include features such as usage credits, green energy products or even free weekends.
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.
Energy sellers must provide collateral to ERCOT to cover expected future costs of buying wholesale electricity and if the companies don’t have enough capital, they get shut down. Breeze Energy, a Dallas-based electricity retailer that sold wind-energy plans to 9,800 customers including many in the Houston area, got caught in that financial squeeze when it defaulted on its collateral obligations.
As a result, power companies have shut down Texas coal plants unable to compete with lower-cost generators. Meanwhile, the low electricity prices of recent years — a function of cheap natural gas — and small profits have discouraged companies from investing in new power plants. ERCOT, which oversees about 90 percent of the state’s power grid, said power reserves that are called on when demand peaks on the hottest summer days have shrunk to the lowest levels since Texas deregulated power markets in 2002.
2of 3Cattle roam on a mesa near Iraan, Texas on the site of the Desert Sky Wind Farm. According to website Desert Sky Wind Farm® is a 160.5-megawatt (160,500-kilowatt) wind power generation facility located near the far West Texas town of Iraan, in Pecos County. The site includes 107 turbines, each rated at 1.5 megawatts (1,500 kilowatts) spread over a 15-square-mile area on Indian Mesa.Photo: John Davenport, Staff / San Antonio Express-News
For commercial customers, understanding a few basic details of your electricity consumption can make a big difference in the prices offered by retail providers. We are able to provide a proposal based on estimated and historical usage for your business that will organize the best offers the market has to offer. Residential rates are organized and continuously updated to ensure you are getting the best price from the strongest suppliers .
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.