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A Guide to Electricity Selection in Texas

Now that Texas is one of a growing number of states with a competitive energy market, residents have the power to choose their electricity provider. Choosing the right electricity provider can save money and provide options such as green energy plans. But shopping for an electricity provider can seem overwhelming. Here are four tips on how to navigate the process.

Know Your Needs

When shopping for Dallas electricity rates, you must know how much energy your home uses each month. Knowing this helps you compare rates and avoid costly billing surprises. Getting a feel for your typical usage can help you pick the right plan size, term length, and provider. In a deregulated market, your local utility company sells power to you, but other retail electric providers can compete with it. This competition drives lower electricity rates, encourages technological innovation, and improves customer service. Choosing the right electric plan can be confusing, but making an informed decision about your next step in powering your life is essential.

An essential piece of information to know is how many kWh per month you use on average. You will see if it needs updating and show whether a variable or a fixed-rate plan would work best for you. You can determine your average monthly usage using online tools or checking past electricity bills. Many electricity providers use gimmicks to lure in new customers. These often appear as discounts on your rate at certain tier levels of usage but can cost you more in the long run. To avoid these gimmicks, you should check the provider’s reputation and use an electricity bill calculator to determine how each plan will affect your wallet.

Understand Your Contract

Texans have the choice of retail energy providers in a deregulated electricity market. It allows competition only when the local electric utility sells power directly to customers. But before you shop, be sure to understand how your bill is structured and what the contract details are. Reading the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) on any plan you’re considering is essential. This document will show you all the plan specifics, including any fees charged if you cancel your service before the contract ends. This fee, also known as an early termination fee, is listed in the EFL for each plan, so it’s easy to find and compare.

Many different energy plans are on the market, from prepaid options to fixed and variable rates. You’ll even see indexed-rate plans tied to the publicly available wholesale price index. Understanding all the types of plans available is a good idea, so you can quickly and easily compare rates. In addition to competitive rates, the best energy provider will offer knock-your-socks-off customer service and a mission that aligns with your values. 

Shop Around

You can choose your Retail Electricity Provider (REP) if you live in a deregulated electricity market. It’s essential to shop around and find the right provider for your home. That means a plan that fits your needs, knock-your-socks-off customer service, and a mission that aligns with your values. It’s also important to compare apples-to-apples when shopping rates. Many Texas energy providers offer a “rate” that doesn’t include all associated costs. For example, a “rate” may exclude delivery, service, and meter fees. These additional line items add up to your total bill.

When looking at rates, remember that some plans require a contract while others are month-to-month. Generally, fixed-rate plans offer the best value because you’ll be locked into a per-kilowatt-hour rate for the duration of your contract. On the other hand, variable-rate plans fluctuate with the energy market, so you’ll need to keep an eye on prices as they rise and fall. You can choose your provider. But be careful to avoid broker sites that offer commissions or otherwise influence the results you see. These sites can make it challenging to shop for rates and choose the right provider for your home.

Compare Plans

When shopping for electricity, you will come across various plans and providers. It is because electricity providers must compete with each other to gain new customers. It can lead to many creative and enticing rates. These rates often include a variety of charges, such as energy charges, delivery fees, service charges, meter fees, and more. Handy tools allow you to search for electricity rates and plans in your area by entering your zip code to help simplify this process. You can then compare the plans that are available to you and select which ones meet your needs. You can see each plan’s rate, term length, and other essential details. You can also locate the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for any plan you are considering. The EFL will include the price per kilowatt hour at different usage levels, such as 500 kWh, associated with apartments, 1000 kWh, typically used by small to medium homes, and 2000 kWh, used by larger houses. By looking at your electricity usage history, you can use the EFL to determine which plan will work best for you.