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Electricity Companies in Texas and How They Operate
Electricity is something that many people take for granted. Millions of Americans either don’t have the option of picking their electricity company or service plan. Until you’re shopping for the best rates offered by different companies, you don’t realize how important it is to pick the right plan for you. In Texas, choosing the right power company is a difficult decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. You could save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year by making the right decision.
What is an Electricity Company in Texas?
In Texas, electricity companies are often referred to as REPs or retail electric providers. They’re called this because the power grid in Texas is an open market, just like the internet or phone market in other states. REPs in Texas have the opportunity to offer competitive rates and plans to prospective customers and compete for their business. Electricity companies in Texas are privately owned REPs that operate in an open and competitive energy market.
Why is Electricity a Competitive Market?
In 2002, Texas decided to deregulate its energy. Deregulated energy means that Texas is a power to choose state, where people have the opportunity to select the REP that serves them best. In many other states, residents are stuck with whatever power company has jurisdiction in their area. Their prices are often regulated by the government to a certain extent, but they aren’t forced to compete for business.
Competition forces REPs in Texas to offer deals, perks, and discounts to their customers. However, it also opens the door for some companies to attempt to abuse their power. They may rope you into a service plan with hidden fees and sneaky pricing tactics.
You might have noticed similar practices with your TV or internet plans. You only pay $40 a month for the first year, which is the reason you sign up for the deal in the first place. However, once your first year is complete, you suddenly realize that you’re paying $70 per month. Electricity companies do the same thing in Texas. You only pay 10 cents per kWh during your first year, but the price unexpectedly jumps to 15 cents per kWh after that.
Other Sneaky Pricing Tactics
Another common occurrence for REPs in Texas is to have hidden fees or hefty cancelation fees. Here are some of the most common fees.
Once you realize that you’ve been duped into signing up for a plan that unexpectedly increases its prices, you may want to cancel. Unfortunately, REPs often have hefty cancellation fees of several hundred dollars or more. If you signed up for the above contract in the form of two or three years, you either have to pay the fee or get saddled with high energy bills.
Luckily, EnerGenie can keep you from getting into trouble in the first place. We have a series of algorithms designed to find the best deal for you in the long term and the short term. While you might not be aware of the price increase in your plan, EnerGenie is. Contact us to make sure that you don’t sign up for a service plan that you’ll regret.
Another hidden fee many REPs feature is a processing fee when you pay your bill. If you read the fine print of your contract, there’s a chance that you’ll catch this fee, but it isn’t likely. You’d have to read through dozens of pages of tiny print, and most people simply aren’t willing to do that.
Overcharge fees are where many electricity companies make their money. Here’s how it works.
You sign up for a plan thinking that you’re paying a set rate of 12 cents per kWh. What many people don’t realize is that they’re paying 12 cents per kWh up to only 1,000-kilowatt hours. Suppose you use more than your allotted amount of electricity, the price skyrockets to 17 cents per kWh. If you use over 1,000-kilowatt hours, you pay 17 cents per kWh rather than 12.
Even if you’re aware of the overcharge fee, it’s hard to stay on top of your monthly usage. Many companies don’t alert you when you’re getting close to your limit, and it’s easy to go over 1,000 kWh without even realizing it. EnerGenie will make sure that you know about every hidden fee or overcharge fee before you’re locked into a plan. Contact us today if you’re ready to start saving money on your electricity. We’ll even help you get out of your existing plan.
Who are the Top Electricity Companies in Texas?
Here are some of the top electricity companies in Texas based on their rates, customer service, transparency, and easiness to work with.
4Change Energy was founded in 2001, right around when Texas started deregulating its electricity. They serve hundreds of cities in Texas and offer competitive rates and a variety of plans to accommodate everyone.
Direct Energy was also founded in 2001, and they tend to offer perks and discounts that many other companies don’t. Things like select weekends and evenings with free energy and home protection plans are just a few of the bonuses they offer.
Just like their competitors listed above, Gexa Energy was founded in 2001. They have become one of the top companies in Texas because of their rates, customer service, and perks. Free mornings and evenings, free three-day weekends, and buy-one-get-one plans are just a few of the fun perks they offer.
How Can I Choose the Best Electricity Company?
The best way to choose the best electricity company in Texas is by going through EnerGenie. EnerGenie has a series of algorithms that finds you the best rates for not only today but for the future as well. Hidden fees, overcharge fees, perks, discounts, and price increases are all taken into account by EnerGenie to make sure you don’t pay more than you want to.
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