Texas Energy Choice | July 8, 2016

All the Facts: Texas Power Pricing

When it comes to choosing the best deal for anything, the savvy consumer knows this: It pays to be informed. Taking the time to educate yourself is just one way that a consumer analyzing Texas energy prices can avoid surprises when a bill arrives. Here’s how to evaluate Texas power rates to choose the plan that works best for you and your needs:

Check out Power to Choose

Power to Choose is the official and unbiased electric choice website of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The PUC is the state agency that oversees electricity regulations, among other things in Texas. Consumers can also lodge complaints with the PUC about electricity companies and get other questions answered. On the Power to Choose website, you can enter your ZIP code and quickly get a list of available energy products and prices in Texas in one handy table. It offers statistics on a variety of providers and power pricing information. It’s one-stop shopping for Texas power pricing.

Here are some areas to be particularly watchful about:

  • Large Incentives: Be careful if a retail electric provider offers a larger-than-life incentive for signing up. A higher energy charge could be attached to that offer and you might not end up saving in the long run.
  • Low Introductory Rates: Be sure to ask what your price will be after your introductory period. It is possible, for instance, that your rate could increase after that period is over.
  • Free electricity periods: Some retail electric providers offer periods of the day when electricity is free. Be sure to check to see what your rate will be during the other time frames. It’s possible the rate at that time will offset any potential gain during the free time periods.
  • Also, be careful of what is known in the industry as slamming and cramming. Slamming, according to Power to Choose, is the illegal practice of having your electricity provider changed without your permission. Cramming occurs when charges for additional services are added to your electricity bill without your permission. The PUC offers more complete explanations of slamming and cramming and what you can do if you suspect this has happened. The PUC of Texas is the enforcement agency for these kinds of issues.

Power to Choose also offers a handy list of questions to ask any company as you’re considering energy plans in Texas. One example: Is this Texas power pricing plan a fixed rate, a variable rate or an indexed offer? If it is variable or indexed, how can it change? How do I find out when and by how much the rate will change? And, guess what?

You’re looking for more than just energy.

Prices in Texas are somewhat competitive, which means that the way a company gets a leg up in the marketplace is by having excellent customer service. The PUC website provides company names, the total number of complaints and then the number of complaints in the following categories: slamming, cramming, billing, quality of service, discontinued services, provision of service and all other.

Talk to your network.

Friends would never recommend a service they didn’t like. Why would Texas power pricing information be any different? Ask your neighbors who they use and what kind of service they’ve received. Have they had any issues with erroneous or misleading information, pricing or service on their energy plans in Texas?

Go online.

It’s rare that a business these days doesn’t have a Facebook page and Twitter account, at the very least. Follow them and look for customer complaints about power pricing information. See how the company responds to the questions or concerns. Any company can have a bad moment, but if the company representatives aren’t actively engaged in responding to customers and trying to make it right, that could be another sign that their power pricing is perhaps too good to be true.

Read the fine print.

Taking the time to read all the language is smart, whether you’re looking at energy plans in Texas or buying a new car. We’ve all seen pages of print come up when we go online to buy an app and blithely hit “agree” without even looking at the legalese. Not reading the fine print when going over energy plans in Texas, however, could prove to be a mistake. Because Texas energy prices can have variation, and companies are competitive, you want to be sure you’re getting the deal you expect. Texas power pricing has a lot of components, so understand what you’re signing or to what you’ve agreed. The “Electricity Facts Label” is one of the required contract documents and allows you to compare products and pricing on an apples to apples basis.

Still have questions? StarTex Power has answers. We love being in Texas; energy prices are just one of the ways that we’re helping our customers and community. Give us a call if you need more information about plans in Texas or to see if you can save on your electricity bill.

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