How To Choose Your Texas Electricity Service Provider

by Texas Electricity Deregulation on September 2, 2010

Before looking into how to choose an electric service provider it is important to understand what Texas electricity deregulation is and how it relates to you. This is really important, because many people don’t understand what it is. In the past, when you got your electricity hooked up, there just were not a lot of choices when it came to a service provider. This meant that you had to put up with retail service providers, or REPs that charged high Texas electricity rates, or that had rates that would go up and down on a whim, usually going up just when you needed your electricity the most, like during the hot and humid Summer months.

It also meant that your electricity could be coming from old outdated, power plants, who still use natural gas, coal or other petroleum based products to produce their electricity. If you were environmentally conscious, too bad, and you might have felt guilty every time you turned on your lights, or ran an air conditioner.

What Texas electricity deregulation means is that these problems are no longer an issue. Now you have many different choices when it comes to REPs, as well as where your electricity is generated. For an example, Texas has to highest wind farm power output of the country, with almost 5,000 mega watts of electricity coming from renewable energy sources. Chances are you may have driven by some of these farms. Now you can choose to get your electricity from them instead of fossil fuel burning power plants.

There is a whole new restructuring of the power grid in Texas because of this as well. Instead of five quadrants, there are many different nodules of power plants. This means instead of living in El Paso, and getting your electricity from somewhere in San Antonio, now you are able to get your power from a local company.

There are many different rules and standards that come along with this deregulation. Some of you may be concerned about getting your electricity from a power plant or REP that is in business one day, and not the next, but you don’t have to worry. Any newer plant or service provider has to report to the Texas Public Utility Commission, and has to provide information on the last 5-8 years, proving that they have shown a profit, and have the financial back up to stay in business for the long haul.

You can look up plenty of detailed information from the Texas PUC, as well as Texas Electric Choice, which is an educational website devoted to this deregulation and how it works. Put in simple terms that any one can understand and take to heart is that instead of one or two companies selling you power, there are now at least a dozen different REPs, that are offering anywhere from just 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, to 14.9 cents. If you look at your electricity bill and it’s higher than this, then you need to change to a different company as soon as you contract expires, which many either already have, or are close to coming up. Not only are rates this competitive, but many companies are offering sign up bonuses, as well as other incentives for coming over to their companies, like green tax credits, for using alternative energy supplies, and even some that are offering gift certificates, and many others.

Now you are probably asking yourself how you can get into a deal like this, and many are. You can try haphazardly to look up some of the individual sites on your own, like Bounce Energy, First Choice Power, as well as others. If you want a better way to do this, then you need to go to ChooseEnergy.com. They are a full service website that can help you on many levels. Once you go to the website, all you have to do is type in your zip code, and a list of REPs will appear. This list is big, with much to offer. It includes the different companies available in your particular area, what the different rates they offer, and what if any of their incentives for choosing them. They also clearly state if their rates are just introductory, whether or not they are fixed or variable, and how long their contracts are.

Let’s say for example you are new to the area, and don’t have a good credit history. You type in the zip code, in this case, 77070, which is near the central Houston area. A list would pop up, and give over two dozen choices. Again, if you have poor credit, one that would certainly come to mind would be DPI Energy. They are a pay as you go REP, and you can even pay in cash at one of their many different locations. They have no credit checks, and a monthly contract, at just 14.9 cents to start. It is however an non renewable varying rate, but if you have poor credit, this is an option.

There are many other useful things about Choose Energy as well. In addition to these listings, you can actually go to the individual websites, and check out some background on the company, where they get their electricity from, and how long they have been in business, all with no obligations whatsoever. If you don’t like that particular company, you just back out and back to Choose Energy. This site has an educational center, which gives you helpful tips and advice about how to conserve electricity, and if you are not sure about what your needs are, they can help you find out which company is the best for you. They can even help you fill out the applications in order to switch over to your new REP.

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