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Energy company rates

March 30, 2012

If Texas is your place of residence, you should pay attention to how much you are paying for your electric bills. Previously, PUCT (Public Utility Commission of Texas) used to set rates for your electric bills. However, since the deregulation of electric prices, Texas electricity companies now set the prices, which vary based on type of plan and by provider. This makes it important for you to know about energy company rates, and shop around to get the best deal that suits your needs and budget.

Knowing about REPs and how energy company rates may vary

Before knowing about how Texas energy company rates may vary, you should have a clear understanding of how electric choice in the state works.

To begin with, you can take your pick from several Texas electric providers based on your preferred criteria. While price seems to the utmost important criterion while comparing energy company rates, other factors like green power, stability, etc also play a major role. Once you have chosen your Texas electric provider, it would sell you your power, and pay your local utility (Center Point, On cor, etc.), which in turn would transmit the power to your home. However, you just need to pay your electricity provider, and not to the wires utility. It should be noted here that since the local utility still owns the lines and is in charge of its maintenance, you need to contact them in case there’s an outage or other emergency.

If you haven’t chosen an electric provider before, it’s likely that you are still with one of the old utilities (often called legacy providers), which had been operating even before Texas was opened to competition. These providers used to charge rates set by the PUC until January 1, 2007 that marked the end of the transition period. However, ever since then, these legacy providers have got the power to charge a rate determined by the market, which means you may be paying a higher rate and should shop around now to save on your electric bills. Since switching suppliers won’t cost you additional money, getting favorable energy company rates has become easier these days.

One thing to be kept in mind, while shopping for pocket friendly energy company rates, is that depending on the utility area, your legacy providers may vary. For example, if you live in the Houston region and are served by Center Point, Reliant Energy is your legacy provider. However, for those in Dallas who are served by On cor, TXU Energy is the legacy provider.

Online comparison of energy company rates

Several energy websites offer you the ability to search online for energy company rates based on your zip code, nature of use (residential or commercial), names of service companies etc. You may even shop around and compare no-deposit, variable, fixed, and green Texas electricity rate plans using such online tools. Once you select the criteria and hit the search/compare button, you will get a neatly organized chart of energy company rates, which would help you to narrow down your choices, ask questions to the shortlisted companies, and finally choose the one that best fits your requirements.

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