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Understanding Your Bill: What are TDSP charges?

February 15,2018
by dmirza

Senate Bill 7 did away with monopolistic utilities January 1, 2002. At that point, you were given the ability to choose your energy provider, also known as Retail Electric Providers (or REPs).

Although there are many REPs to choose from, all of them continue to utilize the same “wires and poles” that run down your street and into your home. These wires and poles are managed and maintained by companies called, “Transmission and Distribution Service Providers” (or TDSPs). In addition, TDSPs also read your electricity meter.

TDSPs, like all service providers, charge fees based on rates authorized by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. These fees, however, are not directly billed to you.They are billed directly to your REP, who in turn passes them through to you. So when you review your electricity bill, you will notice these fees in addition to the energy rate.

And please note that the TDSP fees will vary month to month based on your actual usage.

Regardless of which REP you choose, it is important you understand that the same TDSP rates will be the same.To find out more about your TDSP fees, you may visit The Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) website.

Visit our website, Shop Texas Electricity, to the find the best electricity rates and plans in Texas. Signing up with the retail electric provider of your choice takes only minutes!

6 Steps to Finding Great Residential Electricity Rates

July 19,2016

Have you found the best residential electricity rates in Texas? If you aren’t looking for them each time your service contract is up for renewal, you aren’t going to find them.6 Steps to Finding Great Residential Electricity Rates

Electricity rates are constantly changing in the state of Texas and the only way to find the best deal is to shop around.

How to Find the Best Residential Electricity Rates in Texas

The process is actually pretty simple.

  1. First, enter the zip code for where you live on a provider or aggregator site.
  2. When the list of available plans come up, search for the ones with the best residential electricity rates.
  3. Check the contract term length.
  4. Compare the plan to others with similar features.
  5. Carefully read the EFL to ensure the plan you like will work the way it’s advertised.
  6. Make the switch!

There could be a few dozen plans available in your area depending on where in Texas you live.

If you see a plan from a provider you’ve never heard of, check the plan details anyway. New providers sell the same electricity as well established providers, and it’s possible that a small company may provide a bigger discount over a large company.

It always pays to shop around for electricity service. With so many plans and options available, it’s easy to miss out if you just go with the flow and keep the same plan or provider year after year.

Incentives and Renewable Energy

Some plans may offer incentives like a bill credit or a free thermostat when you sign up for the plan. Check the EFL to ensure the promised rates are at least comparable to your current or similar plans, as incentives are usually billed into the rate.

Renewable energy options are also growing in popularity. These options will typically be a little more expensive than nonrenewable energy, but they do a lot to reduce carbon emissions. As demand for renewable energy increases, cost will come down through expansion and subsidization. Not to mention there is a savings in reducing carbon emissions itself!

Make the Switch

Once you find a plan with great residential electricity rates in Texas, make the switch! Switching is easy: just call or apply online to switch to your new provider, and set a date.

The switch is automatic and won’t interrupt your service. Your next bill will show the new provider and your new residential electricity rate.

No More Overpaying on Your Electricity Bill

July 15,2016
by dmirza

Summer months in Texas can be some of the toughest months when it comes to paying for electricity. Everyone wants to stay cool inside their homes, while still doing what they can to save on electricity. In order for you to keep cool but still saving you money on your energy bill, here is a compiled list of simple steps to making sure you use less, without giving up a comfortable lifestyle.

  1. If your home has central air conditioning, make sure the first thing you do is clean the debris, such as leaves and other garbage that might have collected.
  1. Do not cool rooms that are not being used. Keep the registers and doors closed in order to cool the rooms you are using faster and save energy too.
  1. Always turn off the hot water when you are not using it. Reduce the amount of water you use when brushing your teeth, or shaving.
  1. If you have a dishwasher, only use it with full loads and be sure to set it to the shortest cycle in order to save water and energy.
  1. Consider baking multiple meals, or an extra dish in the oven once you are already planning to use it. You save energy and time in the long run, and you will also avoid heating up your home for your AC to cool down later.
  1. Keep your freezer full. In order to save energy, bear in mind that frozen food stays cold longer than air. So without over packing in your freezer, keep food or water in it for everything to stay cool longer but without using up so much energy.
  1. When it comes to lighting, almost everyone now knows to switch to CFL lights. But in case you need a reason to switch, these Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than the standard bulbs. You should also consider having dimmer switches to save on lighting when you need it.
  1. Keep furniture, drapes and carpeting away from air vents since they can block air from cooling your rooms.
  1. During the early mornings, or evenings it is a good idea to open the windows to let cool air circulate and help cut out some air conditioning usage.
  2. Keep your home insulated, this helps year round. Keeping your home insulated in the summer will keep the heat out and let your home stay cool longer.

Don’t let summer heat limit you from enjoying your comfortable home. Reduce your electricity bill with these useful tips and if you find you still are not saving as much as you would like, consider switching providers. Energy rates change regularly and providers are constantly trying to give you competitive deals for you to switch and save on electricity. We help provide you with a list of electricity providers designed to meet your home’s electricity needs. Visit our website and remove the stress of electricity shopping. Being saving on your electric bill by following our tips and ensuring you are shopping smart for electricity.

Deregulation means Cheap Electricity in Texas

July 13,2016

Are you ready to save on electricity this summer? The temperatures are heating up and that means rising energy costs, but with a new provider and cheap Texas electricity, you can keep cool and save money. Thanks to deregulation, you’re not forced to stick to one plan; instead there are a multitude of providers and plans out there that can save you money.

Energy Deregulation

There are lots of options for saving money on electricity in Texas, but knowing where or how to start can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you might think! To get started looking for a new energy plan, all you need is a zip code and in some cases, the type of location, whether it’s residential or commercial.

The term “deregulated energy” makes it sound like the market is a free for all. In reality, the market is well regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), but the deregulation means that private sellers of electricity, known as retail energy providers or REPs, can compete to off low rates.Deregulation means Cheap Electricity in Texas

The regulation from PUCT ensures that customers are protected from fraudulent practices and are able to get the same reliable electricity, regardless of who they buy it from. So whether you want to go with a big name company or an independent startup, your electricity will work just as well.

Shopping for Cheap Electricity in Texas

Now, let’s get down the real business: finding cheap electricity. Like we said, all you need to get started is a zip code. That is a mandate from PUCT to prevent companies from demanding anything more than the zip code to provide rates. Doesn’t matter your income, credit, or energy history, all you need to shop for a new plan is your zip code.

After you enter the zip code, you’ll be presented with several, probably half a dozen, plans per provider. You can search for these plans through REP’s websites or you can go to a broker or aggregate site to get a whole bunch of plans from different sites all at once.

Since companies compete to offer the best prices, there could very well be a difference in what is offered for a particular plan from one that is similarly priced. Plans may include renewable energy, long contracts, no contract, or incentives like bill credits. All of these can affect the rate of a plan, and finding the cheapest electricity in Texas is all about the fine print, also known as the EFL. Compare the EFLs of plans you like to find the best deals.

Finding the Best Houston Electricity Rates

July 13,2016

Are you ready to save some money in Houston with low electricity rates? Switching to a new energy provider in Houston can potentially save you over a thousand dollars over the course of a year.

If your contract is up for renewal, now is the time to choose a new energy plan and start saving.

Searching for a New Houston Electricity Rates

There are a lot of plans available, and all you need to get started with one is to enter your zip code on a provider or aggregate site. Once you enter the zip code, you’ll be shown all the plans available in your area.Finding the Best Houston Electricity Rates
If you use an aggregate or broker site, you’ll be shown plans from several retail energy providers, whereas you’ll only get plans from one provider otherwise.

The list of plans will give you a quick overview of what the plan entails. This can include the Houston electricity rates, the term length, and possibly special incentives like renewable energy or bill credits.

Picking the Right Plan

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few plans based on the rate and term length, check the EFL to ensure you’re getting what you expect.

The electricity rates displayed on Houston energy websites are usually an average rate based on a certain range of energy use. At times, a plan’s average rate may change if you use more or less than the average range of energy use.

This could be due to waving a base monthly charge, or it could be a promotional rate that only applies to a certain range of energy use.

Be sure to read the electricity facts label (EFL) carefully for each prospective plan. This will give you exact details as to the fees, penalties, rate, and incentives listed in the plan. It will also tell you how long the plan lasts (contract term) and where your energy comes from (renewable or nonrenewable sources).

Making the Switch

Once you’ve found a plan with the best electricity rate in Houston, make the switch!

Switching is easy. All you have to do is set a date for your electricity service to switch over to the new provider. On that day, the switchover will be automatic without any interruption to your service.

That’s it! You’re all switched to your new Houston energy provider. All that’s left to do is sit back and reap the savings over your old plan.

What is the difference between a variable rate and fixed rate plan?

July 13,2016
by admin

Deregulation of the energy sector in Texas provides users across the state a consumer-oriented market scenario.  Consumers are now able to find the right Texas Electricity Company from whom they can buy Business Electricity, for commercial purposes as well as domestic consumption. A value addition to Electric Choice program is that one can chose the Electric Rates at which to buy electricity.

 Electricity Rates offered by each of the suppliers varies depending on the source from which the energy is generated. Hence natural gas-based electricity is least priced while ‘green’ or non-fossil-based electricity generation comes with a premium tag. Therefore, subject to the electric type one can chose a electric plan.

Again, Texas Electric companies offer a range of electricity rate plans. Besides, these plans are tailored to meet a wide-spectrum of consumption patterns. Consumers who seek to maximize these opportunities can typically choose between rate and fixed rate plan.

First a look at the two data plans-

Fixed rate electricity plan is for such consumers who are looking for the same electric rates for a long period, such as six months, one year or two year.

Advantage of FREP-The usefulness of this rate plan is that the price will remain the same for a fixed period. This will not only protect you from electricity rate inflation but will also ensure consistency in budgetary plans for energy consumption for the agreed upon period.

When consumers opt for a fixed electricity rate plan, an agreement is drawn up between the consumer and the electricity supplier such that the supplier guarantees the consumer supply of electricity at the same rate for every KWh of electric consumed.

Disadvantage of FREP- If you have just bought a long term contract to buy electricity at $X rate and there is a sudden fall in prices and electric rates fall to $(X-5), you cannot ask for the lower rates but continue to pay your original rates.

TIP- There is a possibility to opt for an average rate to be calculated if you are consistent and loyal consumer of a particular supplier. In this case you will pay the same price, whether prices fall or rise and you balance out with long-term gains.

Variable Electricity Plan- is simply the opposite of the fixed electric rate plan and you will pay the market-determined or the real-time market price of electricity each month. Texas electricity companies will charge as per the energy market conditions.  Disadvantage is that if prices rise phenomenally, then consumers will have to pay the higher rates per unit they consume.

Hence, be a smart energy consumer. Choose your electricity rate plan with care and after detailed examination of your Electric Choice.

Wielding the Power to Choose

July 11,2016
by dmirza

Are you ready to wield the power to choose? It’s okay if you aren’t sure, because we have some tips for you to wield it to the fullest potential.

What is the Power to Choose?

The power to choose is the ability to pick an electricity provider for your home or business.

Previously, one could only get electricity from the local utility in Texas:

  • Center Point Electricity
  • AEP
  • Oncor

The utility depended upon where in Texas you live or work. But regardless of your utility, you could only buy electricity from them. There were no choices in the matter.

That all changed when deregulation took hold in 2002.

Deregulation: Powering the Future through ChoiceSave money

Deregulation broke up the energy market so that utilities no longer held all the cards when it came to buying electricity.

Instead, retail energy providers (REPs) purchase shares of electricity from generation facilities like wind, solar, coal, and natural gas plants, then sell the electricity to consumers.

The utility still plays a role in this new market: they handle the distribution and maintenance of the electrical wires.

The Power to Choose Electricity

There are many REPs operating in Texas, and they all offer different plans. These plans can include renewable electricity, long contracts, variable month to month plans, and more.

The power to choose comes into play when you are able to look at all the different options and pick the one that works best for you.

Do you want a really low rate? How about a long term fixed rate contract? What about incentives like renewable energy

All of these options are at your fingertips. Check and compare plans from different providers and find one that works for your home. It doesn’t cost anything to switch to a new plan (as long as you’re not within the middle of a contract), and switching is easy.

  1. Check the rates, term lengths, and features of different plans.
  2. Read the electricity facts label (EFL) to see the “fine print.”
  3. Make the switch!

When you set a date to switch from one provider to the next, there is no interruption in your energy service. The switch is automatic and all changes will be noted on the next bill from your new provider.

Switching to a new energy provider every time your contract is up for renewal will save you a lot of money.

Deregulation and Cheap Electricity Rates

July 11,2016

Despite market changes, an economic crash, and several powerful storms, Texas has managed to maintain cheap electricity rates throughout the state. How have they managed to do this in the face of such adversity? And how can you take advantage of these cheap electricity rates? We’ll give you the rundown on how to save money on your energy bills.

            Deregulation in Texas

The way Texas has maintained cheap electricity rates is through what’s known as deregulation. Deregulation means that the utility companies in Texas cannot dictate the prices of electricity. Instead a free competitive market of retail energy providers competes for your business and in order to get it, they need to offer lower rates than anyone else.

This constant competition has driven prices down and kept them relatively low over the Home Electric Meteryears. Even though some events such as storms can affect the prices of electricity, the competitive nature of the market tries hard to keep them as low as possible. And when the market is doing really well, the prices come down even further.

How to Get Cheap Electric Rates

Now that you know why we have cheap electricity rates, how can you get them yourself? The answer is simple: Shop Texas Electricity. We let you shop and compare dozens of energy providers all at once, saving you the hassle of looking for prices through individual companies. With our sortable list, you can compare term lengths and prices with a push of a button and find the cheapest electricity rates for your home.

Energy companies are always offering new plans with different rates and contract lengths, so it’s important to check the marketplace every time your contract is up for renewal. Sticking with the same company year after year could be costing you extra money. But with Shop Texas Electricity, you can see at a glance the cheapest electricity rates, the contract lengths you want, and you can even look for plans that offer special incentives like 100% renewable energy or bill credits. And if you want to make absolutely certain what the listing says is accurate with no strings attached, every plan comes with a link to the EFL so no one can pull the wool over your eyes.

3 Steps to Finding the Best Residential Electricity Rates in Texas

June 30,2016

Looking for cheap residential electricity rates in Texas? It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Many people are more comfortable with keeping their current provider and not seeking out a new one, but that kind of thinking can actually cost you more money. Finding a new residential electricity provider may seem like it’s not worth the trouble of looking, but in the end, the savings you’ll reap will make it all worthwhile.3 Steps to Finding the Best Residential Electricity Rates in Texas

  1. Search
    Seek out new retail energy providers through Shop Texas Electricity. We bring you a list of available retail energy providers for your area with easy to read and sort results. Sort your results by price, term length, provider, and more.
  2. Compare
    When you find a dew plans that look promising, compare them by studying the electricity facts label (EFL) for each. The EFL will provide you with more information than is available in a small overview, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Information including a breakdown of the average rate and any applicable fees will tell you right away whether a plan is worth investing in.

    • If you’re looking for low rates, check the rate in different brackets of energy use. Some plans may give a very low rate, but you have to use a specific amount of energy to get that rate.
    • If you’re looking for long term savings, check the term length. Contract free variable plans will change their rate every month, so what may seem like a savings could end up costing your down the line.
    • Plans that include incentives like a free thermostat or bill discount usually take that cost into account, and then some. Be sure you’re actually getting a good deal before signing up for freebies.
  3. Switch
    Once you’ve found the perfect plan for your home, make the switch! Switching to a new provider is easy. Once you select a switch date, your current Texas residential electricity provider will automatically switch over to the new provider without any interruption to your service. You can get great residential electricity rates and great service from one company, and all it takes is just a little bit of searching.

At Shop Texas Electricity we make the searching part so much easier by removing the need to jump around to different sites in search of the best residential electricity rates in Texas. You can quickly glance at dozens of plans at once, find the one that works for you, and sign up all on one convenient page.

5 Steps to Finding the Best Business Electricity Rates

June 30,2016

Many of the retail electricity providers in Texas that offer electricity for homes also offer it for businesses. Just like with residential electricity, you should shop around for business electricity. The best business electricity rates in Texas may not always be apparent, as you often need to contact energy providers directly to find out their rates. But all that time spent searching can be consolidated with a little bit of help.

  1. Search Websites
    The first way to finding the best business electricity rates is to check provider’s websites. You may find some prices listed that will give you an idea of what kind of rate you can get. Make a list of websites that advertise rates and also make a list of sites that offer business electricity but don’t necessarily post rates.5 Steps to Finding the Best Business Electricity Rates

  2. Contact the Provider
    Contacting the energy provider is the next step. If a provider listed rates on their site, ask them about their pricing plans and how their listed prices may differ from these. Listed plans may include very specific services and incentives. For those without listed prices, custom tailored energy plans based on energy history are likely the only means of getting a business electricity rate quote.
  3. Fixed or Variable
    Regardless of what their rates are or what they offer online or in a custom quote, be sure to ask about variable and fixed rate plans. While a rate may be very low, if it’s part of a variable plan, that rate could jump considerably higher down the line. If possible, lock in a low rate for as long as you feel is necessary for your business with a fixed business electricity rate plan.
  4. Review The Providers
    Search for customer reviews of potential energy providers for your business. These reviews can be invaluable in providing you with information regarding their customer service, how plain their terms are, and whether they are worth signing up with.
  5. Consolidate with Shop Texas Electricity
    You can go through all of those steps and possibly repeat them trying to find the best Houston business electricity rates, or you can contact Shop Texas Electricity and let us do all the searching for you. You tell us the kind of plan you’re looking for, be it variable or fixed, renewable or nonrenewable, and other factors, and we will seek out energy providers on your behalf, looking for ones that meet your criteria.

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