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Texas Electricity Plans: Which One to Choose?

October 26, 2010

For most people, simply flipping on a switch to light up his home or business or an outlet where one can hook his appliances and other gadgets to a Texas electricity source is enough for day to day living. However, the current economic times calls for much more than simply this and businesses should practice more efficient use of electricity.

The deregulated Texas electricity market has given people the power to choose their retail electric providers. What does this mean for the consumer? Although really cheap electricity is still a very long way off, energy deregulation has given a more competitive atmosphere to the market. It has also opened up a whole array of opportunities as well as higher levels of services never before available in this industry.

Retail electric providers offer various payment options for the Texas consumers. Some may be based on a per month type of service, while others offer fixed rates over a predetermined length of time regardless of the conditions of the global energy market. As a consumer, choosing the best retail electric provider is not the only consideration that one should take, but choosing the best payment options and plans as well.

Texas Electricity Plans

The following are the usual payment plans available to the Texas consumer. Most retail electric providers offer these basic plans as well as flexible variations to suit your residential or business needs.

* Fixed Rate Plans

As the name suggest, fixed rate plans maintain similar rates over a set length of time and forecasted usage stipulated in your service contract with the Texas electric company. Since the rates are fixed, you are ensured that your monthly payments will remain the same regardless of the market conditions. This is advantageous when the price of energy rises in the national market. The downside however occurs when the market price falls below your agreed rates. Contract variations can be:

  • Fixed price contract – this includes full requirements of a fixed rate plan, and any usage exceeding the forecasted amount will be billed at a predetermined price
  • Hybrid price contract – this also includes the full requirements of a fixed rate plan. The difference lies when the usage exceeds the monthly forecasted as this will be billed based on variable rates.

* Variable Rate Plans

Texas electricity rates are dependent on the price fluctuations in the energy market. A variable rate plan changes with these monthly fluctuations. This can be advantageous when prices drop in the electricity market, as in the case of price drops brought about by drops in natural gas prices. However, sudden spikes in the prices of energy, usually brought by natural disasters, can result to considerable increases in your monthly variable rates.

* Prepaid or Pay-as-You-Go Electricity

The emergence of smart meters made it possible for prepaid or pay-as-you-go payment plans to be available in the Texas electricity market. With such plans, consumers pay ahead for their electricity and will consume only what they have already paid for, much similar to prepaid plans for mobile phones and internet broadband packages.

This is advantageous for individuals or families who are always on the go. They can have immediate use of Texas electricity without the need for any deposit, contracts, credit checks or identification – as long as the smart meters are loaded with prepaid credits for that particular month.

Texas electric companies provide flexible rates, billing plans and payment options for residential and business consumers. The key thing here is to choose the best plans that will suit your personal or business needs and get the highest levels of customer service available only in an energy deregulated market.



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