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Power to Choose

By powerwizard

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If you’re curious to learn more about the Power To Choose website, you’re probably in the market for a new electricity plan.

In the deregulated market of Texas, there are literally hundreds of different power providers out there, but there’s only one name you really need to know. 

Power Wizard

We are the Texas electricity experts, and our powerful, unbiased service scans through the hundreds of different plans so that you can find a rate that’s great. 

Don’t shop alone. Let the magic of Power Wizard light the way to hassle-free electricity. 

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This guide shares what Power To Choose is and why, if you use them, you’re likely not getting the best electricity plan for you and your family.

What is Power To Choose?

Power To Choose is a website that was created by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

Most of Texas operates under a deregulated electricity system, meaning that consumers can choose which REP to buy electricity from. The Power To Choose website is supposed to help electricity consumers easily find electricity rates and plans.

A quick reminder of what deregulated electricity is:

In many parts of Texas, you get to choose which electricity provider to use. You’re not forced to use a specific provider for your electricity needs like many other states.

As a result, there are dozens of Retail Electricity Providers that, combined, have hundreds of different plans.

Power To Choose tries to make the process of finding an electricity plan easier:

The official Texas Power To Choose website allows you to search through different electricity rates and plans that are currently on the market.

Since there are hundreds of plans, you then have the ability to see which rates are the lowest for your zip code.

But, Power To Choose’s process might not save you money.

Power To Choose gives you the available plans on the market. You can see the electricity company providing the plan, the rate per kilowatt-hour, and other details of the plan.

Having access to the plans on the market through Power To Choose’s website is great, right? Well, it might not be. Simply having access to the plans doesn’t mean you’ll always choose the right plan for you.

As a consumer, finding the best plan for you depends on a couple of different factors, such as:

  • The size of your home
  • Your usage
  • The age of your home
  • And more

Later, we’ll explain exactly how these factors might influence which plan is best for you. For now, you just need to know that these factors are really important, and Power To Choose doesn’t take them into account.

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Power To Choose Texas – Its History

This website was created nearly two decades ago, in the early 2000s, right after Texas deregulated electricity.

Since the government was the cause of this deregulation, it strategized that it would be beneficial to have an online platform where citizens of Texas could go shopping for electricity.

Here’s what the Public Utility Commission of Texas did through Power To Choose:

  • They allowed all REPs to add their plans to the website for free
  • They allowed consumers to use the website for free to compare plans and rates

And, that’s it.

The website wasn’t designed to take into account the size of your home, your electricity usage, or any other factors that actually influence your monthly electricity bill.

The government has been considering getting rid of Power To Choose. Many people think that the government should not be providing electricity rates and plan comparisons for private businesses.

Also, there have recently been issues with Power To Choose’s website. It has had problems updating the newest rates as rates change. An article published in September of 2019 stated that after the new rates came on the market, Power To Choose didn’t update their website right away, “making their offerings look cheaper, but setting up buyers for an unpleasant surprise when they open their first bill.”

At Power Wizard, you know what you’re getting.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

How Does Power To Choose Work?

Here’s how Power To Choose works:

Power To Choose allows Retail Electric Providers in Texas to post their available plans

Dozens of REPs have access to post their electricity plans and rates on the website. Since some people buy electricity through this website, most of the REPs in the market will want to share their plans.

Since each REP will likely have multiple plans, there are hundreds of plans on Power To Choose’s website among the dozens of Retail Electric Providers.

Power To Choose filters the plans

Power To Choose has a simple algorithm that will filter all the available plans by a couple of different factors:

  • Zip Code
  • Kilowatt-Hours Per Month
  • Price Per Kilowatt-Hour
  • Type of Plan (Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate)
  • How Long Your Contract Is

If you live in Houston, you’ll put in your Houston-based zip code. Power To Choose’s algorithm will run, and it’ll spit out all the available plans in your zip code.

If you want, you can then filter those plans by price per kilowatt-hour, the type of plan, or any of the other filters above.

Power To Choose doesn’t do anything else. You’re stuck making a nearly impossible decision among hundreds of plans.

Why is it nearly impossible to choose the best electricity plan when using Power To Choose?

  • Every REP has different terms of service.
    • You’d have to read through hundreds of contracts in order to know which one is actually best for you.
  • Some REP plans might give you “free nights.”
    • Will “free nights” actually be beneficial based on your previous usage?
  • Certain REPs might have a $250 cancellation fee, while others only have a $30 cancellation fee.
  • Do expensive cancellation fees matter? Are you likely to cancel?
  • Some REPs have hidden fees depending on your usage. For example, if you don’t meet the minimum usage requirement, then the REP will charge you a fee.
    • How often do consumers have to pay these hidden fees? Will they affect you?

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Take a look at the screenshot below:

This is directly from Power To Choose’s official website. One plan has a cancellation fee of $0.00. Another has a $100.00 cancellation fee.

One plan is 8.2¢ for 2,000 kWh, and another is 8.2¢ for 2,000 kWh.

And this doesn’t even take into account the fine print of the Terms of Service.

How can you know which plan is best for you? You can’t. So, essentially, you’re left playing ‘eenie meenie miney mo’ with your electricity bill.

Power To Choose doesn’t monitor your plan to see if the price has increased or if different/new plans are a better fit for your usage.

Once you choose which plan to go with, Power To Choose has finished its job.

If your plan isn’t monitored and regularly compared to other plans, you could be losing money:

Let’s say you choose an electricity plan through Power To Choose that’s 9.9¢ per kWh. You think it’s the best plan for you.

Three months later, a different REP comes out with a nearly identical plan that’s 9.2¢ per kWh. It has the same fees and the same cancellation costs. The plan is basically identical.

Since your plan isn’t being monitored, you don’t know that this new plan exists. And you’re stuck paying a higher rate.

Power Wizard’s unbiased algorithm never sleeps. It runs 24/7 to ensure that the plan you go with is still the best plan for you. If another cheaper plan enters the market, Power Wizard will let you know.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Who Can Use Power To Choose?

Anyone can use the Power To Choose website:

  • People who are unhappy with their current electricity plan in a Texas city with deregulated electricity
  • People who are moving to a city in Texas with deregulated electricity
  • People who just bought a home and need electricity in a deregulated area of Texas
  • People who just moved to a new apartment in a deregulated zip code and are looking for an REP

How To Use Power To Choose

And if any of those groups of people were to use Power To Choose, here’s how it would work:

1. Go To Power To Choose’s Website And Enter Your Zip Code

First, you go to Power To Choose’s website and enter your zip code. Let’s say you live in Houston with a zip code of 77024.

power to choose

2. You Can Then See All Plans Or “Narrow Your Search”

If you narrow your search, you’ll be prompted to answer a couple of questions.

  1. What’s your usage?power to choose
  2. What type of plan do you want? For the average electricity consumer, they won’t know which type of plan is best for them. This step already forces the average consumer, who may not know much about electricity, to determine which plan is going to be best for them.This can lead to overspending or choosing the wrong plan.

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  1. How long do you want your contract to be?power to chooseThis question might also confuse the average consumer. They might not know that there are 18-month plans out there that are more affordable than 6-month plans. And those 18-month plans have low cancellation fees, so it’s worth choosing a longer plan.

You Choose Which Plan You Think Is Best

After filtering your results based on your zip code, you might still have more than 100 plans to look through.

You’ll see something like this:

It’s your job to read through all of the Terms of Service, the price per kilowatt-hour, each REP’s special deals, and more to determine which plan to choose.

And often, you just end up choosing a plan that you think is best without any certainty or assurance.

Power To Choose for Business – How To Get Electricity For Your Business

Technically, businesses in Texas can use Power To Choose to shop for electricity plans.

Those businesses face the same challenges that private homes face when deciding which Retail Electric Provider to use.

Because of this, a small business in Texas might end up choosing an electricity plan that’s not the best fit for them.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Can You Use Power To Choose For Business?

As we mentioned above, businesses can technically use Power To Choose to find electricity.

Businesses can search for electricity providers by zip code; they can see the price per kilowatt-hour, they can see what special offers REPs are advertising, and much more.

Here’s the catch for business owners in Texas that are using Power To Choose:

They have to determine, from a list of hundreds of plans, which is the best for their business.

You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t the cheapest electricity plan for my business simply the lowest price per kilowatt-hour?”

The answer might be surprising to you.

The best electricity plan for your business might not be the lowest price per kilowatt-hour.

How can this be?

We’ll explain through a quick story:

Let’s say you run a growing marketing agency in Houston. You have 15 employees and recently started leasing a 5,000 square-foot building.

Your next step is to get electricity for your building.

You see that the cheapest rate for your zip code is 8.1¢ per kWh. Awesome! Sounds cheap, so you go ahead and set up a contract.

What you don’t realize is that this plan is for up to 2,000 kWh per month. If you use 2,001 kWh or more, your initial rate of 8.1¢ will increase to 14.7¢ per kWh.

Since you have a 5,000 square-foot building and 15 employees using a lot of energy, you use way more than the allotted 2,000 kWh per month.

What you thought was the “cheapest” rate per kilowatt-hour just became much more expensive.

How To Compare Electricity Companies To Find The Best Plan For You

power to choose

The “cheapest” electricity rates in Texas might not be the best option for you. A plan with the lowest price per kilowatt-hour might not align with your usage, your home’s age, or your home size.

To find the best electricity plan in Texas for you, you’ll need to ask yourself a couple of questions.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

How Old Is My Home/Apartment?

The age of your home or apartment will impact which electricity plan is best for you.

Why will an older home have a higher electricity bill?

On average, older homes are likely to use more electricity since they are less energy-efficient. Oftentimes, older homes have less effective insulation or older appliances.

Newer homes often have better insulation and are better designed for energy efficiency, usually resulting in a lower electricity bill.

How Big Is My Home/Apartment?

The size of your home or apartment will likely impact how much electricity you use.

If you live in a large home that’s 5,000 square feet, then you’ll likely use much more electricity than your neighbor who lives in a 2,200 square foot home. This isn’t always the case, which we’ll get to in the next section.

You’ll need to consider how big your home or apartment is since electricity plans have different rates based on the amount of electricity you use.

How Much Electricity Do I Use?

Look at your historical usage to determine how many kilowatt-hours you’re likely to use each month.

Usually, your home’s size is directly correlated to how much electricity you use. The bigger the home, the more electricity.

But, the size of your home doesn’t always determine how much electricity you use.

You might live in a smaller apartment but have an assortment of technology that uses a lot of energy. Or, you might live in a large home but travel throughout the year, therefore saving on your electricity bill when you’re out of town.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Power To Choose Alternative – Power Wizard

power to choose

We’ve already shared some of the pitfalls of using Power To Choose:

  • It doesn’t factor in your home size
  • It doesn’t factor in your electricity usage
  • It doesn’t factor in your home’s age
  • It doesn’t find the best plan for your usage – it simply shows the available plans in the market.
  • It doesn’t monitor your electricity plan after you buy

When you use Power To Choose, it’s likely that you’re not going to choose the best plan for you.

You’ll likely choose the “cheapest rate” in general without taking into account important factors that’ll influence your monthly bill.

With Power Wizard’s Silver Membership, you have access to the best plans on the market for your home. We present them to you with our unbiased shopping tool, and you enroll yourself. It’s that simple.

Power Wizard’s Gold VIP Membership is an unbiased algorithm that finds you the best plan based on your home, your usage, and other relevant information.

We help you find the best plan by:

  • Analyzing your home’s size, age, and location
  • Inspecting your historical electricity bills to create a comprehensive snapshot of your usage
  • Reading through hundreds of available plans, so you don’t have to

Power Wizard doesn’t stop working for you after you buy a plan:

After finding you the best plan, Power Wizard:

  • Monitors your plan daily to see if the rate has increased or decreased
  • Monitors new plans in the market to find you the new best deal based on your usage.
  • Helps you switch to a cheaper plan based on your usage if it finds one

You’ll see nearly identical rates on Power Wizard as you will when looking at Power to Choose’s electric rates.

But, there’s a big difference in the outcome. Power Wizard guides you to choose the best plan and continuously monitors your electricity bill 24/7 to help you find the new best deal.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

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