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Common misconceptions regarding shopping for electricity

By Tiffany Reynolds

When shopping for electricity plans in Texas, you’ll quickly find that you have numerous options. There are several retail electricity providers (REPs), many of which offer multiple plan types. Some of the most common types of plans include fixed-rate, variable-rate, and prepaid plans.

Every plan has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, fixed-rate plans allow you to lock in your electricity rate, but they require contracts. You avoid long-term contracts with variable-rate plans, but your monthly costs are more unpredictable.

Figuring out how to shop for electricity in Texas can be both time-consuming and overwhelming. The numerous misconceptions about shopping for electricity can also make finding a good plan more difficult.

Fortunately, Power Wizard can help simplify the process. Our unbiased AI can compare plans from the many energy providers serving your area to help narrow down your options. We’re also here to help bust some of those myths about shopping for electricity in Texas.

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

What to expect when shopping for electricity

Finding Texas electricity plans is the easy part. Finding the right one for you can be a bit more challenging. You’ll need to compare different providers and plans, keeping a few things in mind:

  • Your service area: Where you live in Texas has an impact to your costs.
  • The cost per kilowatt-hour: This is the rate your REP will use to calculate your energy charges.
  • Your typical electricity usage: Your average energy consumption can help you determine what type of plan might best fit you. Knowing whether you plan to stay in your home over the long term or temporarily can also help you decide.
  • Additional costs and fees: In addition to a transmission and distribution utility (TDU) or delivery charge, your REP may also attach a base charge, taxes, and other fees to your bill. These fees may include minimum-usage fees, overage charges, customer service fees, and more.
  • The energy provider’s reputation: Not all REPs are the same. Do your due diligence and research your top options before you select a plan. Reading reviews can be especially helpful.

Comparing your options is often the most time-consuming part of the process. Every REP is different, as are the plans each one offers. Power Wizard can help speed things up and make shopping for electricity easier.

7 misconceptions regarding shopping for electricity in Texas

As straightforward as it can be to shop for Texas electricity, some misconceptions still exist. What’s worse, they can keep you from getting a better energy plan that would save you money in the long run.

Here, we’ll break down a few of the most common misconceptions about shopping for electricity plans so that you can get the best deal possible.

1. You can’t save by switching your electric company

Not all energy providers in Texas charge the same rates for similar plans. They also don’t all charge the same fees. Some are going to cost more than others.

Although you may be content with your current plan, you may come across another electric company that offers a lower rate and fewer added costs. However, many people mistakenly believe that it isn’t worth switching energy providers, especially if they’re currently under a contract with an expensive early-termination fee.

It’s entirely possible to save money by switching to a new electric company. Don’t let early-termination fees unnecessarily deter you. You’ll want to make sure the cost of breaking your contract is worth it, though. For Power Wizard VIP members, we’ll do that math for you. If we find a new plan with a better rate, we’ll factor your cancellation fees into your overall savings to help you determine whether switching is the right move.

2. The cheapest plans are always the best plans

At first glance, the electricity plan with the lowest rate might look like the best deal. However, this isn’t always the case. Some companies advertise an attractive price per kilowatt-hour but turn around and charge you more because your electricity usage didn’t meet specific requirements outlined in the fine print. The next thing you know, you’re paying substantially more than you initially anticipated.

Avoid making your decision based on the cost per kilowatt-hour alone. As enticing as the lowest rate may be, be sure to read all of a potential plan’s details first. Power Wizard does the hard work for you by comparing electricity plans based on several factors, including:

  • The size of your home or apartment
  • Your location
  • Your electricity usage
  • The contract length
  • Applicable fees

Power Wizard uses these factors to compare hundreds of electricity plans and help you find the one that is actually the most affordable for you.

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

3. All long-term contracts have high termination fees

Many electricity plans, typically fixed-rate plans, come with long-term contracts. Your electricity provider agrees to charge you a set rate for the duration of your term. Regardless of market conditions, that rate doesn’t change. In return, you agree to stay with your provider at least until the end of your contract.

In some cases, breaking your contract could result in an early-termination fee. Each Texas electricity provider charges a different early-termination fee. Make sure to read the fine print of your contract if this is a concern.

4. You have to shop for electricity by yourself

You might start the process of shopping for an electricity plan by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue that way. Power Wizard is here to help make finding the ideal plan faster and easier.

Rather than spending days or even weeks researching potential options, Power Wizard’s tool finds the best plans for you based on your unique needs within seconds. You’ll be able to compare your top options and select the best one in much less time.

5. Your electricity usage doesn’t matter

Your electricity usage affects more than the cost of your energy bills. It can also play a role in which plan might be best for you.

For instance, if you spend most of your weekdays out of the house at work, a plan that offers free nights and weekends may provide you with the most savings. However, if you work from home, these same perks might not make any sense because the plan has higher daytime rates. Instead, a fixed-rate plan may be a better option.

Some plans may also require that you use more or less than a set amount of electricity every month. Not meeting your plan’s specific requirements could result in minimum-usage or overage fees or a higher rate.

6. You should always wait for your current contract to end

Waiting for your current contract to end to enroll in a better plan isn’t always the best move. Doing so could mean spending more than you need to on energy. In some cases, the lower rate you found might not be available when your contract ends.

Sometimes, you can save more by switching mid-contract, even if you’ll have to pay an early-termination fee to do so. For VIP members, Power Wizard will alert you as soon as a better plan becomes available. We’ll also factor any cancellation fees into your savings estimate so that you can determine whether you should change plans now or wait until later.

7. Customer discounts are the only way to save on energy costs

Some electricity providers in Texas may offer discounts that can help you save on your energy bills. However, they aren’t your only option.

One way to lower your energy bills is to improve your energy efficiency. Some ways to do this include:

  • Increasing the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees during the summer
  • Improving your home’s insulation
  • Scheduling a maintenance appointment for your air conditioner
  • Investing in more energy-efficient appliances
  • Reducing phantom energy usage

Another option to consider is switching to a new electricity plan. Power Wizard can help by showing you the best options for your needs. From there, you can decide to change energy providers or have us take care of it for you.

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

How to navigate the electricity marketplace

The electricity market can be a confusing place, and the many misconceptions about shopping for electricity plans can make it even more overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Power Wizard can compare electricity plans from numerous energy providers, showing you the best options for your needs within seconds. Are you ready to get started? Visit us today!

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