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How to Shop for Electricity in Texas

By Jeff Cocking

Do you want to shop for electricity in Texas? Does the process leave you feeling confused? You’re not alone. Due to deregulation in Texas, many citizens of the Lone Star State can choose their retail electricity provider (REP) themselves. But there are so many energy providers to choose from, not to mention fees and contracts to consider. So, where do you even begin?

The key is to break the process down into steps. It all starts with an evaluation of your current energy usage and plan. From there, you’ll have to do some research on providers before settling on the one that’ll work best for you and your home.

You’re not completely on your own, though. There are plenty of tools and resources available — like Power Wizard — to make the process as painless as possible. In fact, with your Power Wizard membership, you can complete all the steps of your electricity shopping with just a few clicks.

Steps to Shop For Electricity in Texas: Your Texas Power Guide

You don’t deserve ever-rising energy bills or REPs that are impossible to communicate with. You deserve the best deal from a company that works for you, not against you. Let’s look at how to shop for electricity in Texas.

Invest Time in Understanding Your Current Electricity Usage

Before anything else, you need to understand your current electricity usage to see how much you should be spending. You can do this manually by viewing your electricity bill. The bill will show you your monthly kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage.

From there, you can visit the Smart Meter Texas portal to see energy usage at 15-minute intervals. This allows you to review your electricity by day as well as by time of day.

If you’d prefer to go old school, you can follow these steps:

  1. Calculate the wattage of an appliance in your home. You can usually find the wattage on the appliance label or in the owner’s manual.
  2. Next, determine how many hours you use the appliance each day. This can be a rough estimate.
  3. Multiply the wattage by the number of hours per day the appliance runs.
  4. After this, you need to get your kWh, which is how energy usage is measured. One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts, so divide the number you got from step 3 by 1,000.
  5. Repeat these steps for each of the appliances you use. Then, add them together to get your daily kWh usage in your home.
  6. Multiply that number by 30 days to get your monthly usage.
  7. Look at your past electricity bills to see how much your current company charges per kWh — this is the electricity rate.
  8. Multiply that electricity rate by your monthly kWh usage, and you’ll see what you’re paying for your energy use every month.
  9. Doing these calculations for each of your appliances individually can help you understand which appliances affect your electricity costs the most.

If your bill looks high to you, it’s time to take the next steps to get your savings.

Be Aware of Your Current Contract Term

You can renew your current energy plan with your current REP, but many REPs do not provide the lowest rates at renewal times. They’ll even keep raising these rates every year, saving their best plans for new customers. Go back to your current plan contract and check out the fine print. This will also tell you about monthly service fees, delivery charges, or pricing tiers that you may not have even known about. Many electricity providers can be sneaky about these things, making your monthly bill even higher.

Compare the Type of Energy Plans Available

You’ve done the math, read the fine print, and now you’re ready to get the best electricity plan in Texas. Before considering any specific providers, it’s time to understand the types of electric plans available to you.

Variable-Rate Plans

Variable-rate plans are typically month-to-month contracts. Under this type of plan, your bill will often vary every month because it’s determined by the current market price of electricity and the profitability requirements of your electricity provider. If the market cost is low, you can save on your bill, but many electricity providers can raise your rates without letting you know.

But when the market cost is high, you can get slammed with a hefty bill. If you’re working with a specific monthly budget, this can easily disrupt your financial stability. In the end, this type of plan is best reserved for those who move often.

Fixed-Rate Plans

Next up are the fixed-rate plans. With these, you pay the same amount per kWh every month for the full contract period. If you’re all about going steady, this is a great option. You can have an exact budget for your electricity bill each month, as long as your energy usage stays about the same.

Even better, Power Wizard provides you with the tools to review current market prices so you can evaluate if it’s cost-effective for you to opt out of a contract. If you find two similar plans, we recommend choosing the one with the lowest termination fees so you can have more flexible options in the future.

Fixed-rate plans remain the preferred choice in the Texas market. The key is to find a plan which meets your needs. How long-term of a contract do you want? What does your energy use look like? How about your budget? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can make your choice.

Browse Around Different Electricity Companies

Now’s the time to actually shop Texas electricity. There are several different approaches you can take. If you already have some companies in mind, you can check out their websites. All the fees and energy charges are posted in the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) and Terms of Service Agreements (TOSA) listed with every mind. However, they tend to be buried deep in the fine print.

Also, be aware of free plans or bill credit plans. They may look like they have a great low rate, but they require a lot of math to see if they are the right fit for your home. Plus, if you start signing up, they may start flashing deals and offers that will end up actually costing you more.

If you don’t have particular companies in mind, you can check out electricity provider reviews or comparison sites in your area. This lets you see some real feedback from customers. However, there’s a good possibility that many of these companies work with the review sites for a commission. You can’t always guarantee that every review is genuine — many companies even write their own glowing reviews.

Choose Your Electric Provider or Reach Out to an Energy Expert

There are, of course, other shopping options out there. For instance, Power Wizard calculates the best plan for you based on your unique electricity use profile. In seconds, our innovative technology scans all the REP plans and finds your ideal match. Power Wizard is also completely independent, and never takes commissions from electricity providers. That’s what sets us apart from many competing websites.

Once you’ve found that stellar plan, all you have to do is sign up.

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How You Can Find an Affordable Electricity Provider

Don’t get overwhelmed when you shop for electricity in Texas — you’ve got other stuff to focus on. That’s why Power Wizard has your back.

For either a one-time payment or as an annual member, you get access to hundreds of electricity plans. Each of these is specially chosen based on your energy usage and preferences. Even better, since we are not associated with any REP, you know you’re not getting duped by any external influence or sneaky fees. You’re only getting the best deal for you.

But it doesn’t all end when you find the best plan. With a subscription, Power Wizard will continue to monitor energy plans to ensure you’re always getting the best deal, saving you hundreds. Contract ending soon? You’ll get a notification and another chance to receive a customized plan search just for you. Our technology is on 24/7, and our expert staff is here to advise you whenever you’re shopping for electricity.

Get started with Power Wizard’s calculator to see current rates or contact us directly today!

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