Smart Energy Shopping
Don’t overpay for electricity! Deceptive plans and biased websites cost the average Texan over $500 per year. We’re different. Save time and money with our RateGrinder calculator that…
- Compares plans from Power To Choose and elsewhere for your home’s usage
- Exposes all rate and fee details
- Asks no personal or account info
As the only 100% transparent and unbiased site for electricity shoppers, we read the plans and do the math for you. Don’t waste money ignoring your electric plan or paying others to manage it.
Or read on to learn how to shop for electricity the right way.
The Electricity Plans Game
|Avg paid||12.2¢ !!!|
|4/21/17: Avg of 5 cheapest plans at TX avg usage (graphed below)|
Do you know how much you pay for electricity? Many people think they do, but would be surprised at the reality. Check the “average price you paid” disclosure on your past bills to find out for sure. (Tip: The more you pay, the smaller the print will likely be.)
Shopping for an electric plan has been tedious and tricky. Most shopping websites — including the PUCT’s official PowerToChoose.org — only let you search and sort plans at a single usage point, typically 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh/ month. YOU SHOULD NOT SHOP THIS WAY, for two related reasons:
- Your monthly electricity usage varies significantly over the year, doubling or more from the spring/fall lows to the summer AC peak. The chart below shows the profile for the “average” Texas residence, but yours will differ in size and shape with differences in your home’s size, layout, insulation, appliances, pool, etc.
- Many retail electric companies tease you with “low rates” at one or two commonly searched usages, then charge much higher rates across your broader range of usage. They do this with various fees, credits, pricing tiers, time-of-use rates, lumped services, and other methods that make it hard for shoppers to compute and compare their true costs.
As an example, one website often pays for the top ad slot when you search for “power to choose”. Their “lowest-rate” 12-month plan recently touted 7.9 ¢/kWh rates for using 1000 or 2000 kWh/month. While that’s true, the orange line below reveals the full rate profile. The home above would actually pay an average of 10.7 ¢/kWh. That’s $532/year more than the actual best plan. No wonder they can afford to advertise so much.
If you shop at one of the 25+ sites that let you search by only a single usage point (i.e. 500, 1000, or 2000 kWh), you’ll likely find ill-suited teaser rates and other gimmicks that will cost you many hundreds of dollars extra. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME. Take 20 minutes to shop once the right way with this simple method…
Know Your Usage by Month
Your month-by-month electricity usage is key since plan rates often vary drastically across that range. It may take 12 extra minutes to look up the 12 numbers, but we guarantee the payoff in total time and money will be worth it. Retailers count on you skipping this part to earn their big profits. It doesn’t have to be exact: Unless you’re planning major changes to your home, your past 12 months’ usage is generally close enough to your future usage. Here are two simple methods:
- Check your past billing statements, or
- Use the free SmartMeterTexas.com site:
- Create or Login to your account
- Navigate to the “Usage” tab, then “My Usage” screen
- Under “Report Option” \ “Report Type”, select “Monthly Usage”
- Get your 12 monthly “Actual kWh” numbers from the bottom table
With this information, you can now truly find the best plan for your home.
Shop Across Your Usage Range
Although PowerToChoose.org serves a valuable role as the official marketplace for the most cost effective plans in Texas, it does not let you search based on your month-to-month usage. Thus, you should not use PowerToChoose.org to search for your plan. Instead, use a tool or website that does the full month-by-month math on those same PowerToChoose.org offerings.
Texas Power Guide provides everything you need. We decipher the fine print on the available plans daily and publish the key details in our RateGrinder database and spreadsheet calculator. You can check your plan options, download it, and even edit the file with no obligation. If it saves you time and money on signing a new contract, we ask only $10 in return, paid on the honor system. Here are some advantages of our approach:
- Compare all plan costs and REP fees at a glance
- Filter, sort, and edit the options any way you like
- Trust our 100% transparent database and calculations
- Model your old plan for comparison or termination fee justification
- Save your results to monitor your new plan’s future billings
Ready to save money? Click below to start…
1 Average savings potential based on [(12.2 ¢/kWh avg 2015 REP customer rate) – (0.5 ¢/kWh 2015→2016 est’d market adj’t) – (8.0 ¢/kWh target)] * [14,000 kWh average Texas usage] = $518/yr savings. YMMV.