Power to Choose in Texas
The Power to Choose shopping website (www.powertochoose.org) was created by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC of Texas). The PUC of Texas was founded in 1975 and regulates electricity in Texas. Their main roles are to protect customers (with implementing respective legislation such as PUCT licenses for Retail Energy Providers). The PUC of Texas fosters competition in the electricity market where allowed and promotes high quality services. PUC of Texas created the Power to Choose website in order to help customers find a Retail Energy Provider.
The Role of the Power to Choose Website
When you go to the Power to Choose website, you have easy access to the electricity rates from different Retail Energy Providers in the competitive areas of Texas. You can narrow your search to make sure you see the best plans that fit your needs according to your area. When it comes to choosing your energy provider in a deregulated market, you have a lot of different products and options available. There are a lot of Retail Energy Providers within the Texas market that offer multiple kinds of products, such as fixed, indexed and variable products. Once you enter your zip code, you will see all the providers that offer the competitive electric rates at your location. You have the power to choose your best option.
Energy Plan Type
On the Power to Choose website, you have access to different electricity rates from many Retail Energy Providers. The market offers different kinds of electricity rates and different kinds of plans.
Fixed Rate Plans
If you are looking for a stable energy rate, you will have full control with a fixed-rate plan. It guarantees you the stability of the supply portion of your rate throughout your contract term, making your charges more predictable depending on your monthly usage. Some of those plans even offer a monthly bill credit; however, you may only be eligible for it if your monthly usage falls within a determined monthly usage range. For example, a plan may offer a bill credit only if your usage is between 500 – 1000 kWh for that month. So, if you are quite certain that your monthly usage will fall within the required usage range, then it’s a great plan for you to enjoy further savings, but if you are unsure or you know that it typically falls outside of that required range, then such a plan may cause confusion when you are trying to determine which plan is best for you. To ensure you compare apples-to-apples, Power to Choose, by default, does not show such fixed-rate plans where the overall rate may vary due to special requirements. But if you understand your usage patterns well and are interested in such fixed-rate plans with special requirements, you can simply change the results filter to ‘All Plans’ to show all available energy plans for your zip code. Most of the fixed-rate plans include a defined term length; this means you will most likely have a termination fee if you want to exit before the end of your contract. Power to Choose helps you clearly identify those fees.
Variable Rate Plans
As opposed to a fixed rate plan, when subscribing to a variable-rate plan, your electricity rate can vary from month to month. You can change to another provider whenever you want without a penalty. When subscribing to this kind of plan, you may experience rate fluctuations. The rate you see on Power to Choose for such plans is the rate you can expect for your first billing cycle, but after that, the rate is set by the Retail Energy Provider and may change. This means you may pay a different electricity rate every month. Some months you may pay a lower rate than a typical fixed term plan, and other months you may pay more. The risk with variable plans is the unknown rate. On Power to Choose you can see variable plans when you narrow your search options.
Indexed Rate Plans
This plan is similar to the variable-rate plan in the way that your electricity rate may vary but is tied to a publicly available index that is provided to you when you enroll. For example, your rate may be calculated according to published price curves such as ERCOT’s wholesale price of electricity. Some Retail Energy Providers on the Power to Choose website offer a few of these electricity plan types. The other difference is that indexed-rate plans have a contract term or be month to month.
The power to choose on an equal footing
It is important that you compare energy plans from providers on an equal footing. Each plan will have an Electricity Facts Label (EFL) that shows the average price per kWh at 500, 1000 and 2000 kWh. Those documents are available for each product offer on Power to Choose. You will also want to consider any contract term requirement, fees or requirements for billing and payment, and any special usage fees. The Power to Choose website also includes ratings, which means that Retail Energy Providers get a rating that is based on the ratio of customer complaints received in the last 6 months. That is why using a website such as Power to Choose can be a real asset for you.
What does the “Green Energy” component mean?
When choosing a new energy provider, it may be a good time for you to go green! On Power to Choose you can select your plan depending on how much renewable energy you want to include in your energy usage. It can be 100% or 12% or 50% … You have the power to choose how much you want to offset your carbon footprint.
Why should I pay attention to contract lengths and cancellation fees?
You will find different contract durations on the Power to Choose website from month-to-month to several years, and you need to take this into consideration. Depending on your needs and situation, a short plan may be the best option if you need the flexibility to change your provider in the short term without having to pay a cancellation fee, but you will not get the same peace of mind as with a long-term fixed rate plan. Power to Choose in Texas will provide you all those options to make the best decision.
The best electricity provider for you
Almost there! Once you have decided which energy plan type is the best according to your needs, you only have to select the right electricity provider. Due to deregulation, there is a long list of them in most parts of Texas. You can select your favorite company using the filters on Power to Choose. Another good method to select the best provider on Power to Choose is to review their rating. It will give you a good idea of other customers’ experience with the company. You now have all the keys to select your best match!
Power to Choose FAQ
What is Power to Choose?
Power to Choose is a website created by a state agency (The Public Utility Commission of Texas). Power to Choose’s
role is to provide consumers with a large choice of energy providers. Since the energy market is deregulated in some
states including Texas, a large number of private companies are offering energy supply in those areas. The Power to
Choose website provides a substantial list of licensed energy providers and their plans so you can compare and select
the best energy plan for your needs.
What is the best energy company in Texas?
You can compare electricity rates by using the Power to Choose website, which was created by the Public Utility
Commission of Texas. It can provide you with a list of energy retailers and their plans. Such a website is your best
tool for comparing the different kinds of energy plans and rates in Texas.
How can I improve my commodity bill?
You need to compare carefully what energy providers offer. Power to Choose is a great resource to help you compare and
improve your energy bill. You will find offers that have different kinds of rates, contract lengths, or green energy
levels. It is important that you compare those offers at the same level.
How do I subscribe to a new electricity plan when moving?
Using a comparison tool on Power to Choose website will help you select an energy provider together with an energy
plan type that fits your lifestyle. There are a lot of products on the market, and those websites will help you to
select and subscribe to the best energy plan for your needs at your new home.
How to switch my energy provider for a best rate?
When it comes to switching your energy provider, the one thing to have in mind is the status of your current contract.
While termination fees are typically waived if you are moving to a new place, you may face a cancellation fee if you
are staying at the same address. On the Power to Choose website, you can compare contract lengths or even choose a
contract that gives you the total freedom to exit when you desire.
What is a deregulated electricity market?
A deregulated electricity market allows customer choice in a provider. In Texas, legislation allows certain customers
a choice, while others who are served by cooperatives, municipals, and certain investor-owned utilities do not have a
choice. Some states have deregulated their electricity markets starting with the National Energy Policy of Act of 1992.
Deregulated markets promote competition between energy entities and can help you to find the best energy plan. The
Power to Choose website allows you to enter your zip code to know if you are in a deregulated electricity area and can
help you to choose between Retail Energy Providers.