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Energy Rate Comparisons — 5 Things to Avoid

Feb 20 2024

Whether you’ve recently moved to Texas, live in a newly deregulated region like Lubbock or are a long-time resident of the Lone Star State, choosing an electricity plan can be a bit tricky. From the many retail electricity providers (REPs) available to sometimes-confusing plan pricing, it’s easy to make a costly error or two along the way.

Keep reading for five common mistakes to avoid when making energy rate comparisons.

Mistake #1: Ignoring the fine print.

There’s more to an energy plan than just the price per kilowatt hour (kWh). To make sure you fully understand the plan you’re signing up for, including details about additional fees, usage restrictions and potential rate changes, make sure to read the plan’s Electricity Facts Label. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises on your electric bill.

Mistake #2: Overlooking contract length.

Every plan has a contract term length. Common terms are 6 and 12 months, which secures your energy price for that period of time. But some plans are month-to-month where the pricing can vary each month. There are also longer-term contracts like 24 and 36 months. Only you can determine which contract length will work best with your current and expected living situation.

Mistake #3: Choosing the “cheapest” electricity plan.

When you compare energy rates in Texas, the cheapest electricity plan is not always the best choice. That’s because the price per kWh listed on a website’s search page may have additional fees and charges in the fine print. (See Mistake #1 above!) Or you could be looking at an introductory price, which could skyrocket after the initial period. Both situations may drive your electricity bill higher than you’d expect.

When you’re shopping for energy, you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. This may require a little math, but doing so will help you find the best electricity plan for your budget.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to check reviews.

What good is a cheap energy plan if it comes with billing mistakes or customer service headaches? Your time is valuable, so you should consider the reputation of an REP before you sign up. Are online reviews mostly favorable? Are there any common complaints? Do your family and/or friends recommend the REP? Initial research prior to making energy rate comparisons will help you choose an electricity provider you can trust to meet your expectations.

Mistake #5: Not considering your usage patterns.

Before you compare energy rates, assess your daily and weekly energy usage patterns as well as your billing history. This can help you zero in on a plan that works best with how you use energy in your home. For example, a time-of-use plan that offers free or discounted nights or weekends could result in cost savings if your heaviest usage falls within the stated timeframes. (Again, always read the fine print!)

Avoid these common mistakes by searching with Everything Energy

With Everything Energy, you can make energy rate comparisons with ease — and avoid the potentially costly mistakes listed above. You’ll be able to access plan documents, view contract term lengths, read customer reviews of trusted REPs and make apples-to-apples price comparisons using your own usage history.

Yep — you can do it all, in one place. It’s free, it’s simple, and when you find a plan you like, you can enroll with just a few clicks. Get started today!

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Texas Electricity Rates 101 — Lubbock Edition

Feb 06 2024

In January 2024, Lubbock residents have gained the power to choose their electricity provider and to shop for Texas electricity rates. They join residents across the Lone Star State who have enjoyed electricity choice for over 20 years.

With this newfound freedom comes the responsibility of understanding how to navigate the sometimes-complex world of Texas electricity rates and electricity providers. So, for all the folks in Lubbock shopping for electricity, we’ve put together this overview to help you get started.

Understanding Texas electricity deregulation

Deregulation breaks the monopoly previously held by utility companies and lets various retail electricity providers (REPs) compete for your business. This benefits consumers by creating lower competitive rates, innovative electricity plan options and enhanced customer service.

Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) will continue to serve as your utility as a Transmission and Distribution Service Provider (TDSP). That means LP&L will still be the Lubbock electricity utility that delivers power to your home and maintains the poles and wires in your community. However, you will choose who to buy your electricity from — your REP. (If you don’t make a choice by the initial February 15 deadline, you will automatically be assigned to one of three default REPs .)

What to know before you shop for Texas electricity rates

Here are the main things to know about Texas electricity rates and electricity providers before you decide on an REP.

Everyone has unique needs

Because families and households are different, there’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” in today’s deregulated electricity market. And that’s a good thing for consumers. Finding a plan tailored to your specific needs can help manage your electricity usage and your budget.

There are two types of plans: Fixed and Variable

Search for plans that best fit your current needs. One thing to consider is your desired term length. Do you want a fixed-price plan that secures your rate for 6-12 months (or longer) with a REP? Or would a month-to-month plan — with a price that changes monthly but allows you to change providers without an early contract termination fee — work better for your situation?

For example, time-of-use plans is a possibility to consider when shopping Fixed and Variable plans. With this type of plan, certain times of the day or week (i.e., nights or weekends) have a discounted price per kilowatt hour (kWh). If you use most of your electricity during these timeframes, a time-of-use plan may help you lower your monthly electricity bill.

Many REPs also offer renewable energy plans. If you’d like to lower your carbon footprint and help the planet by using solar or wind power, keep an eye open for 100% clean energy plans.

The cheapest option isn’t always the best option

It can be tempting to enroll in a plan with the lowest price per kWh. But there are a few reasons why the cheapest electricity plan might not always be the best.

1.) Pay attention to the Electricity Facts Label (EFL)

To get a complete picture of how much a plan will cost, you need to review the EFL of the plan. In addition to average prices per kWh, the EFL will list each component and term of the average price, like “free” electricity hours, what usage profile was used to the calculate the average prices, a base charge, TDSP pass-through fees, etc.

2.) The average prices per kWh on EFLs are only for specific monthly usages

Residential plans typically have different average price points depending on average monthly usages of 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. With some plans, the highest monthly usage bracket may have the lowest cost per kWh, and occasionally that is the plan price listed on initial advertisements. But if you regularly use much less electricity, your average price may be higher than what you see at first glance.

So, before you start shopping, check your previous electricity bills to get an idea of your typical or average monthly and seasonal usage. This will be valuable information as you compare Texas electricity rates.

3.) Customer service is important.

Providers with the cheapest plans may not have the customer service available to you at all times or available via channels such as email and webchat. To make sure you find electricity companies in Texas you can trust, do some research before choosing a plan. Ask friends and family about their experience with providers, read online reviews and check the websites of REPs you’re interested in.

4.) You could be missing other incentives.

Competition is fierce, so electricity providers have gotten creative in their pursuit of customers. Some plans now come with perks or other incentives like a free smart thermostat, gift cards and more. The value of these could make up for a higher price per kWh.

How to shop for electricity in Texas

If it sounds like shopping for Texas electricity rates is a confusing process that requires more than a little bit of math, don’t worry! It does take a little bit of time to become familiar with the nomenclature, process and options available. But in the end, you have the power to choose the best option for you, and that’s a valuable freedom.

To simplify the process, Everything Energy has created easy-to-use search tools that let you compare plans and pricing from some of Texas’s trusted REPs. You’ll be able to make an apples-to-apples Texas electricity rates comparison, see monthly bill estimates based on your average monthly usage and evaluate your options — all in one place! And best of all, it’s free. Lubbock residents, start shopping with confidence today.

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