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Finding you the best energy plans

How to Switch Your Texas Energy Company

Aug 09 2022

In Texas’s deregulated electricity market, you have the power to choose which Texas energy company powers your home. This means that there may come a time when you would like to switch your electricity provider. Luckily, the process is usually easy to complete. 

Why would I want to switch my Texas energy company?

You may want to switch to another Texas power company for a number of reasons, including:

  • Your current plan is expiring. 

According to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), you can change your retail electric provider (REP) without incurring an early termination fee if you switch less than 14 days before your contract expiration date. (And, if you take no action before that date, your current REP will continue serving you. However, you’ll be put on a month-to-month plan by default. This type of plan often has a higher rate than a fixed-rate plan.) So, you may find this to be the ideal time to try a new Texas energy company.

  • You’re moving. 

Yes, most Texas electric companies can continue providing you power if you move somewhere within their service area. But you don’t have to stay with the same provider in your new place. By showing proof of your change of address, you can often exit your current contract without an early termination fee. 

  • Your current plan no longer meets your needs. 

Maybe you’ve changed how much energy you use, or what time of day you use it most, or you want to live greener by using renewable energy. Sometimes, you may just need an electric plan that fits better with your current lifestyle. And if your current Texas electric company does not offer what you need, you may need to make a switch.

  • You found a better offer.

Shopping for electricity can often lead you to an offer that’s better than what your current electricity company provides. Whether you found a lower electricity rate, more convenience or additional incentives, a switch may appeal to you.

  • You’re not happy with your current provider.

If you’ve had poor customer service from your current REP, you may be looking to switch. Finding a Texas electricity company you can trust can make all the difference in your satisfaction.

Can I switch my Texas energy company or plan?

As long as you’re not in debt to your current Texas electric company and you don’t have a switch-hold on your account, you’re free to switch. However, if you do owe your current provider money, you must pay off your balance before you choose a different one.

How do I switch my electric company or plan?

It’s actually not difficult to switch your Texas energy company; however, you should check your Electricity Facts Label before taking any action. This will tell you if you have to pay an early termination fee for switching. (But remember, if you’re within 14 days of your contract expiration date, you don’t have to pay a penalty.)

Do I need to cancel my current Texas power service first?

When you enroll on a plan with a new REP, you don’t need to cancel your current service. Your utility will do this for you and make the process seamless. In reality, disconnecting your current service can actually cause a lapse of service. And you definitely don’t want this to happen in the middle of summer!

Will I be charged a deposit when I switch to a different Texas energy company?

According to the PUCT, an energy provider might ask you to pay a deposit in order to meet their credit requirements. This will vary on a case-by-case basis, so be sure to ask your new REP if a deposit is required.

What are the best energy companies in Texas?

As you probably know, Texas has no shortage of energy companies. But which companies provide the best service, rates and options to meet your needs? You can begin by shopping the trusted electricity providers at Everything Energy. With personalized shopping tools at your fingertips, you can easily find a new energy plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. Click here to get started.

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Compare Power Consumption with a Watt Meter

Jul 26 2022

Have you ever wondered how you can compare power consumption of appliances in your home? Like, how much money does it take to run your refrigerator per day? Or, how much does it cost to leave your laptop plugged in all day? 

There is a handy little device that can tell you all this info and more. And, it might just be your secret weapon on your quest to have the cheapest electricity bill possible.

How can I compare energy prices for each electronic item in my home?

Every plugged-in item in your home draws some electricity. Figuring out which items drain a lot of extra energy is key to proactively lowering your energy usage. A watt meter can help determine energy draw for each device or appliance.

A watt meter is also called a power meter, or electricity usage monitor. It’s a small, handheld device that measures: 

  • The voltage of the outlet itself (how much potential energy it can produce)
  • How many kilowatts an electrical device plugged in consumes over a period of time

A quick review of watts, kilowatts and kilowatt hours

For reference, a watt (W) is a unit of power. A kilowatt (kW) is 1,000 watts, and a kilowatt hour (kWh) is how much energy a machine needs to use in order to run for one hour. Electricity providers’ bills show us how many kWh of energy we use each month. The monthly usage is then multiplied by the cost per kWh to find out how much we owe for energy. (Note: Fees and other charges can increase the final balance). 

How do I use a watt meter?

You can easily use a watt meter to compare power use of items in your home. Follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Get plugged in.

Plug the watt meter into a three-pronged outlet. Then, plug the item whose usage you want to monitor into the watt meter’s outlet. 

Step 2: Enter your settings.

Following the watt meter manual, set your cost per kWh. (Hint: If you’re not sure where to find this information, check your Electricity Facts Label.)

Step 3: Check back later.

When you check the meter, you will see a reading for how many kilowatts the item has used since it was plugged in. You can also check the total cost it has racked up in that time period. As a result, you can now do some simple math to calculate how much the item uses in a day, week or month. 

Once you know this information, you can compare power consumption among your appliances and electronic devices. You can also compare power consumption of one item when it is in use and when it is in standby mode, too. 

A watt meter empowers you with knowledge, which you can use to take action. For instance, maybe you will decide to unplug heavy energy consumers when not in use to avoid phantom load. Or, maybe you will replace an old and inefficient appliance with one that’s Energy Star-rated. 

Where do I get a watt meter?

Watt meters can be found at home improvement stores. Also, many online retailers, such as Amazon, sell them. Plus, your local library may even have one you can check out for free! 

Compare power companies and plans online.

Compare electricity rates and electricity providers online to find the best match for you and your family’s energy needs. With personalized shopping tools just a few clicks away, Everything Energy helps you narrow down your options with ease. Therefore, why wait another minute — start shopping for energy today.

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18 Nifty App Features from Power Companies in Texas

Jul 05 2022

In 2021, there were 143 billion app downloads (more than doubling 2015’s total) and 7 million apps available across iOS and Android platforms. So, it’s no surprise that many power companies in Texas have their own customer applications.  

First and foremost, these energy apps make it easy to do everyday activities such as pay your electric bill and contact customer service. However, they also provide innovative ways to track and manage your electricity usage, connect other related services and even educate yourself to become a more empowered consumer.

Take a peek at some of the amazing things these powerful electricity apps can help you do.

Understand your Texas power usage

While you can’t control your electricity plan’s cost per kWh, you can alter the way you use energy in your home. This can help you become more energy efficient and help lower your bill. Many apps from Texas energy companies help you better understand how you have used electricity in the past. That way, you can make changes to lower your usage in the future. 

1. View your energy usage history

Have you been with the same electricity provider for more than a year? It’s informative to see how much energy you used each month and compare it to previous years of usage. For instance, you may wonder how many kWh you used during an exceptionally hot month or a month where you were out of town for two weeks and left the air conditioner set at 82°. Being able to compare a month like this to that same month the previous year helps you understand the impact of certain environmental or situational factors. Knowing where you’ve been is the only way to know where you’re going.

>> Power tip: Accessing your monthly usage can also help when shopping for a new electricity plan from trusted power companies in Texas. Using Everything Energy, you can view plans and pricing based on your average kWh usage. Simply filter by 500, 1000 or 2000 kWh of usage per month.

2. Monitor your current electricity usage

Smart Meters have advanced our knowledge of personal energy consumption tremendously. We can now see, in near-real time, how we’re using electricity. Many Texas energy companies have apps that can show you your Smart Meter data. Knowing your daily or weekly usage can help you pinpoint energy spikes or dips better than a monthly figure. Then, you can better adjust your thermostat settings, behavior and other factors accordingly.

>> Power tip: By granting Everything Energy access to your Smart Meter Texas usage data, you can view personalized monthly bill estimates. You’ll see projections based directly on your historical electricity usage. You’ll even be provided with a usage analysis, so you can understand how and when you use electricity. For example, we’ll show you have much you use on weekends and weekdays, daytime or nighttime. From there, you can filter your search results to find the plan that best suits your needs. 

3. Learn more about factors that affect your bill

Some apps from power companies in Texas show you how your usage (and bill) can be affected by outside factors. With interactive and customizable graphs, you can see how trends, costs and weather in your area can have a direct impact on your energy use.

Pay your electricity bill

Energy mobile apps let you do even more than just learning about your electricity usage. They also make it easy to pay your monthly bill on time and perform other billing-related actions with just a few taps. 

4. View your current balance

Getting an on-demand balance is helpful if you need to move funds around to make a payment. Or if you want to utilize the figure as you compile your monthly budget. Some apps can even show you a day-by-day balance, so you can estimate your total balance when it comes time to pay.

5. Change your payment method

Need to update your payment details? Gone are the days of calling customer service, waiting on hold and digging through your files to find your account number. Mobile apps make self-service tasks like switching or updating your payment method simple. So, if your card expired, you had to get a replacement card or you just want to pay your bill from a different account, no worries. All you have to do is open the app and edit the details in your settings.

6. Set bill payment reminders

Many electricity apps give you the ability to set a reminder to pay your bill. This feature helps you stay on top of your bills and avoid incurring late fees. It can also serve as an extra reminder if you’re on paperless billing and your e-bills tend to get lost in your inbox. Ditto if you pay your bill by check but you sometimes don’t open mail right away.

7. Schedule a payment to your Texas power company

All it takes to change the day your bill is paid electronically are a few clicks in your energy provider’s app. That means if you’re experiencing a cash shortage or waiting for a deposit to clear, this feature has you covered. It can help you avoid costly overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees from your bank or credit union.

8. Switch between multiple addresses and accounts

Do you receive power at more than one address? Some power companies in Texas have apps that require only a single sign-on for you to manage all of the service locations in your account. This saves you time and the inconvenience of remembering several login passwords.

Manage your Texas electricity provider account

Mobile apps from electric companies have made it easier than ever to take control of your account. Now, you can manage your profile, preferences, services and more.

9. Manage your Texas power services

Paperless billing, autopay and average monthly billing — along with other services your provider may offer — can often be activated (or deactivated) through use of their app.

10. Sign up for add-ons

In addition to those mentioned above, some energy providers offer a suite of related products and services available to consumers. These can include everything from energy-efficient products and backup power to home warranties and donations to support non-profits. Each provider offers unique opportunities, which you can often sign up for directly in the provider’s app.

11. Renew your plan or enroll in a new plan

Are you satisfied with your current Texas electricity provider? Don’t want to shop Texas electricity rates before your current plan expires? You may be able to continue your service in the provider’s app. Whether you have the option to renew your current plan or sign up for a different offer, completing the transaction via a mobile app can be convenient and easy. 

12. Transfer your service to a new address

Moving to a different apartment or house can be stressful. But many mobile apps from energy providers make it easy to just take your plan with you. That means you can schedule your electricity to be turned on in your new place (and turned off in your old place) for a seamless transition.

13. View your contract and plan documents

If you ever need to review your electricity plan’s Terms of Use, Electricity Facts Label or other documents, they can usually be found with your plan details in the provider’s mobile app. This makes it easy should you want to check on items such as your plan’s renewable energy content, price per kWh, early termination fees and more.

Become an empowered energy consumer

Many modern electricity companies want to help consumers make informed decisions about their home energy and how it fits in with their life holistically. This is especially true in the Lone Star State. Most people have the power to choose a Texas energy plan from a lengthy list of providers competing for their business. The electricity companies’ apps provide the perfect medium to share this type of useful information.

14. Earn referral rewards

Some power companies in Texas have referral programs. For example, you can earn a perk like a bill credit when you refer friends and family. This feature can often be accessed via the app, which makes it easier to share your referral ID or link. 

15. Track your green impact

If you’re enrolled in an electricity plan that features energy from renewable sources, some apps let you see just how much of an impact you’re making. For instance, stats and equivalencies can put your impact into real-world terms. Meanwhile, earning badges can be a fun way to motivate yourself to continue living sustainability. 

Some energy apps may give you the option to schedule when to start and stop charging your EV. If you typically charge at night, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to plug in before going to bed. And if you’re enrolled in a time-of-use electricity plan, this feature can be beneficial to the grid and your bill by charging up during off-peak hours when demand and energy rates are lower.

 17. Sync your electricity with other services

The “smart home” continues to evolve. Some energy apps give you the ability to control your smart thermostat, home security system and solar panel production for greater convenience and efficiency.

18. Contact customer service

Help on the go is just a few taps away with an energy app. For questions or problems about your electricity service or account, mobile apps can give you easy access to customer support through email, chat and/or phone. 

Endless options from power companies in Texas 

Perhaps you want an electricity plan with a mobile app that does it all. Or maybe you’d rather have a no-frills, tech-lite plan that keeps it simple. Either way, you can choose the Texas power option that best fits your needs, preferences and lifestyle. To find the perfect match, Everything Energy provides a straightforward way to shop and compareenergy providers and plans available in your area. Start your shopping today! 

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Electricity Providers in Texas: Fun Facts & Figures

Jun 07 2022

Electric companies in Texas are pretty darn cool

Thanks to a deregulated energy market, people have had the power to choose the Texas electricity provider they prefer for more than 20 years. So, it’s no surprise that in that time, there’s been a lot of innovation among electricity providers in Texas. That includes the types of plans offered to consumers and the sources used to supply energy across the state. And, as the second-most-populous state in the U.S., Texas has made a name for itself in ways that you may not have known about. 

Check out some of the interesting (and dare we say, “fun”) facts about the electricity providers in your home state.

Did you know…?

With 29.5 million residents in the state (that’s approximately 8.9% of the total U.S. population!), Texas energy companies bring power to millions of people. That’s just the beginning. Did you know …

  • Texas has had lower residential, commercial and industrial electricity rates than the United States’ average. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in January 2022, Texas residential energy rates were 1.48 cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) lower than the national average. Also in that month, commercial rates clocked in at 3.56 cents/kWh less than the nation’s average. Industrial rates also beat the national average by 1.58 cents/kWh that month. 
  • Texas has the second-highest cumulative solar capacity, trailing only California. In addition, it’s one of the leading states in solar energy potential.
  • In 2020, Texas produced about 28% of the nation’s wind-powered electricity. That’s more than any other state!

Little-known facts about electricity providers in Texas

The deregulated energy market in Texas is all about competition. Therefore, many Texas energy companies like to get creative with their electricity plans. After all, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to lifestyle, budget and preferences. So, why not offer plans built around these factors? Take a look at some interesting ways electricity providers in Texas can power your home, on your terms.

Interesting info about Texas energy companies 

  • Choose from plans that let you lock in your energy charge for 12, 24 or even 36 months. Just set it and forget it for long-term price security.
  • Who doesn’t like free? Some plans offer free electricity during weeknight or weekend usage. For example, night owls might switch their energy-consuming chores (like laundry) to the specified ‘free’ timeframe to help save on their electric bill. Time of Use plans like this let people make small shifts to take advantage of off-peak usage times. These are time periods when demand on the electricity grid is lower.
  • Like to shop? Some electricity providers in Texas offer gift cards after enrolling in certain plans. In addition to powering your home, plans like this give you extra spending power.
  • Protect the environment, right from that comfy spot on your couch. Electricity plans that provide 100% renewable energy — from sources like the wind and the sun — make it easy to do your part for a healthier planet.
  • Bon voyage! Did you know you can even get airline miles with some electricity plans? Whether you’re a frequent flyer or still waiting to take your first flight, plans like this can get you closer to your next destination. 

Be sure to check each plan’s Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for details. You’ll enjoy discovering all the options available during the shopping process.

Frequently asked questions about Texas electricity providers and plans

At one point or another, you might have thought of some “What if?” scenarios related to Texas energy companies and plans. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We can help clear things up.

What if I move and have to cancel my electricity contract early? Do I have to pay a cancellation fee? 

If you move from your existing service address in the middle of a contract term, no worries. By providing a forwarding address and possibly other move-related information, you won’t have to pay your plan’s early termination fee. Check your plan’s contract documents for specific terms and conditions.

What if my contract is about to expire? Will my electricity get shut off if I don’t make a decision about what to do next? 

No. You don’t have to stress about your power being turned off simply because your contract term has expired. Here’s how this situation plays out. As an example, say you are enrolled on a fixed-rate product. Your current provider is required to notify you in advance of the date your contract expires. This gives you time to decide if you want to renew or shop and compare energy rates. You’re also allowed to switch providers in the final 14 days of your contract without incurring an early termination fee. 

Even if your contract term expires and you’ve not enrolled on a new plan, it’s okay. Your provider will simply switch you over to a default month-to-month plan. Your power will keep running without interruption.

What if the Texas power company I’ve chosen goes out of business?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) is always looking out for consumers’ best interests. In this scenario, the PUCT has designated “Providers of Last Resort” (POLR) as backup electricity service providers in the rare circumstances when a Texas electricity company cannot supply power. The POLR is meant to be a temporary safety net. For information on choosing Texas electric providers, check out this guide.

Shopping for electricity in Texas

Think about all the electric companies in Texas competing for your business (the PUCT lists more than 135 active retail electricity providers in the state). Imagine how hard it would to sort through all the plans to find the perfect match for your home. 

Luckily, it’s simple to shop and compare electricity rates and providers. With our easy-to-use filters, you can narrow down your options. Plus, you get plan pricing translated into actual monthly bill estimates based on your monthly electricity usage and other factors. Try it — we think you’ll quickly find a plan that’s just right for you.

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Top 5 Things to Know About Electricity Rates

May 24 2022

You may think about your electricity bill during a particularly hot summer day. But do you know just how much you’re paying to power your home? It can be a bit intimidating to dive deep into your energy bill if you’ve never examined it closely before. However, it’s a good exercise in knowing where your money is going and what you pay per kilowatt hour (kWh) of usage. (A kWh is a unit of measurement equaling the amount of energy you’d use if you kept a 1,000-watt appliance running for an hour.)

Once you have that information, you’ll be able to shop for better electricity rates and compare plans more effectively.

So, if you’re up to the task, let’s take the mystery out of electricity rates once and for all. We’ll start with the five most important things to know.

1. You can find your electricity cost on your EFL

The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) for the electricity plan you’re enrolled in has a lot of useful information (and a lot of lengthy but necessary legal language). The trouble is, many consumers don’t take the time to read through this part of their contract. But once you’ve seen and understand one EFL, you’ll be able to navigate this document swiftly. That’s because the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) standardizes the format of EFLs to help residential and small business customers avoid unexpected surprises on their electricity bill.

When you pull up the EFL for your plan, you can see a lot of different items included on it. These items will help you determine your actual electricity rate. You can use that information to compare it to other energy plans available to you.

2. Your type of electricity plan is important

Do you have a steady electricity rate every month, or does your rate fluctuate monthly? It depends on what type of electricity plan you signed up for. On a fixed-rate plan, you have the same energy charge for the entire length of the contract. On a variable-rate plan, however, the price you pay per kWh is determined by market or other factors considered by the electricity provider. Some people like to lock in a rate. Others prefer the flexibility of going month to month and being able to switch whenever they want. 

For customers who sign up for a fixed-rate plan, pay attention to the contract expiration date. If your electricity contract expires and you take no action, electricity providers may enroll you on a default month-to-month plan with a variable rate. 

You’ll want to know what type of plan you’re currently on before you start comparing your plan to other electricity rates. If you don’t know, just check your EFL! 

3. Your bill may have more charges than just cost per kWh

You’ll be able to find your cost per kWh pretty easily on your EFL (usually called the Energy Charge). However, that’s only part of the story of your electricity rate. You may also run into items such as a base charge and delivery charges that need to be factored in when calculating your rate and comparing plans. So, let’s break it down:

base charge is a flat, monthly fee sometimes charged by your energy provider, regardless of how many kWh you use. 

Delivery charges, also called TDU (Transmission and Distribution Utility) delivery charges, come from your utility company to cover the cost of moving electricity from the generation plant to your home.

For additional terms and charges you may see on your electricity bill, check out this guide from the PUCT.

4. Your monthly usage may affect your average electricity rate

On your EFL, you’ll find a Pricing Disclosure section. It lists the average price per kWh if you used 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. Unless otherwise noted, the average price per kWh includes any base charges and delivery charges. That’s why the lower usage rates often have higher average kWh costs: they have the other charges factored in and averaged out over a smaller number of kWh.

Knowing your average monthly electricity usage will allow you to make accurate plan comparisons. Plus, it will help you avoid unexpectedly high bills for the length of your contract term.

FYI: When you shop electricity on Everything Energy, you can filter plans based on your monthly usage.

5. You can shop for better electricity rates online

Thanks to the deregulation of the Texas energy market more than 25 years ago, you get to choose your electricity provider. That means providers compete to earn your business! So not only can you shop and compare energy plans to get the best electricity deals, you can also search by other factors important to you. From plans that use wind and solar power to those that offer free nights or weekends, gift cards, airline miles, energy-saving gadgets and more, the perfect plan for your family and lifestyle is out there. 

Now that you know the five most important things about electricity rates, you can shop, compare and enroll. Check out Everything Energy’s advanced search tools that help you zero in on your next electricity plan.

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