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.
Comments Off on Texas Electricity Rates 101 — Lubbock Edition