How to Choose an Electricity Company in Houston

How to Choose an Electricity Company in Houston

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Originally Posted On: https://www.apge.com/electricity-company-in-houston

 

Whether you are moving to Houston, or just looking to save money on your monthly electricity bill, you are in luck! There are dozens of energy companies in Houston to choose from. Each of these companies offers a variety of electric plans, and somewhere out there is an energy plan that is perfect for you.

Most Houston residents have to power to choose their retail electricity provider, but the large number of providers and rate plans can make shopping stressful. How can you know that you are getting a great deal if it would take a room full of NASA engineers just to compile a complete list of available plans?

To help make sense of all the Houston electricity plans, we have put together this guide to help shoppers navigate the sea of electricity rates in Houston.

1. What service area do you live in?

If you have shopped for electricity before, you probably noticed that your new provider didn’t have to come out and rewire your house in order for you to switch suppliers; this is because the company that owns the poles and wires in your area is entirely separate from your electricity supplier. The company that maintains your wires is called a TDSP, and even though you can shop for different suppliers, your TDSP is determined based on where you live. If you live in Houston, your TDSP is most likely Centerpoint Energy.

The TDSP in your area keeps the infrastructure working and up to date. To pay for the work that they perform, your TDSP bills your electricity supplier, who in turn, bills you. This cost means that your service area can have a significant impact on your energy bill. If you have ever wondered why most suppliers ask your zip code before you can see a price, it is to look up your service area and determine which rate to show you.

Knowing your service area will allow you to verify that the prices you receive from suppliers are the right ones for you. The state of Texas provides a list that can help to find this information, but wading through the 15+ million rows to lookup your address can be a daunting task. If you would like to lookup your TDSP you can use our electricity shopping site, to lookup your TDSP and view rates in your area.

2. What kind of plan do you want?

There seem to be as many types of energy plans as there are companies that sell them. But if you look past all the marketing jargon, and the complex contracts, there are only a few primary families that these plans all fall into. Let’s dive into the major categories and see what these plans offer.

Fixed Price Plan – A fixed price plan has the same energy price for the entire duration of your contract. If you choose a 12-month offer, you will not have to worry about your energy rate for the next 12 months. Your bill may be higher or lower based on your usage, but the amount you pay per kilowatt-hour is fixed.

Index Price Plan – An index price plan is significantly more complicated. Your rate will be broken into two parts: An adder that is locked in at the time you sign your contract, and a real-time market price. Your billed rate will be the adder from your agreement plus the live price of electricity during the time in which you used the power. This type of plan can save you money at times, but the risk that market prices rise sharply is very real. A short price spike can zap any savings you have seen up to that point.

Variable Rate Plan – The phrase “variable rate” is more vague than the other two options. On a variable plan, your rate may change from month to month or may stay the same for several months. The decision to change your price belongs to your supplier and is based on the specifics of the offer. This type of rate can be a good option if your housing situation is not permanent, and you don’t want to sign up for a lengthy contract.

Take a look at some of the rates in your area that APG&E has to offer. We primarily offer fixed price plans, since their simple and straightforward nature is something we would feel comfortable recommending to our family and friends.

3. Are special offers really worth it?

The energy industry is a hectic place, and electricity companies are working hard to get your attention. They often offer gifts at the time of signup to entice new buyers. We have seen companies offering everything from thermostats, to bill credits, to home security systems.

These offers can seem very appealing, and many of them aren’t bad deals, but it is essential to check the fine print.
It may go without saying, but a big gift probably comes at a high price. Getting a thermostat worth a hundred dollars may seem like a no brainer, but if the electricity contract that goes with it is overpriced, you could be spending hundreds more dollars than the cost of that device.

If you compare the rate of a plan with a reward against a plan without a reward, you will usually find that special offers end up costing you more in the long run.

As with all things, we recommend keeping it simple and shopping for the best deal. You can use the money you save to buy anything you want, not just a thermostat!

Shopping for an electricity company in Houston may never make it on your list of favorite hobbies. However, we hope that this guide has given you a few helpful pointers to analyze the plans available to you and make a wise decision. If you have questions or would like to learn more about APG&E, please feel free to contact our customer support experts at 1-877-LIGHT-57 or by emailing customer@apge.com.

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