Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by Mary Pressler
Our Expert Advice for Picking the Best Energy Company
With so many Texas energy providers to choose from, it’s important to do your homework before making a selection. In this article, we illustrate five steps you should take in choosing a new electric company. Our recommendations can save you time, energy and money.
1. Consider Your Energy Needs and Monthly Budget
Texas Retail Energy Providers (REPs), offer a variety of electricity plans ranging from one month to three year fixed rate contracts. Before you shop for electric, determine what you need from your provider by asking yourself a few questions:
- Are you renting or planning on moving again soon? If so, you might choose a 3 or 6 month energy plan. If you’re a long-term homeowner, you might consider a fixed rate electric plan with terms up to 36 months.
- Do you prefer to receive a monthly bill or would you like to pay as you go? Prepaid lights are a great alternative to a long term contract and no credit is needed.
- What size home do you have? Some 12 and 24 month plans have discounted rates for homes that use a larger amount of kWh per month.
Some people want to try an electric company before committing to a long term contract. In this instance, it’s best to choose a month to month electricity plan. This allows you to lock in a low rate for one month at a time without having to sign a contract.
2. Use Caution With Free Electricity Offers
You know the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Texas has one of the most competitive energy markets in the United States and the internet has become the wild west of electricity promos.
Texas energy companies want your business and they have rolled out the red carpet for new customers with offers such as free power nights and weekends and complimentary Google or Amazon smart home devices. However, most of these plans are gimmicks and can end up hitting you hard in the wallet.
Obviously, electricity is not free, especially in Texas. Free energy plans are simply a marketing tactic. However, if most of your energy usage occurs at night, you might benefit from a free electricity plan. Just be sure to read the fine print, the EFL.
3. Check the Fine Print Before You Switch Electricity Providers
Always read over the Electricity Facts Label (EFL), or the fine print. The Texas PUC requires every provider to document all plan details in an EFL and make it available on their websites. Sneaky energy companies advertise kWh rates that do not include additional fees including the utility delivery charges that everyone has to pay. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t realize they’ve been deceived until they are billed.
On the EFL you will find the actual electricity rate and other important energy plan information:
- Transmission and Delivery Charges
- Type of energy rate, Variable or Fixed
- Monthly service fees
- Renewable content percentage
- Early termination or cancellation fees
- Contract terms
4. Perform a Quick Search on the Energy Provider You’re Considering.
Many energy companies in Texas claim to be the best, but there are resources available to consumers that want to research Texas light companies.
The Texas Public Utilities Commission publishes a customer complaint report twice a year. There you can see how many times customers filed a formal complaint against the light company and the reasons why, including:
- Slamming – when someone switches your REP without your consent
- Cramming- when you have unauthorized charges on your electric bill
- Billing issues
- Quality of service
Better Business Bureau of Texas
Even if the electric company is not registered, or accredited with the BBB, people can still file complaints. In our opinion, this makes the Better Business Bureau the most reliable source for honest, unbiased reviews of Texas energy providers.
Be wary of review websites. Texas electricity review websites are owned by energy companies and brokers who divert their web traffic to their products. Even Google reviews are bought these days.
5. Avoid Energy Clubs and Membership Fees
There are several electricity shopping sites that charge a monthly fee to find you the “lowest electric rate” for your home. Why pay a membership fee when you can put that money towards electricity?
Quick Electricity is a free energy finder and our buying process is simple.
- View and compare our residential energy plans
- Click on offer to view current rates in your area
- Register for your chosen energy plan
- Revisit Quick Electricity the next time you need an energy company
- Tell your neighbors!
Need assistance? Contact Quick Electricity at (877) 509-8946 or view Quick Electricity’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.