Electricity Providers

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philip964
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Electricity Providers

#1

Post by philip964 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:26 am

I'm pretty slow on these sorts of things. I recently switched from Reliant who has provided my electricity since 1976.

I was under the rate they give you if you don't call them up and complain. No contract, paper bill once a month, $50 late fee if your check arrives more than 0 days after the due date printed on the bill.

I was paying 13.2 cents per KWH for the electricity plus all the normal fees. The rate was supposedly tied to natural gas prices or something because during last summer it was 14.6 cents. No free weekends, no free nights, no $500 gift card for switching, just simple and 13.2 cents a KWH.

A friend joined Griddy about a year ago. He seemed very happy. An app on his phone, shows him his rate every 5 minutes, shows him his hourly useage, and how much he is paying per day. Its charges his credit card like the toll road authority. One amount every so often, drawing from that every day until that is gone and it then charges that same amount again to his credit car. So your paying by the day. Supposedly your buying electricity at wholesale rates and then the only profit they make is a $10 fee they charge you once a month for the service.

I joined six days ago. I just down loaded the app on my phone and signed up. Two days later I was switched automatically and started seeing my useage on the phone app. My first day I was paying like 1.8 cents a KWH. Next day it was higher like 2.2 cents a KWH. My bill for just the electricity has been ranging from 75 cents a day to maybe 1.25 a day. The taxes and fees are much higher. It was the other way around with Reliant.

Reliant called Friday and wanted me back. They immediately said they would charge me something like 9.5 cents per KWH a what 25 percent reduction what they had been charging me. There is no contract with Griddy, so I guess I could go back at any moment.

My friend has warned me that during August the price goes way up, and for two weeks or so he is paying more than the average customer pays, but then it goes back down lower. He thinks he saves 25 percent over his previous plan.

On You Tube there is a guy warning me I could pay as much as 8 dollars a KWH for 5 minute periods during the summer. My friend says with the Griddy app, I can get a price spike warning from my phone and then send a message to my Nest thermostats to turn off the AC for 5 minutes until the crisis passes. We will see.

Obviously I have joined at a time I'm not using much electricity and prices are also low because of that. We will see.

So far its been fun seeing that I'm only now spending a dollar a day on electricity. I'll keep you posted.

Here is the main website, I didnt use it. I just did the whole thing from my phone. It is apparently a Houston Company.

https://www.gogriddy.com/about/

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Re: Electricity Providers

#2

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:18 am

You should note that the real cost per kWh has the taxes amortized in. Sellers who quote you a crazy tiny price, with lower taxes, are being a little bit deceptive about their rates. Sure the taxes are lower ... because the energy price is lower. But your energy cost will still be the combined price of the energy, plus the taxes. So you won’t know what you’re actually paying until you can see a invoice at the combined costs, divide that amount by your total kWh used, and call that your price/kWh.

I switched to Energy Ogre back in October. I had been with Frontier Utilities, and was paying 8¢/kWh. Frontier was going to raise my rate to 10¢/kWh at renewal time, and denied that they could even offer me my old rate anymore. So I switched to Energy Ogre, and never looked back. I’m currently paying 7¢/kWh (combined). There are no contracts. Energy Ogre is always looking for better rates for you, and when they find one, they switch you over. All you have to do is OK the switch. They charge $10/month for this service. I live in a 5000 sq ft two story home with two HVAC units, so my energy bill could be substantial. A $10/month fee is insignificant, compared to what I’m saving on energy.....and they do the research for me. It’s been a painless experience so far, and I’m happy with it.

About a month after I switched to Energy Ogre, I got a phone call from Frontier Utilities, offering me a contract at my old rate. I told the woman that, unless they could beat my new rate, I wasn’t interested. The lady agreed that they couldn’t compete with that, and wished me well.

My son’s father in law has been an Energy Ogre customer for a few years now, and is completely satisfied. He’s way more frugal than I am.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#3

Post by chamberc » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:27 am

www.energyogre.com

We've got 3 AC's and a pool and it makes a huge difference.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#4

Post by RicoTX » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:32 am

That sounds interesting. Unfortunately my electric provider is PEC, the largest electric co-op in the nation I think. They are not only anti gun and run by an anti-gun board (all buildings are posted) but they are exempt from competition. They just built a multimillion dollar office facility here that seems like a big waste of money. I wish I had the choice of providers, not just for cost, but also so they might actually appreciate customers. Funny enough, they are the biggest customer of the LCRA, another agency that has grown way too big in my opinion. They are either way too focused on your septic system, or busy building a major police force that isn't necessarily confined to their property. :grumble
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Re: Electricity Providers

#5

Post by PBratton » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:23 pm

chamberc wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:27 am
www.energyogre.com

We've got 3 AC's and a pool and it makes a huge difference.
I second this one.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#6

Post by SewTexas » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:05 pm

wow...you people and your choices. I have GVEC and I darn well better be happy with it, which to be honest we are....
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Re: Electricity Providers

#7

Post by joe817 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:09 pm

PBratton wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:23 pm
chamberc wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:27 am
www.energyogre.com

We've got 3 AC's and a pool and it makes a huge difference.
I second this one.
Me too. My provider is TXU, and my plan is indexed to natural gas prices. I'm currently paying 13.4 cents/kwh.That's an all inclusive price including tax, and Oncor delivery charge(of $22.32) I think now is a good time to switch providers before the weather turns hot.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#8

Post by philip964 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:13 pm

They also show you your all in rate as they call it.

With 4 days experience I’m at 8.1 cents per KWH.

We will see over time.

I got my last bill from Reliant for a partial month but essentially during the same energy useage period it was 18 cents a KWH all in. So is that a 65% savings?

Now I’m feeling stupid for not doing something sooner.


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Re: Electricity Providers

#9

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:24 pm

ERCOT = Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

www.powertochoose.org was the state of Texas' idea to allow comparison shopping for electric providers. Dave, the consumer watchdog from the Dallas Morning News, has been exposing them for quite a long time to be a deceptive website.

He has stopped referring to the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) as the PUC. He simply calls it the UC, since they don't care to actually operate in the public's best interest. An official of the PUC refers to the consumer watchdog as a grandstander since Dave is calling bull on the deceptive website's practices.

powertochoose.org is full of deceptive information, gotcha fees, and all kinds of nasty expenses hiding in the voluminous fine print of their agreements.
You have to be a contracts lawyer to plow through all the legalese. How about just a simple statement of KWH price, and 1 or 2 fees?

If the state actually chose to make the website more transparent, so that you could make easy apples to apples comparisons for prices and fees, that would beome a highly useful site for electricity consumers.

Prior to deregulation, Lewisville, Texas residents had no options. All electric service was provided by Texas New Mexico Power and their rates were very high. Then they changed their name to FCP (First Choice Power). I was still a long time user of FCP, since for a while their rates were OK, but then they raised my KWH rates to the moon. When I wised up and went with a cheaper TXU plan, all of a sudden FCP started calling me to switch back. No thanks you robbers!

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Re: Electricity Providers

#10

Post by philip964 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:53 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:24 pm
ERCOT = Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

www.powertochoose.org was the state of Texas' idea to allow comparison shopping for electric providers. Dave, the consumer watchdog from the Dallas Morning News, has been exposing them for quite a long time to be a deceptive website.

He has stopped referring to the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) as the PUC. He simply calls it the UC, since they don't care to actually operate in the public's best interest. An official of the PUC refers to the consumer watchdog as a grandstander since Dave is calling bull on the deceptive website's practices.

powertochoose.org is full of deceptive information, gotcha fees, and all kinds of nasty expenses hiding in the voluminous fine print of their agreements.
You have to be a contracts lawyer to plow through all the legalese. How about just a simple statement of KWH price, and 1 or 2 fees?

If the state actually chose to make the website more transparent, so that you could make easy apples to apples comparisons for prices and fees, that would beome a highly useful site for electricity consumers.

Prior to deregulation, Lewisville, Texas residents had no options. All electric service was provided by Texas New Mexico Power and their rates were very high. Then they changed their name to FCP (First Choice Power). I was still a long time user of FCP, since for a while their rates were OK, but then they raised my KWH rates to the moon. When I wised up and went with a cheaper TXU plan, all of a sudden FCP started calling me to switch back. No thanks you robbers!

SIA
I was tired of my high bills three or four years ago and with natural gas prices so low, I thought I should be paying less. I hear maybe on the radio about this state of Texas website you mentioned above.

I went there and looked at all the plans, seemed like I had to have auto draft from my checking account and sign a one two or three year contract to get a rate much lower than I was paying. I decided at the time to just stay where I was.

Early on then the market was deregulated many people switched to too good to be true companies who then went belly up with horrendous problems for their customers. So again I was very wary of changing.

Every month I get the letter from TXU trying to lure me to them with a $500 gift card. But I have always figured there is no free lunch and they would get it back.

I’m still wary, we will see how this works out during the summer. My bills were previously $750 a month last Summer. So if I’m saving all the rest of the year and pay equal or just a little higher during the summer, we could be talking new gun money.


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Re: Electricity Providers

#11

Post by FrogFan » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:36 pm

I've always found that powertochoose.org provides accurate information about electric rates. It's the rates themselves that are complicated. They tend to be piecewise linear in usage. In other words, fundamentally, the amount you pay per kwh depends on how many kwhs you use, and, depending on the plan, when you use them; i.e., days, weekends, evenings, etc. It would be very simple if all the electricity providers were compelled to offer you the same price per kwh regardless of how much you use, but they aren't, so they don't. I'm reminded of the old Braniff Airlines ads where Wilfred Brimley would remind us that "every seat on the plane has the same low fare". We all know what happened to Braniff. They went bankrupt, because, among other things, it's not possible to make money in the airline business by offering every seat for the same fare. It strikes me that something similar happens in the electric power business, but the drivers are probably different.

Anyway, powertochoose.org provides you with a cost per kwh for three different usage levels: 500, 1000, and 2000 kwhs. If your usage is equal to any of those, then you know what you'll pay per kwh. If it's not, then you don't. It would be nice if powertochoose provided a tool that allowed you to calculate rates per kwh for any usage level for any provider, but it's easy to see, I think, why that would be impractical. The site does, however, provide you with the details you need to calculate that rate yourself. I've done it in the context of an Excel (actual an OpenOffice Calc) spreadsheet. When it's time for me to choose a electric power plan, I gather my past usage per month from SmartMeter and apply the rates offered on powertochoose as modeled in my spreadsheet to those rates. I now have average usage per month going back more than five years, so I can forecast my usage each month pretty accurately. It's then straightforward to choose the best plan for me, given my usage. I've never been surprised by a bill being different from what I expected.

Except for the wintertime, I use a lot of power, close to 5000 kwhs for a couple months in the summer. I have a pool and a 20-year old two-story house which is not as well insulated as modern houses are. The best plan for me is very different from that of a neighbor who uses far less power.

I wouldn't want the government to go back and legislate rates, and that's, in effect, what would happen if providers were compelled to offer power for the same price per kwh, regardless of usage. In light of this, I don't know how powertochoose.org could be made any simpler to use. Of course, YMMV.

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Re: Electricity Providers

#12

Post by PBR » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:43 pm

I have used powertochoose for few years now but I never signed up through their site, just used it to compare prices. I have always went to the companies main page or called them and signed up. My problem is I'm right on the in between areas. Half the year I use below 2k and other half of the year above 2k so the price changes based on that. I try to find the medium happy price. Right now with Constellation and have few more months before it's up. Other problem is once contract is up you never get that same low price hardly ever so usually switch to another company for a year then back. Been switching from Frontier to Constellation last couple times. Think it shows my rate at 8.2 right now on average.
Last edited by PBR on Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#13

Post by rtschl » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:50 pm

joe817 wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:09 pm
PBratton wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:23 pm
chamberc wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:27 am
www.energyogre.com

We've got 3 AC's and a pool and it makes a huge difference.
I second this one.
Me too. My provider is TXU, and my plan is indexed to natural gas prices. I'm currently paying 13.4 cents/kwh.That's an all inclusive price including tax, and Oncor delivery charge(of $22.32) I think now is a good time to switch providers before the weather turns hot.

Me too on Energyogre.com - I switched last year and twice now they have found cheaper companies. The power to choose site has become so cluttered and not clear - especially if the company you are looking at has minimum or max usage and rates change on those. It's worth it to me to have someone else do it for me.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#14

Post by SQLGeek » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:56 pm

Power to choose has become a little onerous to use because companies are gaming it to make them look the cheapest at 1000 kWh a month but they may be very expensive at 999 or 1,001.

I've been hearing good things about Griddy so I was going to give them a look when my contract expires. Energy Ogre looks interesting too though from what you all have been saying here.
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Re: Electricity Providers

#15

Post by DanD » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:50 pm

I use http://www.texaspowerguide.com, which may be similar to Energy Ogre and is free unless you would like to make a donation.

You enter your zip code and current power usage and it analyzes to find the best plan.

The big benefit of this plan calculator is when you input your power usage by month. Just go back through your previous bills to gather your monthly power usage and put it into the plan calculator. A lot of the power plans have a gimmick of a low rate if your usage is exactly 1 kWh or 2 kWh.

One recent change to the plan calculator is a password was added. The password is given in the text below the calculator.

They also offer free rate monitoring. They analyze new rates everyday automatically contact you if you can save even if you have to pay a cancellation fee.
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