This goes back to the question, “What is a retail energy company?” Remember, this is how you get a competitive rate for your energy supply. By working with retail energy suppliers, you often have options as to how you set up your rate. For example, retail energy suppliers might offer you the choice of either variable or fixed-rate plans. A fixed rate plan would allow you to lock in a single supply rate for energy for the term of your contract; how that would work in your specific circumstance could depend on where you live.
Where should you shop for electricity? Houstonians have the power to choose from an overwhelming variety of energy suppliers, plans, and options. If you live in the Houston metro area and your local electric utility is CenterPoint, over 50 different retail electricity providers currently offer electricity plans in your area. Each of these electricity providers offer sites, tools, and information on how to switch plans and providers. However, their information is often filled with electricity rates that are difficult to compare because of things like introductory rates, bill credits, narrow usage levels, unexpected fees, and legalese buried in the EFLs. Fortunately, Houston homes and businesses have electricity shopping options that make the process much simpler.
Like most of us, you’re probably interested in controlling your household budget. While some of the services in your home such as water, internet, cable television or phone might be pretty straightforward, understanding retail energy might be more complicated. What is a retail energy company anyway? We’re here to help you better understand the difference between an energy supplier and a utility so that you know who provides your services, how they do it, and what the options are for your home within the retail energy market.
Statement regarding savings: How your price compares. This is usually a generic statement that you may or may not be getting a better price than you would from the utility company, also known as the Electric Distribution Company, or EDC. Your local EDC sets a “price to compare” and any competitors’ plan may be lower or higher by several cents a kWh.
According to the EIA, the average American household uses 897 kWh of energy per month. Knowing that number, and how your own home’s usage compares, provides insight into the amount of energy you use per device. Our Energy Estimator will show you why simple changes like programming your thermostat or turning off televisions and computers when not in use will help lower energy costs.
To skirt the late summer electricity rate hikes, a little bit of planning can really pay off. Try to avoid signing new long-term electricity contracts in late summer. While it may be impossible to escape signing a new electricity contract if you’re moving during that time, just know that a short-term plan may make more sense until the rates go back down in the fall. That way you’re not stuck paying a premium rate for an entire year or more.
Knowing how much electricity you use each month is important to finding the cheapest electricity plan. For Houstonians, usage is typically the lowest in the winter and highest in the summer. Your specific usage levels can be determined by simply looking back at previous electric bills and finding the kWh used. To avoid electric bill surprises during the peak summer months, you’ll need to accurately know your peak electricity usage which typically occurs in August.
uSwitch is a free service that handles the switching process for you. Once you've completed your energy switch, your new energy supplier will contact your old supplier and agree a switching date. You will then receive a welcome pack and letter from your new gas & electricity supplier. This will outline what you've agreed to, and tell you what happens next. There won't be any interruption in your gas and electricity supply.
Many homes across the UK have never changed their energy supplier, confining themselves to one provider without first considering their options- many of which may be cheaper. Ofgem, the regulator of the electricity and gas markets in Great Britain, estimated that only 38% of homes have ever changed their energy provider. This means that more than half of British homes have not looked into the huge amount of options available to them on the energy market.
Call the new energy provider if your energy utility can’t make the switch. In some circumstances, you may have to contact the new energy provider yourself. In this case, give them a call and explain that you want to switch providers. Give them your current energy provider information and they will be able to complete the process for the switch.
In terms of renewable sources like solar and wind, weather impacts supply. California’s duck curve[cite] shows the difference between electricity demand and the amount of solar energy available throughout the day. On a sunny day, solar power floods the electricity generation market and then drops during sunless evening, when electricity demand peaks.
Your most effective weapon, however, is a site like ComparePower (Power to Choose) to locate and compare details from various Houston electricity resellers. In one fell swoop, you will efficiently and quickly locate and classify cheap electricity resellers all on one page, instead of wasting your valuable time searching out available companies and visiting their websites one by one (who even does that any more?).