Sure you’ve got the best electric price?

States like Texas and Illinois that have deregulated their electric markets are counting on informed consumers to find their own best prices. However, there are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t work.

Money HouseA little more than a year ago, I was knocking on doors in a Houston neighborhood to survey homeowners about their electric purchasing experiences. One gentleman in particular stands out. He was retired, friendly and very willing to boast about the “best” price his contact had “hooked him up” with. Perhaps too quickly, I asked if he’d share his per kilowatt hour price with me. Hesitantly he let me know that he was paying .14 cents per kilowatt hour. THAT IS ALMOST DOUBLE WHAT HE SHOULD BE PAYING!

Unfortunately where the system breaks down is that consumers are busy and finding the right price is not a straightforward task. Purchasers often just have to rely on trust in what marketers are telling them and sadly those marketers are not always honest.

Energy Simply Offers Commercial Service

Energy Simply has expanded its services to include small business clients who stand to save thousands of dollars in electric costs.

1107_small-business_650x455Building on its successful residential business model, Energy Simply is offering competitive commercial electric advising services for small businesses in Texas. Small business owners, eager to put more money into their business instead of their electric bills, have quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Strong potential clients include retail, office, restaurant, coffee shops, bakeries – any small business that could benefit from cost savings.

Interested parties can sign up for their free consultation by calling 1-844-586-9850, or emailing jordan@energysimp.ly.

Over Three Million Texas Households Aren’t Taking Advantage of Energy Choice

 

You could be one of over three million Texas households not taking advantage of energy choice.

The “incumbent” power companies in Houston and Dallas, Reliant Energy and TXU Energy, have over three million (3,000,000) Texans as customers between the two of them.  Except in some very rare cases, all of these customers could be saving money by taking advantage of energy choice.

If you’re on Reliant Energy’s cheapest variable plan in Houston, you’re currently paying $0.086/kWh at 2,000 kWh/month.  That’s $172/month.  You could be on a fixed rate plan for $0.069/kWh or $138/month.  That’s a savings of $34/month; and that’s just with rough numbers(1).  Choosing a plan specific to YOUR electricity use could save you even more.

If you’re on Reliant Energy’s cheapest variable plan in Dallas, you’re currently paying $0.076/kWh at 2,000 kWh/month.  That’s $152/month.  You could be on a fixed rate plan for $0.038/kWh or $76/month.  That’s a savings of $76/month or CUTTING YOUR ENERGY BILL IN HALF!  And that’s with just rough numbers(2).  Choosing a plan specific to YOUR electricity use could save you even more.

Energy Simply provides a service to our customers for $5/month to monitor the electricity market and keep you in the cheapest (or cheapest 100% renewable) plan for YOUR energy use.  You can sign-up today at https://www.EnergySimp.ly/.  And Energy Simply is 100% customer-focused – only accepting money from our customers and never taking kick-backs from power companies.

If you’re curious, read below to see how we calculated the number of customers who could be taking better advantage of energy:

Analysis

Texas power companies don’t usually publicly report their number of customers, but the staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) suggests an amount of taxes each company is required to pay proportional to their number of customers.  Paul Ring of EnergyChoiceMatters.com has a story with these numbers.  You can easily calculate the approximate number of Texas customers for each power company:

 

Company             Taxes paid          Approximate number of Texas customers

TXU Energy               $22,210         1,670,000 customers

Reliant Energy           $19,770        1,500,000 customers

Ambit Texas               $5,627          425,000 customers

Green Mountain Energy     $4,567              350,000 customers

Stream Energy             $4,203        315,000 customers

Direct Energy             $3,896          300,000 customers

Just Energy               $3,327            250,000 customers

(1) Data is from PowerToChoose.org for Houston zip code 77009 as of Friday, September 25, 2015

(2) Data is from PowerToChoose.org for Dallas zip code as 75206 of Friday, September 25, 2015

Texans Energy creates a new low in market manipulation

Texans Energy, a new power company, has come onto the scene with a seemingly appealing offering that shows up on the first page of Power To Choose offerings.  With Texans Energy, if you use over 999 kWh you get a $65 bill credit.  Seems great right?  There is one big catch though, you don’t get the credit if you use more than 1200 kWh.  You might be scratching your head right now thinking, “what are the chances I’ll be within a 200 kWh range of usage?”  Seems unhelpful right…

Why would they do this?  One reason, to manipulate their ranking on Power To Choose.  As I’ve written about before, Power To Choose ranks plans based on their average kWh cost for 1000 kWh of usage.  That means that even though it’s unlikely that a customer will hit Texans Energy’s narrow range, it’s 100% likely that they will succeed in artificially inflating their ranking on Power To Choose.

What’s next, a $100 credit if you hit exactly 1000 kWh?  That way a company can be assured to be at the top of the rankings while still screwing over it’s customers. Hey Power to Choose! It’s time to change the “rules” so they work for customers and not market manipulators.MiLkAzLgT

Texas Tribune: Companies charge you more when you use less…What’s up with that?

“Toni Harrelson tries to limit her electricity use, she says, because every dollar counts for fixed-income folks like her…The fruits of those efforts? A $9.95 surcharge on most of her electric bills. Dallas-based StarTex Power adds the fee whenever she uses fewer than 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a month.”

What's up with that

Read the whole article here.

There is a law being proposed that would ban this practice. The Texas Power Companies have the gall to be actively lobbying against this! If you’re getting burned by your electricity company we want to hear your story. Get in touch with us through our contact page. And, consider becoming a customer so you’ll know you’re getting the best deal on the market..and no longer have to say…

What's up with that 2

How Much More $$ Does 100% Renewable Energy Cost

By: Rob Dolin, Co-Founder and CTO, Energy Simply LLC

I don’t know anyone who would not choose 100% renewable energy IF it was the same cost as non-renewable energy.

In fact, in the City of Seattle, over 10,000 residents pay between $3/month and $12/month EXTRA to increase the portion of renewable energy in the electricity they purchase from the local utility.  But maybe you’re not in the temperate climate of Seattle and you experience the sweltering summers of Houston, TX or the harsh winters of Chicago, IL; and you don’t want to be faced with a sky high power bill because there was extreme weather and you wanted to do something good for the earth.

Based on our monitoring of the Illinois and Texas power markets, I’m pleased to report that with the help of Energy Simply to keep you in the cheapest (or cheapest 100% renewable) plan, at today’s rates, lighter electricity users can get 100% renewable energy for ZERO premium and heavier energy users pay only 10% – 15% more.

  • Residents of the Chicago, IL area would not spend more for 100% renewable power
  • Residents of the Dallas, TX area would spend only about 12% – 13% more for renewable power
  • Residents of the Houston, TX area would spend 10% – 15% more for 100% renewable power

CHICAGO – In Chicago, the cheapest price on power is currently a 100% renewable plan.

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) $11 or  $0.02 (w/$75 rebate) 0%
1,000 kWh $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) $46.9 or $0.0469 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%
2,000 kWh $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) $118.8 or $0.0594 (w/ $75 rebate) 0%

DALLAS – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $35 or $0.07 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $56 or $0.056 / kWh $63 or $0.063 / kWh $7 / 12.5%
2,000 kWh $108 or $0.054 / kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $14 / 13.0%

HOUSTON – Using the Texas Energy Commission’s Power to Choose website for a quick comparison, we find:

Usage Cheapest Cheapest 100% Renewable Renewable Premium
500 kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $40.50 or $0.081 / kWh $0 / 0%
1,000 kWh $66 or $0.066 / kWh $73 or $0.073 / kWh $7 / 10.6%
2,000 kWh $122 or $0.061 / kWh $140 or $0.07 / kWh $18 / 14.8%

If you want to be in the cheapest 100% renewable (or just cheapest) energy plan, we can help.  Visit www.EnergySimp.ly

Thanks–
–Rob

Rob Dolin is the Co-Founder and CTO of Energy Simply. He has over a dozen years experience in the technology industry including work in the Office, MSN, and Windows divisions of Microsoft Corp. and technical partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Sina Weibo. Rob holds a B.S. in Engineering with Honors from the University of Illinois and a Graduate Certificate in User-Centered Design from the University of Washington.