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.

You’re paying too much for electric

It is time you just own up to that fact. You have to pick the plan and you’re not quite sure the Power to Choose website is the best way to do it. Maybe you decided to just pick the one where the really nice guy came to your door and told you it was the best price. Perhaps you picked a plan, but now have just defaulted into whatever variable rate went away after the lower, introductory rate. Maybe you just don’t want to THINK ABOUT IT!

There are solutions out there. There is a growing field of service providers that choose and switch you into different electric plans so you never have to worry about it. There are a couple of things to watch out for however. ogre

  1. Price. Some of those companies (think: Green Man-Eating Giant) simply charge too much. $120 bucks a year? Those prices would turn me into an ogre too.
  2. Truly Independent? There is a cottage industry in brokering between consumers and electric providers. Most of those brokers take a kick back from the electric company so they may not have your best interests at heart.

We were founded with the consumer in mind. We knew there were enough fed up consumers in Texas that we could charge a really fair price ($5 bucks a month) and maintain our 100% loyalty to YOU, the consumer. We’re your ally, we’ve got your back. Now stop paying too much for electric!

Better Business Bureau, Baby

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Today we received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and we’re so proud we want to shout it from the mountain tops. However, since we are not on mountain tops and it is rather late at night, we’ll happily post it to the internet via our blog and social media pages.

According to its website, the “BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.”

Basically they help you, the consumer, know that you’re dealing with a reputable company that delivers on promises. Why does that matter to us? Honestly, because we save people so much money by monitoring and switching their energy supplier that it is a little unbelievable.

If you want to become a believer, sign up at http://www.EnergySimp.ly.

Energy Simply Announces Aggressive New Referral Program

At Energy Simply we love our customers – and it appears they love us! We’ve been growing at a steady clip because our service is all about conveniently saving money – we take care of choosing the best electric plan and switching energy companies for you so you’ll always be in the cheapest or cheapest renewable plan.

chain of peopleThe less obvious part, which we have come to learn, is that the majority of our growth is due to customer referrals! Our customers love us so much they are encouraging their friends and family to sign up with us.  We don’t want to be free-riders on that love, so as a way to say THANK YOU we are offering $10 for every signed up customer referred to us. There’s no limit either, we will pay $10, $50 or $500 – we will be happy to encourage people to spread the word about our company.

Even If you don’t live in Illinois or Texas, you can still go to our referral program page to sign up to refer people you know who do live there. Once they’re signed up, we’ll process payment and put it in the mail. And…Thanks!

FAQ: Sorting all the electric company offers you receive in the mail

Why am I receiving so many electricity offers in the mail? Should I be switching to one of them if they say they’re the cheapest?

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If you live in Texas or Illinois you will receive lots of offers in the mail from electricity companies claiming to be the greenest or the cheapest. That is because Illinois and Texas have opened up the retail electricity market to competition. If you’re one of our customers there’s a good chance you’ll get lots of mail from these companies because they will recognize that you’re shopping the market (or, more accurately, that we are shopping the market for you).

Here’s the thing – a lot of those offers come with pitfalls. Perhaps they are offering a low introductory rate, or perhaps they have a variable rate and they’re counting on you being too busy to pay attention when it skyrockets. Either way, there is no electric company in existence who’s bottom line is your top priority!

We welcome your questions when you receive these offers. After all, our top priority is your bottom line! Our business model is based on saving you the most money on your electric. We are happy to provide free advice on the offers – or, if you just don’t want to worry about it you can sign up for our service and we will take care of it for you. From monitoring the market, to identifying and getting you into the best plan to switching you when we can save you even more – we take the hassle and uncertainty out of buying electricity for your home.

 

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

Seasonal Variance and Personal Variance

How do seasons and personal energy usage impact costs?

Your electricity bill varies significantly by season.  If you live in Texas, you’re likely using relatively little energy during the winter months and likely using lots of energy during the summer months.

We use data below from a randomly selected sample of twenty-five Energy Simply customers from Texas.

SEASONAL VARIANCE: Look at the line in the graph below labeled “TX Average.”  The horizontal line labeled “1” below represents average usage.  Looking at the six months from November to April, electricity usage is well below average; but for the three summer months from June to August, usage is well above average.  If your average usage was around 1,000 kWh, you would want to find the best plan for 750 kWh in the winter months and around 1,500 kWh in the summer months.  Rarely is one plan the best plan at both of these usage levels so you’ll want to be switching plans when the seasons change (or let Energy Simply do this for you.)

Seasonal and Personal variance PNG

PERSONAL VARIANCE: Seasonal variance is a big factor in choosing the best plan for you, but personal variance is also very important.  “TX Customer 1” and “TX Customer 2” represent two customers from the randomly selected sample of 25.  They illustrate the significant variance individuals might have even from the average.  Assuming an average monthly usage of 1,000 kWh for both of these customers, “TX Customer 1” used more than 2,500 kWh in June; more than 2.5x their average.  “TX Customer 2” used about 333 kWh in February and March; about 1/3 of their average.  Most plans that are good deals at 2,500 kWh/month are not so good at 1,000 kWh or 500 kWh; and same for plans that are good deals for 500 kWh/month aren’t often so good for 1,000 kWh/month or 2,000 kWh/month.

If you want to be in the best plans for your personalized usage, you should be changing with the seasons (or letting Energy Simply do this for you.)