Debunking Myths in the Texas Electricity Market

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Around 90% of the Texas electricity market has a competitive structure. This means that the market offers consumers a range of plans and the potential for significant savings on their electricity bills. However, certain myths and misconceptions exist, confusing and often leading consumers to make wrong decisions. 

In this blog, we'll debunk some of the most common myths, empowering you to navigate the market more effectively and make better choices.

Myth: You’re probably already in a competitive plan that’s better than the plans currently offered.

Many Texans believe they are already in the best possible electricity plan, assuming that their current plan is competitive with the newest offers. This is often not the case.

Oftentimes, consumers incorrectly think they’re paying significantly less than they actually are. This is due to confusion regarding the difference between a plan's “energy rate” and “effective rate.” 

  • Energy Rate: The average cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) that the consumer pays each billing cycle for the amount of electricity they use. This is only one part of the charges consumers pay on each bill.
  • Effective Rate: The total average cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) that the consumer pays each billing cycle after all other charges are factored in. These other charges include various fees that all Texas residents are legally required to pay. They are commonly referred to as “delivery charges.” 

A plan may be advertised as having a 9 cents per kWh energy rate but in actuality, after all the delivery charges and taxes are factored in, the effective rate per kWh could be around 14 cents. So, if someone claims that their rate is several cents cheaper than what is currently being offered, they’re probably only quoting the energy rate without factoring in everything else.

New plans and promotions are frequently introduced, offering lower rates or better terms than older plans. To ensure you are getting the best deal, regularly compare your current plan with new offerings. Use tools like Energy Ogre’s Savings Calculator to check the latest rates available. You might be surprised to find better options than what you currently have.

Myth: You cannot break your current electricity contract.

Contrary to popular belief, breaking your current electricity contract is not impossible. Every Texan has the legal right to end their electricity contract. But you will most likely be required to pay an early termination fee (ETF).

Before switching your electricity provider, calculate the potential savings and compare them to your current plan’s ETF. In many cases, the long-term benefits of switching outweigh the immediate cost of the termination fee.

For example, it will benefit to switch from a plan with a $150 ETF to enter a plan that will save you $15 more a month over the next 12 months.

Myth: You’re already with the “best” provider.

The notion that there is a single “best” electricity provider is wrong. Many consumers believe that if they’re with a large electricity provider, that their power will be turned on quicker in the event of an outage. 

In reality, the electricity provider has no say in who gets their electricity turned back on first. That is determined by your TDSP or “delivery company.” CenterPoint is the TDSP for most of the Houston area and ONCOR is for most of the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The actual best provider for you depends on your specific needs, usage patterns, and preferences. Providers offer a range of plans with different rates, contract lengths, and features. What might be the best provider for one person could be the worst for another.

To identify the best provider for you, assess your electricity usage, consider any additional services or benefits offered by providers, and compare different plans. Customer reviews and ratings can also provide insights into provider reliability and customer service.

Myth: You’ll benefit from being loyal to one provider for years.

Loyalty to one electricity provider is often viewed as a way to secure better rates and service. It is important to know that providers do not typically reward loyalty with lower rates

In fact, staying with one provider for too long can result in paying higher rates as your initial promotional rate expires. Low rates are advertised to reel customers in and rates are often increased with every renewal contract.

By switching providers periodically, you can take advantage of introductory rates and other promotions that are often better than what long-term customers receive.

Myth: Long-term contracts are better, allowing you to save more money.

Long-term contracts (over 12 months long) can provide price stability, but they are not always the best option for saving money. While locking in a rate for a longer period can protect you from market volatility, it can also prevent you from taking advantage of lower rates if prices drop.

Evaluate the current market trends and consider your own risk tolerance. In some cases, shorter-term contracts might offer more flexibility and potential savings, especially if you are willing to monitor the market and switch plans as needed.

Myth: Energy Ogre is an electricity provider.

Energy Ogre is often mistaken for an electricity provider, but it is actually a service that helps consumers find the best electricity plan. Energy Ogre analyzes your electricity usage and compares it against available plans to recommend the most cost-effective option. We handle the switching process and continuously monitor the market to ensure you remain at the best rate.

By understanding that Energy Ogre is a facilitator rather than a provider, you can better utilize our services to navigate the complex electricity market and secure the best deals.

For a more detailed description on how Energy Ogre can save you money, click the button below!

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Navigating the Texas electricity market can be daunting, but by debunking these myths, you can make more informed decisions and potentially save a significant amount on your electricity bills. Stay proactive, regularly compare plans, and don't be afraid to switch providers to ensure you are always getting the best possible deal!

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