How to Compare Electric Rates by Zip Code
Your zip code plays an extremely important role in your life. It will determine which schools your kids can go to, what sports teams they can play on, and the value of your home in some cases. In most of Texas, your zip code also determines which retail electric providers and plans are available to you. There are over 100 REPs in Texas and over 75% of the state has deregulated electricity, giving you the power to choose your own power provider. However, depending on where you live, not all of them are available to you.
Does My Zip Code Affect My Electric Rate?
You might not realize it, but your zip code plays a big role in what your electric rate will be. The zip code numbers themselves don’t mean anything, but the location where you live does. Heavily populated cities and municipalities typically have higher electric rates than rural areas. However, this doesn’t always hold true, and your specific zip code will determine which side of the spending fence you fall on. Contact us to find out which plans are available to you.
How are Electric Rates Determined in My Zip Code?
In general, there are three things that determine the going rate for electricity in your zip code. Keep in mind that rates are constantly subject to change on a monthly basis, but these principles hold true in most cases.
Supply and Demand
Deregulation in Texas effectively turned the electricity market into any other field of industry. Supply and demand play a huge role in goods and services, and electricity is no exception. If you live in a competitive zip code where dozens of REPs are vying for your service, the rates are likely to be slightly lower.
On the other hand, however, heavily-populated areas often go through much more electricity in rural areas, which can sometimes result in an energy shortage. To guard against this, many REPs have moderate to high prices to cover themselves in case they run out of electricity to supply to you.
Who is Your TDU
Your TDU, or Transmission and Distribution Utilities, is the company that delivers electricity to your home or business. They work in conjunction with your REP and own and manage the power lines, electric poles, electric meters, and electrical wiring that takes electricity from point A to point B. Different TDUs charge different rates, which means that your REP will adjust their electricity rates accordingly.
The Time of Year
Certain times of the year also result in higher electricity prices than others. Summer in particular sees an extremely high usage of electricity, which means that the rates will go up during the summer. REPs take this into account beforehand and adjust their prices accordingly.
How to Find the Cheapest Electric Rate in My Zip Code
The average price per kWh of electricity in Texas is right around 11 cents. Depending on which zip code you live in, your rate will be higher or lower. Keep in mind though, that the cheapest rate isn’t always the best rate. The only way to get the whole scope of the story is by digging into each individual plan until you find the one with the least hidden fees, the best starting rate, and the best ending rate.
Unfortunately, not everyone has hours or days for this type of exhaustive research. Contact us at EnerGenie if you’re at your wit’s end and need help finding the best and cheapest electric rate in your zip code.
What Types of Plans are Available in My Zip Code?
While there are literally thousands of individual electric plans in Texas, they all fall into one of several categories. However, not all of these different types of plans are available in all zip codes. If you’re worried that the type of plan you’re looking for isn’t available in your area, EnerGenie will help you find out. If it isn’t, we’ll find you the next best alternative. Here are the most common types of electric plans to choose from in Texas.
- Fixed-rate plans
Fixed-rate plans are the most common and popular types of electric plans. All REPs offer some form of fixed-rate plan, but some are definitely better than others. A fixed-rate plan locks you into the rate listed when you initially sign up and won’t go up or down until the end of your contract.
- Variable-rate plans
Variable-rate plans are much more volatile than fixed-rate ones and are subject to change from month to month. Variable-rate plans are kind of like playing the stock market because your rate could go up or down and either save or cost you money accordingly.
- Prepaid plans
Prepaid plans are where you pay at the beginning of the month for a certain amount of electricity. If you use up your allotted amount, you will have to contact your REP and purchase more.
- Indexed plans
Indexed plans are where you pay for your electricity in tiered amounts. For example, the first 1,000 kWh might cost 15 cents per kWh, but the next 1,000 might only cost 10 cents per kWh. There are several different kinds of indexed plans to be on the lookout for.
What’s the Best Way to Compare Electric Rates by Zip Code?
The best, easiest, and fastest way to compare electric rates in your zip code is by using EnerGenie. All we need to get started is your zip code and some bits of information about your energy usage.
EnerGenie is an electricity concierge service whose only goal is to find your next best electricity plan. No matter what part of the Lonestar state you’re located in, EnerGenie is here to help. We take everything into consideration when choosing your plan. If a company doesn’t have a good reputation or likes to have hidden fees in their plans, our series of algorithms will root them out.
You can rest assured that you’ll have the best possible electricity plan from a reliable company when you choose EnerGenie. We also don’t have deals with any REPs, which means we won’t steer you in a biased direction. Once we have you signed up for your plan, we’ll be constantly monitoring the market in case a better one comes along. You’ll never have to worry about electricity again when you choose your next plan with EnerGenie.
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