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What is the Power to Choose in Texas?

Power to Choose is a website created by the Texas Public Utility Commission to give Texas residents a list of choices in terms of electric companies. Texas is one of the few states in the U.S. that offers deregulated energy. What this means is that your energy provider isn’t automatically chosen for you.

Over 90% of Texans have the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of different energy companies and choose the one that serves them best. In this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at Power to Choose and whether or not it’s the best way to pick your energy plan.

What is Power to Choose and How Does it Work?

Power to Choose is a website that was started for the sole purpose of making the process of choosing an energy company as easy as possible. Power to Choose started as and has remained a straightforward platform. They allow REPs to post their energy rates, allowing customers to browse the different options for the best plan. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, because of how competitive the energy market became after deregulation, companies started to find ways of abusing Power to Choose. Because of its simplicity, the website doesn’t show hidden rates and fees that power companies have. For example, Power to Choose might display a certain company as having a rate of 5 cents per kWh.

That might be true for the first month of service, but the rate could jump to 15 cents per kWh during the second month. Because companies aren’t required to disclose this information on Power to Choose, customers still have to do the legwork of performing their in-depth research.

How Has Deregulation Affected the Energy Business in Texas?

In 2002, Texas became a deregulated energy state, which means that renters and homeowners have the power to choose their electric companies. In most states, this option isn’t given to residents, and they are placed with whatever company owns the rights in their city or region.

Deregulation set off a world of competition between energy companies who suddenly needed to fight for the best rates and service in the state. No longer did they have guaranteed customers who were forced to work with them. Deregulation effectively turned electricity and power into a competitive market of capitalism and business.

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What are the Disadvantages of Using Power to Choose?

While Power to Choose had excellent intentions when it started, there are shortcomings that it simply can’t or hasn’t overcome.

There is no Power to Choose for Businesses.

Power to Choose offers choices for residential electric plans but not for businesses. If you own a business or commercial property, you’re on your own to find energy rates. Energy rates in Texas are different based on residential versus commercial properties. EnerGenie, on the other hand, displays both residential and business prices. Contact us to find out the best rates for both.

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Power to Choose Doesn’t Show the Whole Picture.

While Power to Choose shows you the current rates, contract type, and contract length, it fails to display the whole picture. Here are some of the things that Power to Choose doesn’t show you

  • The terms of service for different companies. This is important because everyone has their own set of rules and regulations regarding hidden fees and contracts.
  • Some companies offer perks and bonuses/discounts that could impact your decision but aren’t included on Power to Choose’s website
  • Cancellation fees and contract terms are huge factors when choosing your provider. Some companies have cancellation fees in the hundreds, while others don’t have any.
  • There are dozens of other details that might seem small but could mean the world to you. Because Power to Choose doesn’t display this information, you’ll still have to conduct your research.

Power to Choose Doesn’t Monitor for Price Increases.

The website will show you the upfront cost of what you’ll pay for your electricity, but that’s it. Power to Choose doesn’t inform you about price increases in what you’re spending per kWh. They also don’t tell you if your monthly cost will increase after the first year or month of service.

Is Power to Choose Right for Me?

Power to Choose certainly has some benefits and can make choosing a plan easier for some people. Unfortunately, there are simply too many unanswered questions to make an informed decision. One of their biggest pitfalls is that they don’t display price increases built into your contract. For example, Power to Choose will show you that a specific company offers a plan that charges at a rate of 5 cents per kWh.

They don’t show you that the price increases to 10 cents per kWh after the first three months of service. They also don’t show price increases when you go over your allotted amount of kWh per month. That’s where EnerGenie comes into play.

EnerGenie shows you everything that Power to Choose does, plus all the hidden information that they don’t. Contact us to find out how our algorithm works to make the perfect energy choice for you. EnerGenie takes the guesswork and research out of your decision. Our job is to make your life easier and provide much-needed energy savings.

How Does Power to Choose Work?

The way Power to Choose works is simple, and here it is.

Electric companies post their rates.

REPs or Retail Electric Providers post different rates for different plans on Power to Choose’s website. Each company might have up to several hundred different energy plans, which makes filtering through them yourself quite tricky.

Power to Choose filters search results based on a number of factors.

When you go to Power to Choose to select your energy provider, there is a simple algorithm and a series of steps to go through to choose the right provider.

  1. You first enter your zip code to see what companies are servicing your area.
  2. Power to Choose shows you different plans displaying the number of kilowatts per hour that are available and the cost of the kWh.
  3. It also shows you whether the plan is a fixed-rate one or a variable-rate one, as well as the length of the contract.

That’s the extent of the information that Power to Choose shows you. It doesn’t inform you as far as if there are hidden fees, if there are contract stipulations, or if there are cancellation fees. Power to Choose shows you the bare basics, but that’s it.

You choose your plan

Once you have looked through the different plans offered by Power to Choose, you make your choice. It’s up to you to conduct more research or simply go based on the given information.

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