Let There Be Lights!

By
Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

Electricity in Texas has been deregulated since 2002. What that means in practical terms is that consumers get to select which electric service provider to use. But what a nightmare!  It's time to wake Energy Ogreup and simplify the process - with Energy Ogre!

The PowerToChoose.org site is supposed to let you easily shop, compare and choose providers. It's "the official and unbiased electric choice website of the Public Utility Commission of Texas." However,  there are about 60PowerToChoose.org companies to choose from, some with mutiple plans; there are 163 plan choices in all. 

You can eliminate some choices by first deciding if you want to see "all plans" or just those with no minimum usage fees. Then you can decide if you want a fixed rate plan, a variable rate plan, or an indexed plan. Next, do you want a prepaid plan or a time of use plan? These choices will help narrow down your options.

I'm just coming off a 12-month plan and attempted to navigate through the Power To Choose site. The price per kWh (kilowatt hour) is shown  with the cost for 500 kWh, 1000 kWh and 2000 kWh. But guess what? Those are the costs only if you use EXACTLY 500, or 1000 or 2000 kWhs. The charges are actually based on pricing curves, so unless you know your usage information, what you sign up for is most likely not how much you will be billed. 

Some plans are only for customers new to that particular provider. Some plans are short-term, or long-term or no contract required. Some have early termination fees. Others have "special terms".  A "fact sheet" and "terms of service" information are provided for each plan.  You can spend hours and hours searching for just the right star alignment, but you're still not guaranteed to come away with what you think you're signing up for.

I stumbled across a video on FaceBook last week for Energy Ogre.  I did some research. I read reviews. I signed up! Energy Ogre uses sophisticated computer programs to search through all the companies and all the Texas plans to find THE best plan for each of their customers. Because my home is very energy efficient (last year I had 7 months with less than 500 kWh of usage, 3 months with usage between 500-1,000 kWh, and just 2 months over 1,000 - but barely over), I didn't want a plan with a $5 or $10/month minimum usage charge. Based on the provider and the plan they found for me, if my usage remains the same over the next 12 months, I'll be saving several hundred dollars, and that's after the Energy Ogre fee of $10/month or $120/year. 

If you're not near the end of your current contract with your energy provider, EO will factor in early termination fees to see if it makes sense to ditch your current plan early. 

This company does not advertise yet. They are growing through word of mouth. If you're in Texas and use electricity, Energy Ogre is worth a look.

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, CPRES, CRS
Addison Resident/Addison Specialist                                                      Subscribe Button
Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate.
United Real Estate
972-416-3417

http://www.AddisonUpdate.com                                                                                                                         

2011 Recipient of Addison Magazine's Readers Choice
Award for Best Residential Real Estate Agent.     

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Ambassador
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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

It would be very nice to have options when it comes to energy sources.  My electric bill for last month was $425.  YIKES

Aug 16, 2016 02:27 AM #1
Ambassador
1,895,205
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

I use that web site Lorrie all the time to compare the competitive rates. Very helpful post.

Aug 16, 2016 02:41 AM #2
Ambassador
2,806,003
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Lorrie - I had no idea that Texas was providing that range of choice for electric utility consumers. Here we have one choice - REA in our case - and that's it.

Aug 16, 2016 03:54 AM #3
Rainmaker
2,895,851
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I can't imagine how having choices of energy providers would work.  I can see there is potential for savings for rate payers however.  But, who owns the power lines?

Aug 16, 2016 11:33 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,075,862
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Everyone should use this site.  I pay 1/4 to 1/3 (depending on the season) of what I was paying with TXU years ago.  I check rates every year.  I generally switch every year to have the most competitive rate.  It's hard for some to understand that TXU is only a billing company.

Aug 19, 2016 05:35 AM #5
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Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

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