What You Need To Know About The TXU Free Nights Plan

txu2TXU was the first major electric provider in Texas to offer time of day pricing to the public with their introduction of the TXU Free Nights program in Texas.  The plan was an immediate hit with consumers.  The company later created a Free Weekends plan under the banner of TXU Energy Right Time Pricing.  By the summer of 2013 the company had enrolled nearly 100,000 customers in free electricity plans.

TXU’s latest time-of-day pricing plan is TXU Energy Free Mornings and Evenings.  Under this plan customers get free electricity from 7 to 10a.m and 7 to 10p.m.  The idea with the Free Mornings and Evenings plan and its predecessor, Free Nights program is to shift consumption away from the 3pm to 7pm window that sees the most stress put on the state’s electric grid.

Other providers have since introduced similar plans.  They all attempt to address a major challenge that the Texas electric grid deals with. Capacity within a grid must be sufficient to cover peak demand periods.  In Texas, peak demand is typically during the heat of the day when air-conditioners in homes and businesses are at maximum usage.  Other times, particularly at night, most of that power generation capacity sits unused. This is why wholesale electricity prices plummet at night.  Anything that spreads electricity usage out more reduces strain on the grid.

How much does the plan charge for electricity during peak hours?

During the non-free hours, as defined by the plan, there is a charge of 14.8 cents per kWh* if you live in the ONCOR service area which includes most of Dallas / Fort Worth and other parts of the state.

Predicting what your actual all-in rate will be can be tricky since much depends on not only how much electricity you use but what times of day you use it.

TXU EFL 6.2015

As a guideline, TXU’s Electricity Fact Label (EFL) dated June 3rd 2015 establishes an average price per kWh of 13.9 cents.  This number makes the assumption that you use a total of 2,000 kWh hours and that 27.7 percentage of that usage falls within the morning and evening hours of free electricity as defined by the plan.  Of course, your results may vary.  If you can shift more of your usage into the morning and evening hours, you could lower your effective rate.  With a greater percentage of usage during the non-free hours would result in a higher effective rate.

Is this plan right for you?

TXU’s time-of-day plans are best suited for consumers who don’t use a lot of their electricity during hours of peak demand or consumers who are willing to change their habits by shifting power intensive activities such as laundry and dishwashing to the hours designated in the plan as free.

Some recommendations TXU makes for getting the most out of the plan’s free hours:

  • Using timers to control the start time of major appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers
  • Making use of programmable thermostats
  • Charging portable devices during free hours
  • Running pool pumps during free hours

TXU also offers tools using your smart meter to help you analyze your electricity usage and identify ways to lower your electric bill by shifting some of your usage to the free electricity times of day.

* Note: The rates mentioned in this piece are as of June 4th 2015.

 

 

18 thoughts on “What You Need To Know About The TXU Free Nights Plan

  1. TXU are so smart asses!!! Just pick the company with the cheapest rate. It doesn’t matter what company it is. They just administer your account, but Oncor is the one that actually delivers the electricity!!!

  2. We just got our first bill under the free nights program and we would have saved $100 even with the increase in per kilowatt rate. What they don’t tell you is there is
    Something called a TDC cost that in regular plans get rolled into the regular rate. The bundling disappears in the new plan, so they add it to your bill. Ours was $120 added to our bill. False advertising! You do not save money!

    • Jason-

      Thanks for posting! We keep hearing more and more horror stories about TXU’s Free Nights Plan. It’s amazing they are still running the program. Please spread your words of caution!

  3. WITH TXU I ALWAYS PAID MY BILL WITH NO INTERUPTIONS FOR THE LAST 15 MONTHS ,I PAID THIS PAST MONTH ON THE DAY OF WHEN IT WAS DUE ,THE CHECK BY PHONE WAS GIVEN TO THEM BEFORE THE END OF THAT LAST DAY .BUT AS IT DIDNT COME OUT OF MY ACCOUNT TIL NEXT DAY ,NOW THEY WANT A $400 DEPOSITE ..

  4. Eddie-

    Thanks for posting about your bad experience with TXU. It looks like you’re a victim of yet another trick by TXU to squeeze more money from you.

    You might take a look at Trieagle for better rates and no deposit. Actually, just about every electric company has better rates than TXU!

    Good luck!

  5. It will benefit a small sliver of society financially, that being people that get home late at night and are not around during the day. Some people close to this schedule will push more usage to late at night to save a few dollars. The plus side of this plan being voluntary peak load-shedding. The negative side being that if you sign up for the plan, but don’t take advantage of it, you’ll get yourself into trouble.

  6. Signed up last on 06/28/2013. I received my disclosures one week later. They failed to disclose I had to have over 2000 KWs in order to get the 14.4 rate and free nights. Under 2000 KW’s and there is an account fee of $9.95. The total per KW’s is 18.9. The whole thing is gimmick.

  7. Well, I only use air conditioning and heat at night so this would be a saver! My electric bills in the summer are around 60 bucks.

    • That’s what I was thinking when I signed up for the free nights. That I would save big on AC costs. However my first bill was well over 100 dollars more on this plan. Part of my bill says my average charge per KW is 14 but they were actually charging me 19 per KW. Guess I missed that little detail of the plan, quickly switched back to my old plan.

  8. Moved here from OK over 5 years ago and just picked a company because I didn’t know about the difference. TXU was the first company I chose. The first year or 2 my bills were high but I thought that was just the difference from OK to TX. Then when I got out my contract my bills went down so I just left it as is. But in the last 8 months my bills doubled. So I callled to cancel but ended up getting the free nights plan. My bill has been averaging for the months at $170 for the Summer. Just got my first bill on the free night and it was $158 !!!.. so I just saved $20 !!!! Needless to say I just changed to Just Energy ( Amigo ) for .09 per kwh…. We had to all most live like hermits to even save that much which was crazy !!! Maybe if my boyfriend didn’t work from home it would not have been so bad but geesh…. Again I’ll say TX has no sales tax but they will get you somewhere else….. UGGGGHHHHHHH TXU needs to kick rocks and get it together and it seems they are only staying in business de to loyal customers or older people who don’t like change…

  9. I must of been a dummy to be thinking that this was a deal, man did I get the screws big time. I have been with TXU for better than 12 years. I switched to this night plan, and being on average billing all these years I was paying around 170-200 a month. I just got my last month bill for Nov. 2013 and my bill is 298.00. What a rip off I was suckered into. I will attempt to call TXU and see if they are willing to change my contract or I will be switching to someone else.

  10. I have been with TXU for more than 6 years and I have 2 accounts with them. Within the last months I have been so dissapointed in TXU. They don’t want to work with you and I just had to pay a $170.00 deposit and they would not work with me and I have been a loyal customer for more than 6 years!! I’m ready to move to a new electric company.

  11. Same old TXU, I was a loyal customer until 12 years ago, then during a move they tried to screw me over. After several hours of bad customer phone support I dumped them and swore never to use them again. Then I hear hear about the “night and weekends” , “deal” and think, ” hmm maybe the finally changed their tune”. So I do a little digging and find this thread, lol wow I guess a leopard can’t change it’s spots after all, and saved myself the hassle of dealing with them.

  12. All of your stories are scary. I have never had an issue with Txu. I have the free nights plan and it’s perfect. I was well informed of all I was getting myself into. I chose the plan because I was told, if used properly and fit your lifestyle it’s great. My roommate works 3 jobs so is barely home. I work full time and go to school part time so when I’m home I don’t use much electricity. We wait until after 9 (when it’s free) to use the a/c, dishwasher, and do our laundry. We also make sure we wake up early enough to turn off the a/c and other energy guzzlers before 6am (when it’s no longer free). This has been working like a charm and we have not had a bill over $37 in our 2 bedroom apartment. AND ITS AUGUST! I love the free nights plan. Maybe you just have to work the ropes!

  13. I post my last bill (Aug/17/2014-Sep/16/2014) of the TXU free night plan for comparison. I live in a 1br apartment, 600 sqft. I turn on the air condition only in 9pm-6am everyday. The indoor temperature increases on day but is barely over 85. I need to use fan in the afternoon. I cook, vacuum, launder, distill water after 9pm. I think this plan does save me a bit. Now I’m planing to buy some growing lights to grow vegetables during the night!

    TXU Energy Free Nights 12SM
    Base Charge $ 9.95
    Mornings (41 kWh x $0.15100000) $ 6.19
    Evenings (29 kWh x $0.15100000) $ 4.38
    Nights (235 kWh x $0.15100000) $ 35.49
    Nights Discount $ 35.49 CR
    Nights TDU Discount $ 7.80 CR
    Subtotal $ 12.72
    Other Fees and TDU Surcharges
    TDU Delivery Charges $ 15.38
    Gross Receipts Reimb $ 0.55
    Subtotal $ 15.93
    Sales Tax $ 0.29
    Total Current Charges $ 28.94
    Total Amount Due $ 28.94

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