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Texas Electricity Rates

October 2018 Texas Electricity Rate Update

Texas electricity rates have ticked up slightly in October after falling in September following a summer spike in electricity rates.  The average 12 month rate for new electricity plans available in Texas sets at 10.7¢/kWh.  This is up slightly from the 10.6¢/kWh rate in September.

For the Houston area specifically, the average rate is currently 10.8¢/kWh, up slightly from 10.7¢/kWh.  In the Oncor service area which includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, and other cities, the average went up to 9.9¢/kWh from 9.6¢/kWh.

For the second straight month however, there are deals to be found by opting for shorter length plans.  The Fantastic Fixed 6 plan from Bounce Energy was already among the cheapest electricity plans available before getting an even lower rate in October.  This 6 month plan is a priced at 8.7¢/kWh in Houston for the 2,000 kWh usage level.

The Gexa Energy Steady Saver 9 plan is a 9 month plan that is also cheaper than most currently available 12 month plans.  It is available for 8.7¢/kWh in the Oncor deliver area.

The average rate available for apartments (500 kWh usage) across the state in October is 12.1¢/kWh with the best rate being the Bounce Energy Easy Fixed 3 plan in the Dallas area. For large homes (2000 kWh usage) the average across Texas is 9.9¢/kWh

Texas Electricity Rate Guide October 2018

 

Texas Location/Size Average Rate Lowest Rate Cheapest Provider
Houston  Apartment (500 kWh) 11.8¢/kWh 10.9¢/kWh Gexa Energy
Houston  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.3¢/kWh 9.6¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Houston  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 10.1¢/kWh 9.4¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Dallas  Apartment (500 kWh) 10.8¢/kWh 10.0¢/kWh Gexa Energy
Dallas  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 9.6¢/kWh 9.0¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Dallas  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 9.3¢/kWh 8.2¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Lewisville  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.7¢/kWh 12.3¢/kWh Direct Energy
Lewisville  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.1¢/kWh 9.3¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Lewisville  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 9.7¢/kWh 9.0¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Victoria  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.8¢/kWh 12.2¢/kWh Trieagle
Victoria  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.8¢/kWh 9.9¢/kWh 4Change Energy
Victoria  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 10.4¢/kWh 9.7¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Abilene  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.1¢/kWh 11.4¢/kWh Trieagle
Abilene  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.3¢/kWh 9.8¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Abilene  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 10.2¢/kWh 9.9¢/kWh 4Change Energy

****IMPORTANT***

The rates listed here are a snapshot as of 10/8/2018.  To see current rates in your city use our real time electricity rate comparison tool at the top of the page.

Rates listed in table are for 12 month plans.  Rates will be different for longer or shorter duration plans.

 October 2018 Texas Electricity Rate Snapshot

Cheapest Electricity Rates

The cheapest electricity plan currently available in Texas is the Bounce Energy Easy Fixed 3.  This is a 3 month plan.  In Dallas this plan is priced at a rate of 8.2¢/kWh for the 1000 kWh usage level.  This is compared to the cheapest 12 month plan available which is the Smart Value 12 Online plan offered by Cirro energy.

Interestingly, the Easy Fixed 3 is the lowest rate plan across all three of the standard usage levels – 500 kWh, 1000 kWh, and 2000 kWh.  This is unusual as plans are normally crafted to target their best rate for the 1000 or 2000 kWh usage levels.  This plan has no tiers or bill credits.  Aside from the standard pass through charges that are included on all Texas electricity plans, the Easy Fixed 3 plan only includes an additional energy charge and a $4.95 per month base charge.

What is the cheapest electricity provider in my area?

Electricity rates very throughout the state of Texas.  To find a complete list of electricity companies and plans in your area, enter your zip code above.   When you find the plan that is right for you, you can enroll right here online or over the phone.

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September 2018 Texas Electricity Rates Update

Texas electricity rates are on their way down again.  After a summer spike, electricity rates across Texas have fallen.  Utility officials were concerned about having enough electricity to meet peak summer demand.  This resulted in electricity providers increasing the rates on their fixed rate plans in anticipation of higher wholesale electricity prices.

Now that summer is over and the feared power shortages never materialized, Texas electricity rates are back down.  Now is a great time to lock in a great rate if you are not under contract.

For example, Bounce Energy has a 6 month plan for just 8.4¢/kWh in the DFW area (9.2¢ in Houston area).  If you have a larger home, Frontier has a plan targeted for the 2,000 kWh usage rate at just 7.3¢/kWh.

The average electricity rate for a 12 month plan at the 2000 kWh usage rate stands at 9.9¢/kWh for the Houston area.  In the DFW area the average rate is 9.1¢/kWh.  This is down from the peak average in August 2018.  Certain shorter term electricity rate plans have lower rates.

Texas Electricity Rate Guide September 2018

Texas Location/Size Average Rate Lowest Rate Cheapest Provider
Houston  Apartment (500 kWh) 11.7¢/kWh 10.9¢/kWh Gexa Energy
Houston  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.3¢/kWh 9.6¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Houston  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 9.9¢/kWh 8.5¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Dallas  Apartment (500 kWh) 10.6¢/kWh 10.0¢/kWh Gexa Energy
Dallas  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 9.0¢/kWh 6.9¢/kWh Pennywise Power
Dallas  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 9.1¢/kWh 7.3¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Lewisville  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.4¢/kWh 12.1¢/kWh Champion Energy
Lewisville  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.1¢/kWh 9.3¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Lewisville  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 9.5¢/kWh 8.1¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Victoria  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.8¢/kWh 12.0¢/kWh Trieagle Energy
Victoria  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.8¢/kWh 9.9¢/kWh 4Change Energy
Victoria  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 10.3¢/kWh 9.1¢/kWh Frontier Utilities
Abilene  Apartment (500 kWh) 12.2¢/kWh 11.3¢/kWh Trieagle Energy
Abilene  Sm Home (1000 kWh) 10.3¢/kWh 9.8¢/kWh Cirro Energy
Abilene  Lg Home (2000 kWh) 10.0¢/kWh 9.7¢/kWh Direct Energy

 

****IMPORTANT***

The rates listed here are a snapshot as of 9/14/2018.  To see current rates in your city use our real time electricity rate comparison tool at the top of this page.

Rates listed in table are for 12 month plans.  Rates will be different for longer or shorter duration plans.

Texas Electricity Rates - September 2018  

Cheapest Electricity Rates

The lowest rate electricity plans currently include the Bounce Fantastic 6 Plan.  This is a straightforward plan with a simple pricing structure that is unlikely to lead to surprises in your electric bill.

For smaller homes that use around 1,000 kWh per month, the Pennywise Power Wise Buy Conserve Plus 12 plan priced at a very attractive 6.9¢/kWh in the Oncor deliver area that includes Arlington, Grand Prairie and several other Texas cities.

For apartments that use around 500 kWh, the cheapest electricity rate going is the Fantastic Fixed 6 plan at  9.7¢/kWh

What is the cheapest electricity provider in my area?

Electricity rates very throughout the state of Texas.  To find a complete list of electric companies and plans in your area, enter your zip code above.   When you find the plan that is right for you, you can enroll right here online or over the phone.

What you need to know about the Bounce Energy Fantastic Fixed 6 Plan

The Fantastic Fixed 6 plan has long been a popular plan offered by Bounce Energy.  As of the time of this writing, it features one of the cheapest electricity rates available in Texas.  Electricity rates in Texas are quite volatile, however.  Before choosing this or any other plan you should compare electricity rates from providers in your area to find the plan that works best for you.

Electricity Rates for Bounce Energy Fantastic Fixed 6

For the Houston area, the all-in rate for the Fantastic Fixed 6 plan is 9.2¢ per kWh for usage levels of 2,000 kWh per month.  If you live in an apartment you should expect to pay a higher average rate for this plan.  The published rate for the 500 kWh usage level is 10.7¢ per kWh.  This rate will be different if you live in another part of Texas.  To see the current rate for this and other plans in your area, enter your zip code above.

By the standards of electricity plans in Texas, this plan has a simple pricing structure.  The components that go in to the average rate are listed below:

Bounce Energy Charge (per kWh) 4.4¢
Bounce Base Charge $4.95
Flat Pass Through Delivery Charge $5.47
Pass Through Delivery Charge per kWh 4.254¢
Total Average Rate 9.2¢/kWh

*Rates are for Houston area as of 9/27/2018. Use the Vaultelectricity.com real time electricity rate comparison tool to see current rates in your area.

Bounce Energy Fantastic Fixed 6 EFL

The important numbers to note are the 4.4¢ Energy charge and the $4.95 base charge.  These charges are specific to Bounce Energy.  The TDU delivery charges are pass-through charges that you will have to pay regardless of the electricity provider you choose.  Unlike many other plans, Fantastic Fixed 6 Plan has no hidden price bumps based on how much electricity you use (or don’t use).

 

Bounce Energy vs. Other Texas Electricity Providers

Here is how the electricity rate for the Bounce Energy Fantastic Fixed 6 Plan compares to the plans from other Texas electricity providers.

Bounce Energy Rates

Rewards

This plan is eligible for the Bounce Energy Rewards program.

Cancellation Fee

This plan has a cancellation fee of $135

Texas Electricity Rates to Go Up In 2018

****Update Fall 2018****

Good News!

Texas electricity rates are on their way down again.  After a summer spike, electricity rates across Texas have fallen.  Utility officials were concerned about having enough electricity to meet peak summer demand.  This resulted in electricity providers increasing the rates on their fixed rate plans in anticipation of higher wholesale electricity prices.

Now that summer is over and the feared power shortages never materialized, rates are back down.  Now is a great time to lock in a great rate if you are not under contract.

For example, Bounce Energy has a 6 month plan for just 8.4¢/kWh in the DFW area (9.2¢ in Houston area).  If you have a larger home, Frontier has a plan targeted for the 2,000 kWh usage rate at just 7.3¢/kWh.

***Original Story****

Texas electricity rates are expected to go up in 2018 as the state’s electricity grid experiences growing pains.  2018 will see the closing of a number of coal fueled power plants.  Coal has been giving way to cheaper electricity fuel sources for a number of years.

The growth in wind power and natural gas fueled power will offset the loss in coal over time but for the summer of 2018, expected record demand for electricity will converge with power plant closures to put a squeeze on wholesale electricity rates.  This, in turn, will cause the retail electricity prices paid by most Texas consumers to increase. The rise in wholesale rates could be particularly dangerous for consumers who have electricity plans that are tied directly to the wholesale price of electricity.

The rise in prices could be felt more in areas like Houston.  Houston electricity rates tend to be higher that rates in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.  Average summer temperatures also tend to be higher in the southern part of the state.

Reserves to fall below comfort level

The state of Texas typically targets a reserve margin of 13.75%.  This means that the available supply of electricity should exceed the projected peak demand for electricity by at least that amount.  This give a cushion for unforeseen spikes in demand or lose of capacity such as could be experienced during a large storm.

The most recent projections by ERCOT put the reserve margin during the summer of 2018 at 9.3%.  This number is expected to climb to 11.7% by the summer of 2019 as newer power plants come on line.

 

See Also: Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Texas Electricity Grid
See Also: Oncor Proposes Electricity Rate Increase for Many Texans

 

Champion Champ Saver 12 Plan – A Closer Look

The Champion Energy Champ Saver 12 is a very popular plan on Vaultelectricity.com.  The plan not only has a low rate but it has the simplest, most straight forward pricing structure you are likely to find among Texas electricity plans.  This means, unlike many other plans, the customer is likely to realize an average price per kWh (kilowatt hour) very close to the rates Champion publishes at all usage levels.  This is because the plan has no tiers and no credits or fees that kick in at certain usage levels.  The rate at 500 kWh is about the same as the rates for 1,000 kWh and 2,000 kWh.

The pricing of this plan has only 2 components.

  1. Delivery Charge from the TDU
  2. Champion Energy Charges

The first charge is a Pass Through Delivery Charge that all providers charge (although it is not always explicitly listed out in the Electricity Facts Label).  See “What is a TDU?”  below for a more detailed explanation of what a TDU is.  In the Houston area, the Delivery Charge consists of a flat fee per month of $5.47 and an additional 3.8711¢ per kWh.  In other parts of the state these rates are slightly different.

The second part of the pricing is Champion’s per kWh energy charge.  In the Houston area this charge is 5.8¢ per kWh.  (Note: This pricing is as of the time of this writing.  Enter your zip code above to see all plans and up to the minute prices in your area.) This energy charge is the same regardless of how much electricity you use.  This is what sets this plan apart from many other plans which have different energy charges for different levels of usage.  The result is consistent pricing regardless of your usage levels.

Champion Champ Saver 12 EFL

Important:  This example is from 8/6/2018 and is for the Houston area.  Please enter your zip code at the top of the page for current plans and prices in your area.

 

What Will My Actual Bill Be?

Here are some examples of what your bill would be at different usage levels.  All Texas electricity providers list average rates at 3 different usage levels (500 kWh, 1,000 kWh, and 2,000 kWh).  So, we will use those levels for our analysis.

 

What your actual bill would be (Houston Area).

500 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for an apartment in the Houston area.

1000 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for a small house in the Houston area.

2000 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for a large house in the Houston area.

The reason the average price per kWh is different for the different usage levels is because of the $5.47 flat fee pass through Delivery Charge.  That fixed amount effects the average rate more at lower usage levels than the higher usage levels.

The chart below shows how the average rate changes based on how much electricity you actually use.  You can see that at 500 kWh the plan starts off at a fairly good rate but gets progressively cheaper – bottoming out at about 9.9¢/kWh at higher usage levels.

champion ave price chart

What is a TDU?

The Delivery charge is the pass through charge from the TDU (Transmission Distribution Utility). This is the company that actually maintains all the power lines and delivers electricity in your area.  It’s different from the Retail Electricity Provider (REP).  The REP is the electric company that sells you the electricity. In this case Champion Energy is the REP.  In the Houston area the TDU is Centerpoint.  In the Dallas/Fort Worth area the TDU is Oncor.

What else do I need to know?

This plan has a cancelation fee of $150 which is pretty standard for a 12 month contract in Texas.

 

What your actual bill would be (Dallas/Fort Worth Area).

500 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for an apartment in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

 

1000 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for a small house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

2000 kWh – This would be the typical average usage level for a large house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Lower Corporate Taxes Mean Lower Electricity Rates For Texas

Texas electricityThe Texas PUC is pushing the state’s utilities to pass through some of the benefits of the recently passed corporate tax cuts in the form of lower electricity rates.

Retail electricity is deregulated in Texas. However, the transmission and distribution utilities that deliver electricity around the state are still subject to the state’s oversight.

Oncor, the state’s largest distribution utility which covers Dallas, Fort Worth and much of North Texas, has already agreed to pass all of the millions of dollars of expected tax savings along to consumers.  Oncor agreed to pass the savings along to customers as part of a rate review which is a formal process in which the PUC reviews the appropriateness of rates being charged by the utility.  No exact details have been determined with respect to how the savings will be passed along. The rate review was actually completed before the tax reform bill was passed but there was a commitment in principle to passing along the savings.  It’s not yet know exactly how much Oncor will save from the lower corporate tax rates but with a $245 million tax bill in 2017 future saving are likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Several of the state’s other electrical utilities have also agreed to pass along the savings to consumers.  These include Southwestern Electric Power Co., and El Paso Electric.  Centerpoint, which is responsible for delivery to the Houston area, has yet to specifically commit to lowering electricity rates in response to the tax cuts.

TDU fees in Texas appear as a pass thru item on consumer’s electric bills.  They are the same for any consumer within the delivery area regardless of the Retail Electricity Provider serving the address.  Lowering these pass thru fees will lower the effective electricity rate for millions of Texas rate payers.

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Texas Electricity Grid

High winds and significant flooding along the Texas Gulf Coast substantially impacted the Texas electricity grid.  The transmission and distribution infrastructure sustained severe damage in the southern portion of the state as a result of Harvey’s landfall.  10,000 megawatts of electricity was lost to the grid according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

The loss of generation capacity was offset by a large drop in electricity demand across the state.  The loss in demand was a direct result of downed transmission lines.  Leaving hundreds of thousands of Texans without power at times.  The grid also benefited from a drop in temperatures across the state during the period when the loss of capacity was at its greatest.

Many factors associated with the storm combined to reduce electricity output.  Several power plants went offline as a result of flooding that impacted the delivery of fuel supplies to the generator facilities.  These same transportation difficulties kept personnel needed to run the plants from getting to work.

Near the coast where winds exceeded 130 miles per hour, many high voltage transmission lines were taken out of service by the damaging winds.  Further inland in the Houston area, flooding took a larger toll on transmission facilities.  Capacity was also lost due to loss of wind power.  Wind turbines are turned off when wind exceeds 55 mph in order to avoid damaging the equipment.

Power loss along with the failure of a backup generator were to blame for explosions at the Arkema chemical plant.  The plant stored chemicals that become volatile when not cooled to a certain temperature.

Meanwhile, many electricity providers in Texas stepped up to help in relief and rebuilding efforts.  NRG, the parent company of Reliant Energy and several other electric brands in Texas donated one million dollars to organizations including the Red Cross, and the J.J. Watt Houston Flood Relief Fund.   Direct Energy, the parent company of Bounce energy and the Direct Energy retail brand is matching donations up to $25,000 the Red Cross.  TXU Energy is allocating $500,000 to help customers who are unable to pay their electric bills in the wake of Harvey.