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What You Need to Know About The TXU Free Pass Plan

TXU is the company that popularized Free Nights and other time of day electricity plans in Texas.  Now the electric company that brought you Free Nights and Solar Days has introduced a plan called the TXU Energy Free Pass 12 Plan.

How does the TXU Free Pass Plan work?

The plan is fairly simple.  For each billing period, TXU takes your 7 highest electricity usage days and subtracts those days from your bill.  For those days you are charged a 0¢/kWh energy charge and the typical pass through fees associated with Oncor or your local distribution utility are waived.

What is the KWh charge on the TXU Free Pass plan?

The electricity rate for the days you do pay for is very high.  In the Oncor service area which includes, Dallas and Fort Worth, the energy charge is 16.6¢/kWh.  In addition to that, you will pay the Oncor passthrough fee of 3.135¢/kWh.  This brings the total electricity rate to 19.7¢/kWh for the days you pay for.

If you used exactly the same amount of electricity every day of a 30 day billing cycle, your 7 free days would account for 23.3% of your total electricity usage.

TXU publishes an average electricity rate of 14.5¢/kWh for 1000 kWh of usage in the Oncor delivery area.  To arrive at this number, they assume that 33.1% of your electricity usage occurs during your 7 free days.

electricity rate for TXU Free Pass Plan

Every household is different. Its hard to predict exactly what your final average electricity rate would be.

The table below shows TXU’s published 1000 kWh average electricity rate for each delivery area including the 7 free days.  It also includes the energy charge plus TDU pass through charge for the non-free days of the plan.


TXU Free Pass Electricity Rates

City (TDU) 1000 kWh Average Rate Non-Free Day Rate
Dallas (Oncor) 14.5¢/kWh 19.7¢/kWh
Houston (Centerpoint)15.5¢/kWh 20.7¢/kWh
Lewisville (TNMP) 15.5¢/kWh 20.4¢/kWh
Abiliene (AEPN) 14.9¢/kWh 19.4¢/kWh
Victoria (AEPC)15.5¢/kWh 20.2¢/kWh

Is the TXU Free Pass plan a good deal?

TXU’s other time of use plans also have high base rates.  The challenge for consumers is to shift their electricity usage habits to take advantage of the free periods.  With Free nights or mornings plans, consumers can change when they do their laundry or wash their dishes.  They can change their pool timers or do other things to plan their daily electricity-intensive chores at the right time.

It’s a little more difficult, however, to shift electricity usage to specific days of the month.  Summer is approaching in Texas which means A/Cs are about to be running all day every day.  You can’t just shove all of your air conditioning into 7 days of the month.

For most consumers, this plan would act somewhat like a free weekends plan.  If you work during the week, you should be adjusting your thermostat to use less electricity to cool your home during the days when you are working.  On the weekend, when you are more likely to be home, you probably want to keep the thermostat at a more comfortable temperature.  You’re also more likely to do energy intensive household chores like laundry during the weekend.  This adds together to make the weekends likely your highest electricity usage days.

What else do I need to know about the Free Pass plan?

  • The plan comes with a 12 month contract commitment
  • The cancelation fee is $150
  • It has a base charge of $9.95 per month plus a pass through base charge from your TDU of between $3.42 and $10.53 depending on where you live.
  • The plan has a renewable energy content of 6%

Filed under: TXU Free Pass Plan Review

What Factors Make Up Your Electricity Price? | Infographic

The amount of power used by your household influences your electric bill. The time in which you use energy could also be a significant factor in your electricity price. For instance, the peak hours for electricity demand are highest in the afternoon and the early evening. During these peak hours, wholesale electricity prices are usually higher. Supply and demand affect the cost of how electric power gets to your home.  Some electricity plans charge different rates at different times of the day because of this.

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The Factors that Influence the Price of Electricity

Electricity supply costs vary minute by minute and are calculated per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Fuels: High demand for electricity can increase demand for fuels, including natural gas. Higher demand results in higher costs to generate electricity.

Power Plants: The cost of constructing, maintaining and operating power plants influences the price of electricity.

Transmission and Distribution: Maintenance is a factor in the price. Costs also include repairs from damage caused by accidents or extreme weather conditions.  The expense of generating electricity is only a small part of electricity expenses.  Much of the cost associated with supplying electricity to consumers is in the cost of transmitting the electricity from the power plant to the end user.  This includes maintenance and upkeep on powerlines and relay stations along the way.  These costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity rates.

Weather conditions: Rain and snow provide beneficial amounts of water for generating low-cost hydropower. Favorable wind speeds provide low-cost electricity generated by wind turbines. Extreme weather conditions can raise prices. The cost of electricity is usually highest in the summer when demand is high for cooling.

Regulations: Where you live has an influence on what you pay for electricity. Some states have fully regulated prices. Others have a combination of both. Many states have deregulated energy markets, including Texas, California and New York.

Pro Tips On How to Cut Down on Your Electricity Bill

If possible, try to do all your laundry, dishwashing and other power-intensive tasks during off-peak hours. Tip: Some electric companies charge more for power used during the day rather than at night.

Pick the Right Provider: Do some research and discover a provider that offers time-of-day pricing. This format encourages electricity conservation and can help reduce peak demand. You can also choose a provider that utilizes green energy.

Lower Your Thermostat: During the summer, adjust your thermostat to 80 degrees, and when you’re not at home, adjust to 62 degrees in the winter.

Turn off Ceiling Fans and Lights: When you circulate the air in your home, it can make you feel more comfortable. However, if you’re not home, turn them off. The same thing applies to lights. If you don’t need them on, turn them off.

Unplug: Unplug fixtures or switch off the power strips when they’re not in use. When you unplug unused devices, you can reduce what is called “vampire energy.”

Replace Old Appliances: Older appliances are less likely to employ energy efficiency technology. Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers. You can even upgrade to an ENERGY STAR®-certified television.

Visit www.VaultElectricity.com for more information on how to choose the right electrical service provider.

How Electricity Companies With No Deposit Are Helping Power Texas

Light Companies with No Deposit

No credit? Bad credit? Are you going through a tough financial time? Life throws us many curve balls when you least expect it. If you’re moving to a new place in Texas, you’re going to want to have your electricity turned on as soon as possible. However, what about the fees and the credit check?

The good news is that most of the state of Texas is a deregulated market, so they’re competing for your business. Deregulation benefits you because they want to get your business and stay ahead of the competition. Electricity companies with no deposit required are readily available for you to choose.

Vault Electricity can help you find the best light companies with no deposit required! Imagine having the power of knowing how much electricity you’re using and how much money you’ve spent at the exact moment. Light companies with no deposit allow you to make payments on your schedule, as many times as you want. When you select electricity companies with no deposit, you can make several payments throughout the month, which for some families is a much better prospect. Sounds great, right?

Benefits of choosing light companies with no deposit include:

  • No credit check required. If you’ve already got a low credit score, why lower it even more?
  • No deposit required (of course!). Prepay for your electricity daily, weekly or monthly.
  • No long-term contracts or obligations to sign.
  • No more late fees or hidden charges.
  • No need to use your ID or Social Security number.
  • You can receive alerts and notices via text messages and emails.

No Deposit Electric Companies in Texas

Researching the best no deposit electric companies in Texas can be an arduous task. At Vault Electricity, you can compare the best residential plans right on our site – in real time. We take the guesswork out of finding a reputable electrical service provider. We work with the top electric companies in Texas so you can find the best plans and rates (note that rates vary by city).

Many of the electricity companies with no deposit require a smart meter, which collects your usage and secures the transfer of information in real-time. Smart meters are a great way to encourage you to think about how and when you use electricity so you can better manage your energy costs.

Are light companies with no deposit cheaper? No. Usually, a no deposit plan costs more than finding a package with a long-term fixed rate. However, you have a right to choose your plan, and if deciding when to pay works best for your situation, go for it. Vault Electricity is here to help. Call us at 855-564-1181 for more information on the

How Dallas Homeowners Reduce Electric Bills with Energy Saving Tips

Homeowners in Dallas can keep their home comfortable all year long, and keep the utility bill low by employing some simple energy saving tips. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average household spends an average of about $112 month on energy bills. When you know how to save money on Dallas electric bills, you’ll be able to build up your savings. Are you ready to remedy your Dallas electric bill blues? Read up on our energy saving tips below to help you save money on your home’s monthly electricity bill.

How to Save Money on Electric Bills in Dallas

No matter where you live, reducing energy waste results in energy savings. Here are some energy saving tips Dallas homeowners can act on all year long.

  • We recommend asking for a professional energy audit to assess how much energy your home uses. Many times an audit is free, and if you follow the recommendations of the energy auditor, you could reduce your monthly electric bill statements by up to 30%.
  • Use only as much light as you need. A great way to do this is to install dimmer switches. Dimmer switches are a great way to set the mood, too.
  • Did you know that keeping your freezer and refrigerator full can save you money? Food acts as insulation, so it holds the amount of time a fridge needs to run to stay cool down to a minimum.
  • Ceiling fans are ideal for circulating the air inside your home. We like to install them in almost every room in the house to reduce the strain on the air conditioner.
  • Speaking of the air conditioner, keep a yearly maintenance schedule. With routine maintenance, your HVAC system can run efficiently. Annual maintenance is great. However, you’ll also want to replace the filter every 30 days. Clean air filters mean you’ll have cleaner air in your home.
  • When it’s sunny and hot outside, close the blinds and curtains, and you can cut down on your air conditioner use. You also may want to consider installing tinted window film, kind of like what you have in your automobile.
  • Upgrade the appliances in your home to Energy Star® rated models. Are the machines in your home more than 10 years old? Replace them with newer ones that use much less energy.
  • Plant more trees around your house. When you plant more trees, it’s not just good for the environment. Strategically placed shade trees can cool your home during those warm summer months. Consider deciduous trees that drop their leaves in winter to let the sunshine into your home. Beautiful trees can also increase your property value.
  • Replace incandescent lighting in your home with LEDs. LED lights bulbs use up to 90% less energy!
  • Many electric service providers offer off-peak rates. Wash your clothes and run the dishwasher during off-peak times (a.k.a. before 12 PM and after 6 PM). Take advantage of these rates and save.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat to run less or to turn off when you’re at work and when you’re asleep.
  • When it’s cold inside your home, put an extra blanket on the bed and get cozy. Added blankets can warm you up in the winter and may have you pulling the thermostat back another couple degrees.

Reduce Dallas Electric Bills

Besides practicing energy saving tips, another one of the best ways to lower your bill is to switch energy providers. At Vault Electricity, you can compare the electricity rates of dozens of the top residential electricity suppliers in real-time. Our up-to-the-minute rates can show you how to save money on Dallas electric bills, and reduce your monthly electric bill. Homeowners in Dallas can choose a 100% renewable energy plan with incredible rates. You’ll also find a wide variety of providers offering bill credits and various term lengths. You can lock in an incredible rate for years or go with a variable rate. Plus, since Dallas is in a deregulated market, homeowners, as well as renters, can switch providers at any time.

How to Choose the Best Residential Electricity Company for Your Family

Get smart about choosing the best residential electricity company. For most families, saving money is a top priority. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest things to accomplish. There are groceries to buy, school supplies and clothes, medical bills and a host of unexpected expenses that come at the wrong time. The good news is that when it comes to selecting electricity providers, you’re in the driver’s seat. You can choose which way you want to go, and steer your way to the lowest electricity prices.

Thanks to energy deregulation in Texas, consumers can select the right plan. Being able to choose how you purchase electricity is an advantage for families. Vault Electricity displays real-time electricity prices so you can compare rates in your area.

It’s a good idea to search by the lowest rate and by reputation. Since Vault Electricity works with dozens of the top electricity providers in Texas, we do the hard work for you. We only work with reputable companies, so you can rest assured that our list of the best residential electricity providers are working to gain your business. When you compare electricity rates and plans, shopping for the cheapest electricity supplier in your area is a breeze. The market is continuously changing, so you can switch electricity providers every year if you wanted to. Plus, when you make a switch, you won’t lose any power.

The Best Residential Electricity Prices

How do electricity providers display their energy costs? The answer is by kilowatt-hours (kWh). For instance, if you’re paying a rate of 8 cents per kWh instead of 12 cents, you could save $100 or more on your monthly electric bill. Of course, the electricity prices can fluctuate week after week. This is why it pays to know what your contract terms are. You can find electricity providers that offer fixed rates or variable rates.

For many families, the electric bill is one of the most significant monthly expenses aside from rent or mortgage costs. Locking in a fixed rate means that you will pay the same per kWh for as long as your contract term length. This could be the best route to take for families that like to plan and budget. The only factor that should affect your monthly bill is how much electricity the family consumes, which is wise to start practicing some energy-saving strategies. Take note that if you decide to end the contract early, you may have to pay some fees.

The best residential electricity providers may also offer variable rate plans, with electricity prices based on market conditions. Uncertainty is not favorable for families, so if you’re not good about monitoring rates regularly, you might feel a little sticker shock come bill time.

Compare the Best Residential Electricity Plans

Are you ready to save money? Lower your monthly energy bill with a plan from Texas’ top electricity providers. Vault Electricity displays up-to-the-minute rates so that you can compare electricity plans. We offer our customers a wide range of reputable electric companies. Browse and find the cheapest electricity supplier to green renewable energy plans suited for eco-conscious families. Our plan details are easy to understand and read. We’ll show you any fees attached, what’s required, contract length and electricity prices by kWh. Finding electricity providers in your area is simple. Enter your zip code and compare electricity plans! Best of all, once you find a plan, you can enroll on our site.

What to Do If Your Power Goes Out

We’ve been experiencing extreme weather events lately, including an onslaught of storms that have been knocking out electrical power. Winter can be an especially hard time to deal with a power outage, especially if your home relies on electrical power for heat.

When the power has unexpectedly gone out, there’s no need to panic. You can do a lot of things to prepare, and keep your family safe and warm during and after a winter power outage.

Preparing before a power outage

The weather is unpredictable. You need a good energy plan. You also need to be prepared so that you can keep your home from turning into a freezer during an electrical power outage. The good news is that you can do something about it right now.

  • Buy some flashlights, invest in a battery-operated radio and make sure that you’ve got plenty of batteries. Another handy device you’ll want is a 3-in-1 hand crank radio, flashlight and phone charger. Store these items in a place that’s easy to get to and be sure to check them periodically.
  • Stock up on bottled water.
  • Insulate your home before the cold season arrives. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows can prevent freezing drafts from entering.
  • Power outages can be lengthy. It’s a good idea to have other heating equipment, such as a wood-burning stove. Be sure to have plenty of firewood and fuel on hand and have it located in a well-ventilated space. It’s also a smart idea to have a wood chimney cleaned and inspected before winter. The warmest room in the house is where your family will want to gather and weather the storm.
  • Invest in some candles and stock up on matchbooks so that you can still have light. Since you’re going to want to stay warm, move all your activities to one room. It doesn’t hurt to have a deck of cards on hand so you and your family can pass the time and stay entertained.

What to do during a power outage

Okay, so the lights are out, and you’ve got everyone at home. Now it’s time to keep them safe. You’re prepared and ready to weather the winter storm and ride out the electrical power outage like a team of champs.

  • Conserve the heat inside your home. An excellent technique to keep the heat from escaping is to roll up a towel and place it at the base of the door. You’ll also want to gather up some blankets and hang them over the door for an added layer of protection from the cold.
  • Did you just go grocery shopping? Don’t worry, the food in your refrigerator can stay cold and is safe to eat for up to 4 hours. Frozen food can last for 24 and up to 48 hours (depending on how densely packed the freezer is).
  • If you have a portable gas generator, never run it inside the garage, house or in an enclosed area.
  • Remember all that firewood you gathered? It’s time to fire up the fireplace! Try not to use all the firewood too quickly — conserve wood by burning it in intervals, and let the room cool between fires.
  • Turn off computers, TV and other electronics to avoid a power surge once the electrical power returns. You’ll want to leave at least one light on — that way, you’ll know that the power is back on. Once your electricity is up and running again, make turning off unused electrical devices a part of your energy plan routine.
  • There’s no doubt that a winter power outage can be stressful. For seniors, the stress level is higher and can even be deadly. Make sure any elderly or disabled person is dressed warm, covered up well or kept near the fire.
  • If you have a tent, consider putting it up inside your home (if you have enough space). A tent adds another layer to protect you from the cold air. Plus, depending on how many loved ones you have around, being in a tent makes it easier to capture body heat and stay warm.

What to do after a power outage

Harsh weather can do more than create a loss of electrical power in your neighborhood. Heavy winds and downpours can cause significant damage. For this reason, you’ll want to be extra cautious if you need to venture outdoors.

  • If possible, wait until the day to go outside. You’ll want to assess the damage before you go too far. A harsh winter storm can knock down electrical wires, and you may not be able to spot them. It’s best to assume a downed line is live, which is highly dangerous.
  • Be a good neighbor and check in to make sure they’re safe.

You’ll feel a lot better knowing how to keep your family safe and warm when the harsh, unpredictable weather arrives. Plus, knowing how to conserve heat can also be an essential part of your winter energy plan so that you can lower your winter energy bill.

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