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How Much Does Texas Use in Energy Compared to the Rest of the US?

Do Texans lead the U.S. in energy consumption? According to a 2017 report compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, we do. The Lone Star State has kept this streak going for almost 60 years. If you’re a trivia buff, check this out: about 13 percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. comes from Texas. Makes sense, after all, Texas is the second most populated state, and the second largest by land area. Here’s another staggering statistic to throw around at your next trivia match: the power consumed in Texas is nearly 100 times more than the state of Vermont!

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June 2019 Texas Electricity Rates Update

Electricity rates in Texas typically trend higher as summer approaches.  Summer brings high temperatures and high demand for electricity which typically puts upward pressure on rates.   So far this season, however, electricity rates are continuing their year-long decline.

The average electricity rate available in the Oncor delivery area fell to 7.6¢ per kWh in June for the 1,000 kWh usage level.  This was down from 7.9¢ in the previous month.  In fact, average rates ticked down for all deregulated regions of Texas across all usage levels.

 

Texas Electricity Rate Chart

Texas electricity rates

Gexa energy is still offering 24 month and 36 month electricity plans that are at or below the best rates being offered for 12 month plans.  This represents a good opportunity for homeowners to lock in the current rates for a long time.

Once again, the cheapest rates available for 1000 kWh usage levels are mostly from electric plans offered by 4Change Energy and Gexa Energy.  For those looking for cheap electricity for an apartment, all of the cheapest plans listed currently are from Trieagle.  Trieagle also has competitive rates for larger homes that usage around 2000 kWhs a month.

 

electricity plans in Texas
Average and Best electricity plans in Texas

 

Among the larger electricity brands, TXU is offering generally cheaper rates than Reliant this summer.

 

Concerns About The Summer Electricity Supply in Texas

The continued downward trend in electricity rates in Texas is particularly interesting considering that the state is preparing for what could be a difficult summer for the Texas electricity grid.  Officials are warning that Texas may run short of electricity this summer during peak demand periods.  Look for emergency warnings from ERCOT this summer asking Texans to temporarily curtail their electricity usage during hot days when demand for electricity threatens to exceed the available supply.

 

For a more detailed look, check out our Texas electricity rates page.

 

Map of Electrical Providers in Texas

 

If you’re in a deregulated energy market in Texas, you can choose REPs (Retail Energy Providers). The REP is the company that sells electricity to consumers, and it’s also the name that appears on the bill. Some people confuse the REP with the TDU. However, they’re different from the TDU (Transmission Distribution Utility). TDUs deliver power to everyone within a given region. It’s the TDU that maintains the power lines and responds to outages.

There are seven regions in Texas – the Panhandle, North Texas, East Texas, Central Texas, West Texas, South Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast. Below are some options of retail electrical providers’ plans by region.

North Texas

6.8 million people live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington metro area, with 7.1 million in the North Texas region. The population continues to grow. In fact, up to 7.8 million people are predicted to call the North Texas region home by 2020. The TDU for most of North Texas is Oncor, with the TNMP serving other parts. Residents and businesses can choose between a broad range of plans and providers. If you’re new to the area and have not established any credit, Payless Power offers pre-paid electricity plans, and everyone is approved. TXU is one of the best-known REPs in the area, offering a variety of plans including free nights and 100% renewable energy options. Don’t worry about coming up with a deposit when you choose the right plan from First Choice Power.

East Texas

The region of East Texas represents 8% of Texas’ total population. Beaumont and Tyler are the two most populous cities in this region, and the residents in this region can choose an electrical provider. Oncor is the TDU serving most of East Texas, and the TNMP serves the rest. Residents can sign up for a free 3-day weekend electricity plan from Gexa or find a plan from Cirro Energy offering auto-pay options. If you’re new to the area, consider a plan from Payless Power, where everyone is approved, and you can have same day activation.

Central Texas

Residential and commercial customers in Central Texas cities like Killeen can choose electricity providers. The TDUs that serves the Central Texas area is the TNMP and Oncor. There are a variety of great electricity plans in this area. Businesses can find no term contract plans from Cirro Energy. If you want to make the switch to green energy, check out 100% renewable energy plans from TriEagle. Lock in a low green energy plan with a fixed rate from Direct Energy. With proper usage management, you can receive bill credits from plans offered by 4Change Energy.

Upper Gulf Coast

The region known as the upper gulf coast is where you’ll find Houston, the largest city in Texas. Centerpoint is the TDU for the Houston area. Discover great plans for larger homes to save you money, such as Eco Saver plans from 4Change Energy. If you’ve just moved to the Houston area and have yet to establish credit, consider a no credit check, no deposit plan from Payless Power. If you work from home, you’ll want to look into plans with free mornings and nights from Gexa. When you’re ready to go green, you can make the switch to Green Mountain Energy or go with the Houston-based Champion Energy, among others.

South Texas

The South Texas region has seen a 7-percent increase in population since 2010. The cities of San Antonio and Corpus Christi reside in this region. AEP Central is the TDU for South Texas. San Antonio is exempt from deregulation, but you can find cheap electricity rates and plans in Corpus Christi and other areas in this region. Lock in a great rate with a 24-month fixed electricity plan from First Choice Power. If you want to switch to a renewable energy plan, TriEagle features 100% renewable energy options, and TXU Energy offers green energy plans with free nights. Worried about bad credit? Payless Power provides no credit check electricity.

West Texas

You can find deregulated electricity providers in West Texas cities like Abilene. Oncor, AEP, North and TNMP are the TDUs that serve this region. 4Change Energy offers generous save plans, which are great for larger homes. If you’re planning to move to another place, Direct Energy and TXU Energy offer convenient month-to-month plans, and you can find plans by First Choice Power with no contract required. Gexa Energy wants you to be happy with their services, so they offer a 60-day happiness guarantee.

Panhandle

The Texas panhandle accounts for 1.7% of the state’s population. Most of the panhandle region of Texas has not adopted power to choose electricity.

Vault Electricity makes it easy to compare the best electricity companies in Texas. Find an electricity plan in your region that is best suited to your needs.

 

Benefits of Pay as you Go Electricity Companies

Top Benefits of Pay as you Go Electricity Companies

Pay As You Go Electricity

Life can throw you financial curve balls when you least expect them. Unexpected medical bills, car expenses, job loss and other life events can take their toll on family finances. During these down times, paying your bills can be challenging. After all, companies don’t stop tacking on the fees and interest. Sometimes, when you need financial assistance the most, it’s harder to find. Unfortunately, it’s not just the credit card companies. Some electricity companies work this way too. The thing is, you need to have electricity and gas for your home. There is hope. In Texas, you can find electric service providers offering prepaid or pay as you go electricity. Choosing a pay as you go gas and electric option may be the right choice for your family.

Pay As You Go Energy

Flexible, pay as you go energy plans are attractive to many people. You have the choice to pay monthly, daily or as frequently as you’d like. Plus, there are no high deposits. So what’s next? You find a company that offers pay as you go electricity. Isn’t it great to make your own decision regarding your electricity needs? You have a right to choose, so enjoy the freedom.

If you’re going through a tough financial time, coming up with a deposit may not be so easy. After all, if you’re on a tight budget, you’re not going to sacrifice the things you need to survive, like food and water. Why should you be forced to come up with a hefty deposit to have electricity? Besides the deposit, some electrical providers will have extra fees that you may not notice until the bill arrives. After all, many REPs want to increase their profits. Things like capacity charges, distribution charges and other fees add up. There is another way to avoid paying an expensive deposit and extra costs — you can find a company with no hidden fees and allows you to prepay for your electricity. Since you’re pre-paying the way you want, be it daily, weekly or by the month, you may be able to budget your money better and get yourself out of a tough financial situation.

Many life events are out of our control. They don’t call them accidents for nothing; no one is trying to get hurt and land in the emergency room. During these times, we might max out our credit cards to pay for unexpected medical bills. Sometimes you might have paid your statement a little late, and the business will still report it to a collection agency. Cybercriminal attacks can also harm your credit. A low credit score can make it difficult to find a fair electric service provider, especially if they run a credit check. The good news is that you can find a reputable electric company offering pay as you go gas and electric plans with no credit check required. This way, you don’t have to worry about dropping your credit score even lower due to a credit check.

You don’t need to get punished further because of situations that were out of your control. You can find pay as you go energy plans that don’t require a deposit or run credit checks. Vault Electricity is here to help you find a pay as you go electricity company with all the benefits you’re looking for.

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 You Need To Know About The TXU Free Nights and Solar Days Plan (Updated 2019)

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 Nights and Solar Days plan.  Under this plan customers get free electricity from 8:00p.m to 5:00a.m.  The idea with the Free Nights and Solar Days plan and similar plans offered by TXU and other electric companies is to shift consumption away from the 3pm to 7pm window that sees the most stress put on the state’s electric grid.  This is the most expensive time for electricity providers to procure electricity.

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 TXU charge per kWh during peak hours?

During the non-free hours, as defined by the plan, there is an energy charge of 17.6 cents per kWh* if you live in the ONCOR service area which includes most of Dallas / Fort Worth and other parts of the state.  In addition to this there is a TDU passthrough charge.

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 Free Nights Solar Days EFL

As a guideline, TXU’s Electricity Fact Label (EFL) dated March 31, 2019 establishes an average price per kWh of 14.9 cents.  This number makes the assumption that you use a total of 1,000 kWh hours.  It also makes the assumption that a certain percentage of your usage falls within the “free nights” window as defined by the plan.  Of course, your results may vary.  If you can shift more of your usage into evening or night time hours, you could lower your effective rate.  A greater percentage of usage during the non-free hours would result in a higher effective rate.

Is TXU free nights worth it?

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 March 31 2019.  To see up to the minute electricity rates for this and other plans, enter your zip code above.

What time does free nights start for TXU?

The free portion of the plan covers the hours of 8:00p.m to 5:00a.m.

Where does the solar power come from?

As the name implies, the non-free electricity portion of this plan is based on pricing for solar energy.  That’s a big part of the reason the rate is so high.  By choosing this plan, you are paying a premium to support solar power facilities.  In reality, if you switch to this plan, your power will be coming from the same grid as before.  This grid has electricity from a mix of sources that includes both renewable and non-renewable sources.

Identifying any particular kilowatt of electricity that comes off of the grid as solar would be a little like trying to guess what cows your gallon of milk came from.  The power for this plan is considered solar because TXU purchases solar credits from solar farms to equal the amount of power you use during the day.

See Also: TXU Free Pass 12 Plan

10 Tips to Save Energy During Winter

For many, wintertime is magical. It’s also the coldest season, and you’re going to want to stay as cozy as you can in the comfort of your home. The good news is that you can keep your home snug and warm this winter season. The thing is, when it’s cold outside we like to turn on the heaters and do whatever we can to keep our home comfortable. Keeping the heaters on all day long and into the night is not exactly efficient energy use. However, by applying some simple techniques, you can be a master in how you promote efficient energy use. Below are cost-free and low-cost tips that can help you see energy savings on your electricity bill, even during the coldest winter evenings.

Let the sunlight shine inside.

The sun is the furnace of the world, and it can bring some warmth into a home. You can open the blinds and draw the curtains on south-facing windows and allow the sun to heat your home naturally. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing. You’ll want to remember to close your curtains and blinds at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.

Adjust your thermostat temperature.

You can achieve efficient energy use in the winter by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat. When you’re home, lower it to a comfortable temperature. When you’re asleep or away from home, go ahead and turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours and your energy savings can be about 10% a year.

Bundle up indoors.

Wear your winter wardrobe indoors and get all nice and cozy. Get this. The energy savings add up for every degree you lower your thermostat. So, slip on your fuzzy socks, wrap a scarf around your neck, and put on some ultra-soft PJs. Enjoy lower electricity rates and buy more clothes with the money you save!

Switch the blade rotation on your ceiling fans.

Hot air rises to the top. When you reverse your fan’s blades so that they run in a clockwise rotation, it can help push the warmth down.

Upgrade your windows.

Efficient energy use windows are an excellent investment for your home. Sure, it can be costly to install. However, tightly-sealed windows can reduce heat loss and bring substantial energy savings all year long. Plus, they can be considered an upgrade your home, possibly increasing the value of your home.

Replace your old light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs.

Are you still using incandescent light bulbs in your house? Winter is the perfect time to swap them out for LED or CFL bulbs. With shorter days, you’re going to want to keep the lights on longer. Making the switch to LEDs can lead to substantial energy savings. LED bulbs consume 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs, which can lead to lower electricity rates. If you’re one to put up holiday lights, you’ll want to upgrade to LED bulbs. Look for holiday lights that are ENERGY STAR® certified.

Inspect for drafts.

The cold winter air can seep into your home. It can make its way indoors under doors, around windows and through electrical outlets. When there’s a draft, It takes much longer to warm your home. With the installation of weather-stripping and insulation, you can keep that cold winter air outdoors, where it belongs.

Upgrade to a smarter thermostat.

It’s time to invest in a smarter thermostat. This low-cost upgrade can lead to energy savings. With a programmable thermostat, you can lower electricity rates by up to 12%. It’s also going to be a great benefit during the warm spring and summer months coming right up. Plus, you can adjust your home’s temperatures from a smartphone so that you can come home to a comfortable house.

Lay down a rug or mat.

We love hardwood floors. The thing is, during winter, they can feel downright cold. Purchase a beautiful floor rug, and it can help insulate your floors. Plus, a rug or floor mat can also reduce the noise level. Once the warm weather arrives, you can always remove the rug and put it away until next winter.

Turn off the lights!

This simple technique is one that you should practice all year long. There’s always that one person in the house that likes to leave the lights on. You’ll be amazed at the energy savings you can get by just turning off the lights when you don’t need them. You can always leave post-it notes around the home for the people in your household that have a hard time remembering.

 

Efficient energy use is a goal every household should strive for. The little things add up! Consider applying the tips mentioned above for energy savings throughout the year.