Criteria for Determining the Best Electric Companies
When selecting the best companies, we take many factors under consideration. Obviously, some factors carry more weight than others. Here are the elements we believe are the most important. They are the first questions we must answer when determining whether or not an electric company meets our standard of excellence.
The financial strength of the electric company is a very important factor. In fact, it’s the first element we take into account when deciding whether or not to allow an electric company to post offers on our site. If the company has a risky survival outlook, we turn them down flat. It is shocking how many electricity companies we have turned down. We are proud of the fact that we have never placed a single person with a company that suddenly shut down.
Customer service is another top determining factor. If the electric company has a history of poor customer service, we do not want to do business with them. Why would we? If our clients are not happy with the electric company they chose on our site, they won’t be happy with us. Because so much of our business is from repeat customers, our customer satisfaction is very important to us.
Ease of Doing Business
Electric companies can differentiate themselves by making it easy for their customers to do business with them. Having a call center that is available in the evenings and on the weekends is a huge benefit for the customers. Being able to pay in numerous ways is always a hit. Having the ability to go paperless is also welcomed. Having access to your account via a phone means you are always in control of your account.
No one likes to get slapped with unnecessary fees. Many of the lower-tiered providers charge for everything under the sun. Why would someone want to do business with a company that “nickels and dimes” them at every turn? VaultElectricity.com believes the only charges a customer in good standing should ever be asked to pay are the standard electricity usage fees that are clearly spelled out at the time of enrollment.
Diversification of Energy Plans
Because there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to electricity plans, quality energy companies need to have multiple plans to choose from. There needs to be plans that are appropriate for different sized homes. After all, a one-bedroom apartments will use much less electricity than a large multi-storied house. So, there should be plans targeted for those expected energy usage levels. There should also be plans with different term lengths, from month-to-month to multiyear. Electric plans offered in Texas have many pricing models including fixed rate plans, flat rate plans, variable rate plans, and indexed plans.
Best Electricity Rates
If the electric company does not have cheap electricity rates, you probably will not find them on the list. After all, you found us because you are looking to save money on your electric bill. There are two exceptions to this, however. Firstly, if they have unique plans or philosophies (such as green energy or philanthropic offerings), we would look past the rate and still potentially list their plans. And secondly, we understand that occasionally the energy companies will need to price themselves out of the marketplace for a short amount of time. We allow for this, as long as it’s not a permanent change.
Retail Electric Provider (REP) Complaint Scorecard
This complaint scorecard is kept by the Texas Public Utilities Commission. REPs are scored into five groupings of approximately equal size based on a 6-month rolling average of complaint rates per 1,000 customers relative to other companies. Significant changes in the complaint score may occur from month to month for smaller REPs based on only a few complaints.
This complaint scorecard should be viewed as only one measure of the customer service provided by REPs. Please note the complaint score is based on a rolling 6-month average of the total number of informal complaints investigated, irrespective of whether or not the company was determined to be at fault or adequately resolved the customer’s complaint. In many cases, the PUC’s informal complaint process adequately addresses the customer complaints with quick resolution by the REP.
PUC Complaint Score
5 – Lowest Complaint Rate
4 – Lower than Average Rate of Complaints
3 – Average Complaint Rate
2 – Higher than Average Rate of Complaints
1 – Highest Complaint Rate
A full list of Customer Complaint Statistics can be found on the Public Utility Commission of Texas website.
On each Retail Electric Provider’s page, we also include reviews from other resources regarding a REP’s customer service such as your local Better Business Bureau.