The Reliant Energy First Month Free Plan sounds like a great deal. After all, we all love free. But, as with all Texas electricity plans, in order to know if it is really a good deal for you a little math is required. (Ok, actually, a lot of math is required).
Here is what you need to know about Reliant’s First Month Free plan.
- The free month of electricity applies to both Reliant’s energy charge as well as TDSP (also called TDU) charges. Electricity bills in Texas are comprised of several components; including an energy charge from the provider as well as pass through charges from your TDU (Transportation Distribution Utility). The TDU is responsible for maintaining poles and wires and delivering electricity to your address. TDU fees are the same regardless of the electricity provider you choose or the plan you choose.
- The plan comes with a free google home mini. This is a $49 value according to Reliant.
- The average rate on this plan is higher than other plans offered by Reliant. That, in itself, is not necessarily a deal breaker. That’s where the math comes in.
Electricity Providers in Texas quote rates for their plans based on 3 standard usage levels. They are:
- 500 kWh – a typical average usage for an apartment in Texas
- 1000 kWh – a typical average usage for a small house in Texas
- 2000 kWh – a typical average usage for a large house in Texas
For this example, we will assume an average usage rate of 2,000 kHw per month. However, in Texas, electricity usage by month can vary greatly. The table below shows about what your monthly usage would be for each month if your overall average usage is 2,000 kWh. This is important because some months of free electricity are more valuable than other months.
A little more math gives us the actual bill amount for each month. Below are the charges for the plan in the Oncor delivery area as of 3/1/2018 which is the most recent version as of this writing. Oncor is the TDU that covers the Dallas and Fort Worth area as well as some other parts of Texas.
When these charges are applied to the kWh hours for each month you come up with the following monthly bills.
For this analysis we assume the best case scenario which is August as the free month. When all is said and done, for the 12 month term of the plan, you end up with an average rate of 11.9¢ per kWh over the life of the plan. Plus, you get the $49 google Home mini. As of the time of this writing you can sign up for the Reliant Secure Advantage 12 Plan on vaultelectricity.com for the same 11.9¢ per kWh. (Note: Electricity rates update frequently. For up to the minute rates in your area enter your zip code at the top of this page.)