Who proposed to deregulate electricity? Ken Lay and Enron. How has that worked out fer ya?
After a week of attempting to find the best electricity provider I finally selected one, but it wasn’t as easy as “shopping around” or visiting the Power To Choose website. Here is what I found:
- PowerToChoose.org website lacks the PowertoCompare. It does not have the ability to truly compare prices which would include penalties for conserving energy, monthly fees, credit check fees, fees for auto deduction, or application fees.
- Hidden fees. Many, if not all, providers will charge you a fee of $9 – $20.00 if you conserve energy and use less than 1000 kWh in a month. Last year I had only 4 months over 1000.
- Not so hidden fees. Some providers simply charge a monthly fee ranging from $9 to $15.
- No PowertoCompare. The PowertoChoose There is no capability to truly compare rates. My poorly crafted spreadsheet accepted the cost per kWh, the monthly fee, and the penalty and calculated a cost per month based upon last years usage and the average cost per kWh. (I’ll blog the results later)
- Other plans. The Power to Choose does not have all the plans available. I was able to select a plan when I found the company had other lower cost plans available.
- Auto deductions. Some providers will also charge you a fee, about $12, if you are not enrolled in an auto deduction program.
- Reversed hidden fees. I found a couple of providers out of the hundreds available, that actually charges less per kWh if you are below 1000 kWh. This blew my spreadsheet, so I need to research this a little more.
Centerpoint energy actually has a website (mytruecost.com) that can compare prices based upon your usage over the years if you have an electronic meter. Unfortunately not all the electricity providers participate. There’s always a catch.