The Power to Choose. It ain't that easy.

If you listen to to those who support Ken Lay’s electricity deregulation you might think choosing an electricity plan that’s right for you might be as easy as visiting the Public Utility Commission of Texas website, the PowerToChoose.org. Well it ain’t but go ahead and visit. Using the website, enter a zip code of 77062 and display the fixed rate, 12 month plans. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

The lowest rate displayed is by Discount Power for 7.4 cents a kWh, lower than what we were paying before deregulation, but it isn’t the rate you will pay if you select this plan. Open the Electricity Facts Label. I’ve written about this about a year ago. It wasn’t easy then and it’s harder now.

A year ago I created a spreadsheet to calculate the real rate based upon the kWh used, the penalties, and the monthly fees based upon my usage from last year. This year the tricks and gimmicks broke my spreadsheet. So I had to call Discount to understand their plan.

The rate for this plan is actually 11.64 cents multiplied by the kWh used, minus $45.00 if the usage is over 1000 for that month. Got that? And add the $3.05/month charge for electronic metering. This rate includes the TDSP delivery charges but not the taxes.

After many phone calls I gave in and extended by plan with PennyWise at a calculated rate of about 9.7 cents.  After all someone has to pay the middlemen with the complicated rates.

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