A quick break from politics.
A few months ago the Public Utility Commission (PUC) requested comments from consumers on how to improve their website the PowerToChoose.com. The Chairman of the PUC stated in the Texas Tribune article:
Donna Nelson, chairman of the Public Utility Commission, said Thursday at a public meeting. “They’ve [electricity resellers] got all these tricky little things in their prices, and whatever the fact sheets are called – the nutrition label – that makes it really difficult for customers.”
Today the tricky little things continue. For example, look at the rate for Volt Electricity Provider (Volt EP)
Volt EP advertises a plan that charges a fixed rate of 7.7 cents per kWh across the board but the details of the plan is something different. According to the Fact Sheet the rate is a type of “average” I have never seen before. For instance if a homeowner uses 500 kWh the bill is $38.50 (7.7 cents per kWh). But if that same homeowner uses only 250 kWh the bill is the same $38.50. (15.4 cents per kWh) Here is a pic from their fact sheet:
So the true cost of Volt EP really isn’t as easy as kWh X 7.7 cents because it depends upon your real usage for the month. Based upon my usage over the last year my real average would be 9.9 cents per kWh about 30% higher than what is advertised.
Welcome to the Texas deregulation market.
Reliant told me their usage for under 1000 kw was 7.2 cents, over 8.7 (or there about) not true at all, in face very decpetive. The less kw you use at 7.2 the higher the fee to Centerpoint. So you may use $32.00 worth of electricity but add about $54.00 to Centerpoint.These folks should be held accountable for deception.
John, I feel your pain and am trying to do something about this to help Texans beat the electricity companies at their own games. I've deciphered all of the tricks played by the electricity companies, put it in a program, and can plug in someone's historical usage (as a forecast) to calculate the annual cost of all annual plans. The result is the ability to find the plan with the lowest total annual cost – the only want to do a true apples-to-apples comparison of the plans. While a lot of the tricks played by Volt and others can work against someone, there are often times when the tricks can work for someone and they can get below market rates. I've helped people get rates (including all fees and tricks) below 6 cents/kWh. I do ask for a nominal $35 fee to help with costs for my website, but most people get that back in the fist month in savings. I should also mention that I'm not a broker so I don't get any compensation from the electricity companies for the plans that I recommend. My goal is to provide a simple way to help people get the the lowest cost plan for them. Check out my website – http://www.EnergyChoiceExperts.com and let me know what you think.