FAQ about Energy Choice Experts

Photo by abluecup/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by abluecup/iStock / Getty Images

Why does Energy Choice Experts (ECE) recommend I switch suppliers every year?

Rates posted by suppliers on Power To Choose are introductory rates and do not apply to renewal offers. You will need to switch each year to obtain the lowest rate offered. 

Other pricing services claim to be free, so why does ECE charge a fee?

Other services claim to be "free," but most take a fee from retail electric providers for enrolling people in their plans. Therefore, their recommendations are biased.  Energy Choice Experts is truly independent and will never take a fee from any provider for recommending its plan.

How much does Energy Choice Experts charge?

Our fee is $35 for first-time customers, and $30 for repeat customers.  That's it - no other fees.

What is ECE Lowest Annual Price Guarantee?

We are confident that we will find the Lowest Annual Cost plan for each customer and will refund our fee if a customer finds a plan that has a lower annual cost than the lowest annual cost plan we identify using our model. We welcome customers to provide a link to the Electricity Facts Label (EFL) of the 12 month plan that they think has the lowest annual cost when placing an order with ECE. We will calculate the annual cost of that plan based upon a customer's last 12 months of usage and compare it to the lowest annual cost plans we identify. If the annual cost of the plan provided by the customer is lower, we will gladly refund our fee and congratulate them.

Why does ECE offer its analysis service only for 12 month term contracts?

Twelve month offers average out any seasonal price differences (ie - summer vs winter).  If your contract renews at the beginning of the summer, you will not find a lower cost short term option because prices are highest in the summer in Texas.  Second, our opinion is that the average consumer does not want to make multiple switches in a year, which may involve changing automatic billing info and dealing with a new bill.

Why does ECE need 12 months of historical usage?

Power To Choose and other services only give you a rate that is based on an average usage amount.  Electric providers have learned how to make their rates look cheaper for these averages, but may vary considerably if your usage is slightly over or under the exact average value.  Your usage in Texas can be very high in the summer and very low in the winter.  The only certain way to know you are paying the least for electricity is to look at 12 months of history and calculate your annual cost.  ECE's model will take care of this for you and provide you with your 3 overall lowest annual cost plans and 3 lowest 100% renewable plans.

How does ECE protect my payment information?

ECE uses Stripe to process payments.  Stripe exceeds the most stringent industry standards for security.  For more information about Stripe security details click here.

How does ECE's service compare to residential aggregation (group discount) programs?

Residential aggregation programs negotiate volume discounts for a large group of customers.  Depending on usage profiles, these rates may or may not be beneficial.  For example they may help a high usage customer vs low usage customer, or vice versa.  Your lowest cost is still best determined by using your actual usage and running through the ECE model.  One Big Switch is an aggregator who moved into the Dallas/Fort Worth area in December 2015.  ECE ran an analysis for a prospective customer and showed annual savings of $165 using ECE's model versus the rates provided by One Big Switch.

 

faq about the electric market

What is electric deregulation?

Deregulation allows for open competition in the market and separates the electric supply from electric delivery. Retail electric providers are now allowed to compete for your electric supply.

Does it cost anything to switch Texas electricity providers?

No, it does not cost anything to switch Texas electricity providers if you currently have the power turned on in your name and you select a standard switch. If you switch providers more than 14 days prior to contract expiration, though, you will incur an early termination charge.

If I switch Texas electricity providers, when will my new service start?

A standard switch usually occurs within one to two weeks. A priority move-in switch may result in additional TDSP charges on your first bill from your new Texas electricity provider.

Do I need to notify my current Texas electricity provider if I choose to switch companies?

No, you do not need to notify your current Texas electricity provider that you are making a switch. Your current provider will be notified that a request for a change of service has been made.

What is the difference between a variable electric rate and a fixed electric rate?

Variable rates can vary from month to month depending on different variables in the energy market. A fixed rate will remain constant for the life of the term, but it can change based on changes in law, transmission and distribution service provider charges, or regulatory charges that are allowed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. ECE will always choose a fixed rate plan for you.

If my retail electric provider goes out of business, will my service be cut off?

No, you will never lose power due to a provider going out of business.  In some cases, another provider will assume the customers affected.  In other cases, such as when a provider goes out of business suddenly without notice, you are automatically switched to the Provider of Last Resort (POLR).  If this occurs, contact ECE again to find your lowest annual cost option.

Who do I contact if I have questions concerning my electricity bill?

Always contact your Texas electricity provider directly about billing inquiries.  You will find billing and/or customer service contact information on your monthly statement.

In the event of a power outage, is there an impact to my power restoration time based on who my supplier is?

No, TDUs are responsible for power restoration in their respective service areas and cannot discriminate between customers of any specific supplier.

Whom do I contact if my electricity goes out?

In the event you experience a power outage, you will need to contact the appropriate TDU for your service area. Below is a list of service providers based on your location, along with their contact information:

24-hour Power Outage Contact Numbers

CenterPoint (Houston Area)
1-800-332-7143
To view the current outage map: Click Here

ONCOR Delivery Company (Dallas, Fort Worth Service Area) 
1-888-313-4747
To view the current outage map: Click Here

AEP Central (CPL Service Area) 
1-866-223-8508
To view the current outage map AND report an outage using their website: Click Here

Texas-New Mexico Power Company (TNMP Service Area) 
1-888-866-7456
To view the current outage map AND report an outage using their website: Click Here

AEP North Texas (WTU Service Area) 
1-866-223-8508
To view the current outage map AND report an outage using their website: Click Here

Sharyland (Mission/McAllen) 
1-956-668-9551
To view the current outage map: Click Here

Sharyland (Brady, Celeste, Colorado City, and Stanton) 
1-800-442-8688
To view the current outage map: Click Here