Electric companies thank their loyal customers by charging them more than their new customers. Yes, you read that correctly. Electric companies offer their best rates to new customers and they prey on their "loyal" customers. Unlike airlines that reward their loyal customers with frequent flier miles and many retail companies that reward their loyal customers with special offers, electric companies make loyal customers pay more.
Further, your current electricity company has the unique knowledge of when your contract expires so they try to lock you into a high rate before you can shop the competition. A recent ECE customer shared an e-mail from his current provider. The e-mail told their customer that they need to act in the next 3 days to lock in a great rate, even though their contract doesn't expire for almost 3 months. The electric companies know that the you can't switch to another provider until 14 days before your contract expires so they want to lock their current customers in early so you don't shop the competition.
So what about the great rate they offer to loyal customers. ECE compared the rate in the retention letter to the rate that the same provider offers on www.powertochoose.org for new customers. The provider is charging local customers 1.1 cents/kWh more. In Texas, the average consumer uses 18,000 kWh/ year so the loyal customer's annual cost is $198 higher.
ECE recommends you change your electricity company every 12 months to always be in a low introductory rate. Electricity companies do not reward their loyal customers, so why would you want to be loyal to them?