Yikes! Time to renew my own electric plan

Energy inflation in Texas always seems to be something that happens to somebody else.  Well, it’s happening to me right now.

 

When I meet with potential new customers, I tell them how Solar CenTex models a conservative 3.78% energy inflation rate in our proposals, but that just last year in Texas, electricity prices inflated 9% and they ought to be aware of that.

 

I’m very careful to say that 9% is not the year on year forecast but with ERCOT having the electric generation challenges it faces over the next decade, I tell those considering solar that when they make that decision to go solar, they’ll be protected against inflation for the decades ahead.

 

Well…my two year contract with TXU is up and the choices I have aren’t very pretty.

 

We’ve been with a TXU plan call Texas Choice 24.  Its base energy charge is 7.9 cents per kwh.  I know that there is the Oncor charge over and above this price (we all do need to pay for the great service that Oncor provides to us – reliable transmission) but for the sake of “apples to apples”, we’ll just talk base charges.  I’ve been satisfied with my plan.  I knew there were better month to month plans but my family knows it paying a fair price for a 2-year contract.

 

 

Imagine my shock when I opened the “Renew now to keep your low rate” letter from TXU.  I knew it would be more than my current rate because I’ve been telling everyone, “you don’t see this inflation on a month to month basis, but you’ll see it when you try to renew.”

 

 

11 cents per kwh...plus the Oncor charge!  Yikes…

 

 

Texas energy inflation during plan renewal
My new plan option from TXU

 

Let me do the math: 7.9 cents to 11 cents is an increase of 3.1 cents per kwh and in terms of percentage, that is an astounding 39%.

 

So I did what I advise future clients all the time – go to “PowerToChoose.org” and make an informed decision.

 

 

I didn’t find any magical “cheap” plans.  I seem to find more month to month plans but I know to be careful as they’re typically indexed to natural gas prices and that’s gone from $1.80 to $4.80 in the last two years and is just one global crisis from exploding further.  

 

I have found some plans that are really beneficial to solar owners and I’ll be choosing one like this in the future.

 

In our area, TXU, Reliant, and Green Mountain are the three retail electric providers that credit you for solar that you feed back to the grid (and everybody feeds solar back on a day to day basis).

 

The first two are offering plans that reward you for being a low energy user.  Their stepped rate structure is going to be ideal for me.  Under a 1,000kwh in a month and the price is 6.8 cents from Reliant (“Reliant Conservation 12”) or 7.2 cents for up to 1,200kwh from TXU (“Smart Start 12”, but I don’t like their doubling of the base charge to $9.95).  That fits my solar household great!  Except for peak winter and peak summer, I use under 1,000 kwh.

 

Electric bill with solar
What an electric bill with a 6.25KW solar array installed Oct '13 looks like

 

What have I learned?

 

That our market-driven Texas energy market is rewarding those that make an investment in the energy efficiency and energy use reduction for their homes.  Texas electric providers are trying to dissuade high electric users and nothing changes energy behavior like crazy high prices.

 

And nothing makes an investment in solar more worthwhile than the opportunity to get 6.8 cent per kwh electricity.

 

 

Time for even more solar modules on Casa Arey!

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Scot (Wednesday, 18 June 2014 16:22)

    Scot with a follow up...this is really painful. I just signed up for the Smart Start 12 plan because I didn't want to go through a new solar surplus agreement. What was frustrating is that this plan is shown on the Power to Choose website, but when I select it, I'm brought to the TXU site where it doesn't show as an available plan. I called TXU and their first line of help (where in the world I do not know...) said, "no, this is promotional and only available through website." But I say that I've been a faithful, longtime customer of TXU and how dare I not be offered a good plan after being with them for so long. And...this is VERY deceptive as you advertise the rate (I think they call it the "bait and switch") but when one goes to sign up, it is not available. This got me a handover to a supervisor who signed me up for Smart Start 12: 7.2 cents per kwh for first 1,200 kwh. Just what the solar-powered Casa Arey needs. I can only imagine how many older customers get sucked into crazy-high plans because they assume the rep is honest and forthright.

  • #2

    best essay writer (Friday, 28 July 2017 06:59)

    Picking the best, most aggressive power rate, is something each power customer should mull over when agreeing to accept an arrangement. Numerous ranges inside the United States are vitality deregulated, which implies that there are a fantastic number of choices to browse. There is never again a one size fits all arrangement.