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wild_turkey

Switching electric providers

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We've had Discount Power since moving into our current house. The rate was about $0.08 per kWh, but that was a promo that now expired and it went up to $0.146 per kWh. Obviously that's too high so I want to switch to a different provider. Any tips on doing this?

I can go to a website like www.choosetexaspower.org and compare a bunch of different plans. When I do that, the cheapest is currently 4Change Energy at $0.093 per kWh fixed rate. Is it as simple as choosing the cheapest provider or do I need to pay attention to any other plan specifics?

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Gotta inspect the shit out of the fact label on power to choose and have an idea of your usage. Providers have learned how to game the search engine/filter

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Yeah the only real way to figure out what you're going to be paying is by looking at the Facts Label. I don't know anything about choosetexaspower.org, but the headline rates on powertochoose.org are essentially meaningless.

 

This is what I do because I'm a nerd and I also really, really like saving money. I go back and look at my last 12 months of usage, and get the actual kWh and put them in an Excel. Then I use the tools on PowerToChoose to narrow down the plans some and pick maybe 4 or 5 that look promising. Then, based on the facts label for each of those plans, I figure out what my actual bill would have been for each of the past 12 months with each plan. You have to be really careful on this step because these guys love to go crazy with the math. Then I sum up the whole year's worth and pick whichever one is lowest over the entire year. Then I sign the longest contract I can because I don't like doing this THAT much. I think we're currently on a 36-month. Thirty minutes of my time every 3 years is no big deal.

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17 hours ago, wild_turkey said:

We've had Discount Power since moving into our current house. The rate was about $0.08 per kWh, but that was a promo that now expired and it went up to $0.146 per kWh. Obviously that's too high so I want to switch to a different provider. Any tips on doing this?

I can go to a website like www.choosetexaspower.org and compare a bunch of different plans. When I do that, the cheapest is currently 4Change Energy at $0.093 per kWh fixed rate. Is it as simple as choosing the cheapest provider or do I need to pay attention to any other plan specifics?

You need to pay attention to plan specifics, especially usage. 

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Some companies also try to tack on extra "taxes" and fees that they claim are required.  I've been with cirro for a few years now and they haven't done that.

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I used awesomepowertexas.com last time. You give it "friend" access to your smartmeter data on smartmetertexas.com, it reads your data, and spits out the cheapest plan.

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Griddy and Energy Ogre both charge a $10 monthly fee. Do you guys feel they save you $120/year in charges vs. what you could figure out for yourself?

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I signed up with energy ogre about 5 months ago as my Reliant contract was up.  They switched me to a company I'd never heard of called called OurEnergy.   I've already saved more than $120 over last years bills.  ...Seems like this years has been much hotter (more AC) than last year.

 

Well worth the $10/mo

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17 minutes ago, 0xdeadbeef said:

I signed up with energy ogre about 5 months ago as my Reliant contract was up.  They switched me to a company I'd never heard of called called OurEnergy.   I've already saved more than $120 over last years bills.  ...Seems like this years has been much hotter (more AC) than last year.

 

Well worth the $10/mo

Have they saved you $120 because they are actively switching you between providers as the rates change, or because your previous plan was shitty and they made an easy one time switch to a better one? If it's just a one time upgrade, couldn't you do that yourself using powertochoose.org? 

I went ahead and did the tokamak method of creating a spreadsheet with my previous 12 month's usage. If I compare the top few plans doing that, my total cost for the year would range from $1,426 to $1,445. Any of these plans would be an easy $120+ savings compared to the default plan Discount Power switched me to, but I don't see how a 3rd party service like Energy Ogre could scratch out an extra $120 saving over going this route. Am I missing something here?

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Griddy and Energy Ogre both charge a $10 monthly fee. Do you guys feel they save you $120/year in charges vs. what you could figure out for yourself?


You don’t have to pay $120. You can straight up pay $10 a month until they find you a plan you like and then cancel. Re-up when your contract comes up. You can keep paying the monthly fee if you want to keep switching plans as they find new ones for you but imo that’s not necessary.

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1 hour ago, wild_turkey said:

but I don't see how a 3rd party service like Energy Ogre could scratch out an extra $120 saving over going this route. Am I missing something here?

As for Energy Ogre, I can mow my own grass (or a bunch of other tasks), but I don't.

As for Giddy, it's a straight pass though of wholesale rates in 15 minute increments. If your REP is earning more than $120/year from your account, Griddy is better. If your REP is losing money providing you power, Griddy is more expensive.

Also, PowerTo Choose is a beating since so many of the plans are highly engineered to show cheap prices at the 500, 1000, and 2000 kwh breakpoints, but fuck you if you don't hit those exact numbers, which never happens. 

Rate Grinder will do the Energy Ogre work for you for free. They just ask for a $10 donation. Put your usage history into Rate Grinder and report back to tell us if your spreadsheet kicked out the best plan. 

Bernard

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As for Giddy, it's a straight pass though of wholesale rates in 15 minute increments. If your REP is earning more than $120/year from your account, Griddy is better. If your REP is losing money providing you power, Griddy is more expensive.


I doubt that there’s a single REP that buys 100% of their power at spot prices.

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I used texaspowerguide.com to switch just this month. Definitely recommend it. Every time I try to use Energy Ogre, it tells me I'm already getting the best rate and they can't help me. The power guide really spells out how much you're going to spend each month based on what you've previously used. You can take any of the plans it shows in the grid and let you compare the details. It also recommended that I go with a 6 month plan to save a little more. So I'll look to switch again in February. 

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On 8/22/2018 at 6:56 AM, luke duke said:

I doubt that there’s a single REP that buys 100% of their power at spot prices.

Good point.

Bernard

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1 hour ago, mdmost said:

I used texaspowerguide.com to switch just this month. Definitely recommend it. Every time I try to use Energy Ogre, it tells me I'm already getting the best rate and they can't help me. The power guide really spells out how much you're going to spend each month based on what you've previously used. You can take any of the plans it shows in the grid and let you compare the details. It also recommended that I go with a 6 month plan to save a little more. So I'll look to switch again in February. 

This. Plus TexasPowerGuide can easily show you how much of premium you'll have to pay to get 100% renewable power if that's your thing. I've had 100% renewable in the past. Then Ogre got me the cheapest. Then Ogre switched me to 100% renewable which also happened to be the cheapest. Then Ogre switched me to away from 100% renewable. At that point I wondered how much more staying green would cost me. With TexasPowerGuide you can see the cheapest overall AND the cheapest 100% renewable and you can decide for yourself if you want to go green. I'm happy to pay a bit more for renewable. How much more? Not sure. Depends on the day.

Bernard

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I too used to spend a little extra for “100% renewable” plans. Then I did some research and learned that they’re mostly greenwashing.
http://www.texaspowerguide.com/2017/green-energy-plans-reality/

I admit I'm not that smart, but I can't make heads or tails of that article. Demand for RECs is too low to have the desired effect so customers who are interested in renewable energy should.....stop demanding them altogether?

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Energy Ogre has saved me 120 in one month vs what we used to get soaked for during the summer.  

 

But really have you ever thought about where you are getting your energy?

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On 8/25/2018 at 8:37 AM, tokamak said:


I admit I'm not that smart, but I can't make heads or tails of that article. Demand for RECs is too low to have the desired effect so customers who are interested in renewable energy should.....stop demanding them altogether?

Basically, yes, because the REC supply hopelessly outstrips the demand by an ever-widening gap (despite REC sales being higher now than ever). That means lots of renewables ARE getting built, which is good. But that's because of the federal Production- and Investment Tax Credits, not RECs. RECs are an inconsequential drop in the bucket.

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On 8/19/2018 at 6:35 PM, bluto said:

Gotta inspect the shit out of the fact label on power to choose and have an idea of your usage. Providers have learned how to game the search engine/filter

This.  All i know is that fees and usage was the key to choosing the right plan.  Going by p/kwh was not.  Look at the plans that don't appear on your search.  

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I switched to variable non contract rate with reliant Bc all the contract ones were shit for my needs, no complaints at all so far (4 mos)

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On 10/25/2018 at 1:21 PM, RollLeft said:

This.  All i know is that fees and usage was the key to choosing the right plan.  Going by p/kwh was not.  Look at the plans that don't appear on your search.  

powertochoose at least has a filter that avoids the fuckery, now.  looking around between all the various tools but my usage history is kinda fucked since i did a lot of bitcoining over the last couple years. 

 

guess  i'll try griddy

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On 2/16/2019 at 11:38 PM, luke duke said:

 


It looks like someone used my link. Thanks. I’m still really happy with Griddy.

 

I just did as well.  Thanks for posting your statements from last year.  Was able to compare to mine, which made it pretty clear I would've saved $10-30 per month using griddy.  Really liked that they handle cancellation/switch over from Reliant.  This is my first ever electricity provider switch, so I don't know if that's normal.

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3 hours ago, Spoosner said:

I just did as well.  Thanks for posting your statements from last year.  Was able to compare to mine, which made it pretty clear I would've saved $10-30 per month using griddy.  Really liked that they handle cancellation/switch over from Reliant.  This is my first ever electricity provider switch, so I don't know if that's normal.

yeah that's normal.  i've switched every time my contract has been up since the providers have all made it into a game. 

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@luke duke, still happy with Griddy?  Have you experienced any issues with price surges that significantly affected your bill?  I was looking at either Griddy or Energy Ogre, but it sounds like doing EO with credit frozen is a pain in the ass.

Edited by Damor

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4 hours ago, Damor said:

@luke duke, still happy with Griddy?  Have you experienced any issues with price surges that significantly affected your bill?  I was looking at either Griddy or Energy Ogre, but it sounds like doing EO with credit frozen is a pain in the ass.

i've been on it since mid february.  price of electricity in houston area is usually  between a penny or 2 over an average day (centerpoint's delivery charge of 5 cents and change is much higher).  i've had a handful of days over that span with the price over 4 cents (so ~10+ cents after delivery).  full month for march was $60 for 653 kWh and april was $54 for 523 kWh. 

summer will be interesting.

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[mention=1044]luke duke[/mention], still happy with Griddy?  Have you experienced any issues with price surges that significantly affected your bill?  I was looking at either Griddy or Energy Ogre, but it sounds like doing EO with credit frozen is a pain in the ass.


I’m still happy. You will get some spikes, but the low periods more than make up for it.

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:06 PM, luke duke said:

From last summer:
186b300adaf6a860baf338f10f5ee8b0.jpg
562177aca336abe7c33d554a4140c2c2.jpg
cac3d90f2f633422b17795879c5aa8e0.jpg
b8b673d7544c07c0ea7480a25c3ead38.jpg

http://ssqt.co/mvdZvPY

I'm in the market for a new provider. Do you have referral code or something?

Edit: nvm, found it.  Interesting system. I was with Bounce previously, but they got bought by Direct energy 2 months ago, and my bills have jumped a lot. We are usually in the 1500-1800 kwh range in the summer, and drop into the 500-900 range in the winter.  Bills are usually 60-90 in the winter, and anywhere from 110-200 in the summer. 

Edited by Dutchrudder

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I'm a griddy customer, and I'm pretty familiar with this industry. 

If you're someone who makes a good living, and doesn't have to spend too much time on a monthly budget, Griddy is a solid choice for you. Long term, you'll probably save money (although everyone should understand that like Energy Ogre, you're basically paying for 13 months of electricity because of their monthly subscription services and this might negate most of your Savings). 

If you're someone who's younger, or who lives on a pretty strict budget, you should stay far, far away from Griddy. If there's a heat wave for a few weeks, or if there's a plant that goes down in the summer or winter and the energy costs on the spot market are extremely high, your usual 100 dollar bill could be more like 300-400. If you can't afford to take that hit in any month, then Griddy is too risky for you, and you should avoid it, imo. Also, their marketing about how much money you're saving is complete bullshit, ignore it. When they talk about your griddy rate versus what the "average Texas customer" is paying, keep in mind that includes all the old people who have been with the same company for 15 years and never checked their rates, or people paying huge month to month or prepaid rates because they can't afford a deposit. It's not a real representative rate for what someone who SHOPS can find on the market. Those plans are pretty much the same you pay with Griddy, the difference is you have no risk of a massive monthly bill hitting you.  

Just my two cents.

 

Edited by SydneyCarton

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I'm pretty familiar with this industry. 



If there's a heat wave for a few weeks, or if there's a plant that goes down in the summer or winter and the energy costs on the spot market are extremely high, your usual 100 dollar bill could be more like 300-400.


These two statements are contradictory.

You seriously think that a plant going down is going to quadruple your bill?

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Definitely possible. If wind production is down because no wind then you see it in Griddy. Overall I like the service and will keep using it.

I have my Nest linked to my Griddy account. When $/kwh goes above X then my thermostat turns off until it goes back below X or temp in house exceed Y. Pretty cool. 

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26 minutes ago, luke duke said:

 

 

 


These two statements are contradictory.

You seriously think that a plant going down is going to quadruple your bill?

 

 

 

Yes, the effects of a plant going down could absolutely triple or quadruple your bill in the right conditions. In 2012, I believe, Texas had something absurd like 80 days over 100 degree heat. During that time it was so hot, with no days of relief, that the amount of energy required to keep the state cool was LITERALLY at the maximum threshold of the ERCOT's maximum generation capacity most days for a month in the afternoons. There were rolling blackouts daily on a regular basis, and C&I plants literally were shut down in spurts so the entire grid could maintain. 

THIS caused the electricity rates on the spot market to shoot through the roof every day, for a month, because electricity companies had hedged too low in their forecasts, meaning they had to go in the real time market to buy electricity to cover the demands/requirements of their customers who they had locked into contracts. A plant going down in similar conditions would also cause the exact same scenario. In fact, a few plants going down because of the Ice Storm that hit texas like 5-6 years ago had a similar effect on the short pricing markets in February. By the way, that summer bankrupted several electricity companies and almost bankrupted several more. 

Griddy buys 100% of all of their energy on the real time market, 100% of the time. There is no Hedging by traders, there is nothing. They just pass the costs on to the customer. So yeah, when they have to buy prices on the market in conditions like that, well, then the customer is 900x the normal rate for a few hours a day. If that happens for multiple days, you've got a real, real problem.

So, uh, no dude. Those statements AREN'T contradictory, I actually AM familiar with the industry, and yes, a plant going down in the right conditions, which isn't that rare in Texas, could triple or quadruple someone's bill if they're using Griddy, depending on how long the problem lasts. If Griddy had existed in 2012, and customers were on it at the time, I'm pretty sure their bills would have been more than 3-400. Probably a thousand. Possibly thousands. I'm not going to fucking bother to do the math. 

 

Edited by SydneyCarton

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7 hours ago, mycox said:

I'm happy with my 0.08400 year round fixed rate with TriEagle Energy. No tricks involved.

That’s a great fucking plan

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:11 PM, mycox said:

I'm happy with my 0.08400 year round fixed rate with TriEagle Energy. No tricks involved.

Tri Eagle was just purchased by the parent company of TXU.  I would keep my eye on my bill.

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I signed a 2 year contract but it is expiring In October. The new rates are .093 for 12 months or .094 for 24 moths. I haven't shopped around much yet, but will be shopping for a fixed rate again.

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13 hours ago, Moby Ric said:

Tri Eagle was just purchased by the parent company of TXU.  I would keep my eye on my bill.

Always keep an eye. But any current locked in rates are good. Its standard operating procedure once a contract expires for an REP to bump the month to month rate way up for a couple bills before the customer gets wind,  regardless of the parent company. Not all, but many, do this.

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