If you were still a customer of Griddy last week, you know you’ve since been switched by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to another provider. You may also know that several providers in Texas could be experiencing troubles due to increased ERCOT charges and demands.
What you may not know is what you should do now that you’re in or soon could be in an electricity plan that you never signed up for. Your first step is to evaluate your new plan. Things to check include:
- Your new provider. Is it a brand you know? Are you comfortable with it?
- Your new rate: How does it compare to your previous rate? Is it higher? Is it a variable rate?
The good news is that you’re not obligated to stay with this provider – it’s called a provider of last resort (POLR). There’s no early termination fee to switch within the first 60 days. Another piece of good news: Your former provider, even if it has gone out of business, is required to return any unused portion of your deposit to start service. (However, your POLR provider may require you to pay a deposit within 15 days of service. Low-income customers may be eligible for deposit assistance.)
If I do want to switch, what do I need to know?
You’ll need to check plans carefully. Choose Energy can help with that. Just enter your ZIP code on this page to find plans from providers we work with. Price is important, of course, but you’ll need to look at more than that before deciding on a new plan.
Variable rates: If you’ve come from Griddy, you know the potential problems with variable rates. They can change according to market conditions. When the February winter storm struck Texas, customers saw wholesale rates increase dramatically.
Fixed rates: Your electricity supply rates will stay the same throughout the term of the plan. Increases in your bill will be attributable to higher usage or increases in transmission and delivery utility fees or increases in taxes and other local fees.
Gimmicks: On other marketplace sites, you could see gimmicky rates. These have prices that start low but explode after a short introductory period. The ChooseEnergy.com marketplace does not have these types of plans.
Prices: Transparency with our customers means we will admit that prices have increased across the Texas energy market since the February freeze. Prices from our providers are up in some cases by about 2 cents per kilowatt hour. That equates to about $25 a month for the average Texas user.
Plan terms can vary from six months to three years or longer. Longer terms give you greater stability.
We work with the brands you know. Again, that provides greater stability in most cases.
If you’re not familiar with a provider, check out its rating, either in our marketplace (enter your ZIP) or on our providers page.
Get more information about changing providers from our guide to switching.
Arthur directs content strategy for ChooseEnergy.com, taking advantage of more than 20 years of newspaper and magazine experience. His articles have appeared on Zillow.com, Business.com, Nasdaq.com, and USNews.com, among others. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.