By now, you’ve probably seen our campaign around “No Vari-a-BULL” – a company-wide effort to educate Texas consumers on some of the risks and dangers variable rate electricity plans might have and why TXU Energy doesn’t offer them.
What’s The Deal?
We’ve been pushing hard on this topic because we don’t want you be taken for a wild ride. When you sign up on a variable rate plan, you might be getting a super low rate but do you know what the trade-offs are? While it doesn’t happen to everyone, we have seen repeated instances of a consumer signing up for a low rate that more than doubled on a subsequent bill – and ended up paying more than they would have if they chose a competitive rate from a reputable provider. Variable rate plans allow providers to increase your rate at any time and by any amount at their own discretion. Plus, you typically won’t get any advance notice, so you won’t find out until it’s too late.
High Bills vs. High Rates
Granted, this summer was unusually hot and everyone’s electricity bills increased. With daily temperatures hitting triple digits and setting numerous record highs, air conditioners (a/c) worked overtime across Texas. Even if you kept your house at the same temperature, your a/c was working twice as hard to maintain that same temperature and that put a drain on your electricity.
But that’s total electricity usage and you can make some reasonable lifestyle adjustments to offset this type of cost. With variable rate plans, we’re talking about actual rate increases – cost per kilowatt hour used – increasing anywhere from 35% to 105% on some of our competitors’ variable rate plans. And because these providers don’t have to tell you in advance before they raise rates, you might be paying a higher rate and not even know it. Our company believes so strongly in protecting consumers that we’ve made a decision not to offer variable rate plans at all.
Education Is Key
Our goal is to make sure Texas consumers know exactly what a variable rate plan is and remind you to check your base electricity rate often. You should protect yourself by reading the Electricity Facts Label document that comes with every Texas electricity plan. Also take a look at the provider that’s selling these plans to ensure they’re reputable, that they’ll be around when you need them, and that they offer enough other benefits to make it worth any risk of rate hikes.
Help Us Educate Texas
We’ve set up a campaign on our Facebook page, our TXU Energy No Vari-a-BULL Sweepstakes, to provide a forum for consumers to learn more about variable rate plans using simple analogies. We’ve tried to equate it to, say your gas prices going up in the middle of a fueling. Or the menu for your plate of pasta lists $9 and as you spoon the final forkful of spaghetti into your mouth, your server tells you tomato prices have gone up and your meal now costs $20. All with absolutely no advance warning.
You can probably think of a few more to help us get the point across. Submit your analogies or real-life experiences on our Facebook page for a chance to win a Chevy Volt®.
For Official Rules, alternate method of entry, eligibility details, prize description and odds of winning, visit facebook.com/TXUEnergy.