Cooler temperatures may have meant lower electricity costs for some, but it’s still a good idea to watch your bills this winter if you’re on a variable rate electricity plan with another provider.
Competitor rate hikes hidden by lower consumption levels
Even though your electricity consumption may have been down in recent months, you might have received an electricity rate increase without advance warning if you’re on a variable rate plan with another electricity provider. A number of these electricity plans may lead to higher costs because the low introductory rates they offer may not last.
Earlier this year, we saw some Texas electricity providers increasing the rates on their variable rate electricity plans — as much as 200 percent or more — but affected customers may not have noticed these rate hikes due to lower overall consumption.
Examples of variable rate increases* as of August through November 2011 include:
- Up more than 200 percent by the third bill (Flower Mound, Texas).
- Up more than 190 percent by the third bill (Coppell, Texas).
- Up more than 110 percent since signing on (Dallas).
- Up more than 95 percent over seven months – almost double the starting rate (Houston).
- Up more than 80 percent after three consecutive increases (Dallas).
- Up more than 70 percent since signing on (Houston).
We caution Texans to pay attention to when their contract terms end, because some retailers automatically move customers to variable rate electricity plans once their current terms expire.
TXU Energy doesn’t offer any tricky variable rate electricity plans.
Learn more about variable rate electricity plans offered by other electricity providers and why you should avoid them.
Were you surprised by a variable rate electricity price hike from another provider? Tell us about it below or on our Facebook page.