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Chris51

Need help choosing electic provider.

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My contract is up Jan. 1, 2012. I am not familiar with choosing your own provider. I am trying to make sense of the website, Power To Choose, but in general I have never dealt with this system. I did Reliant for the first round, just to get power and now would like some advice on how people generally choose. Is going with big company, ie. Reliant, more reliable, in terms of staying in business, as opposed to some of the newer and smaller companies? I do think I want a locked in rate, I would hate the surprise of a big rate jump. Historically do rates tend to fluctuate that much, is locking in for a year wise, or should I go longer? Lots of questions I know. Thanks in advance.

Chris

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There is generally a premium paid on locking in the rate...but I'm no expert. Try contacting Yolanda Brannen (409-539-6636). I've met her and her husband at a number of professional events, and they've helped me to figure out my situation on energy providers. (As a disclaimer: she represents Ambit Energy, and sold the service pretty hard. I didn't end up with them, but she put me on the right track to research all the options. Gotta respect her for that.)

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I've done this a ton of times so I'll make it easy. Go to power to choose, in your search criteria select a fixed rate for 12 months. Then sort by price ascending and pick a company that has a good website (I.e. customer login). A 12 month keeps you from having any surprises over the next year, but allows you to find a different company later if you find someone cheaper. All companies are going to provide you the same power... so really you just need to find one that has a good price and a website that will let you manage your account without having to call them.

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Thanks Niche for the advice. I will do that but wanted to learn something before calling as I am not sure what to ask. Brian0123 I read that typically I want to pick rates during the winter months. I have to start a new contract Jan. 1. Would I be better off getting a 3 month locked in and picking a 12 month provider April 1 or just do it now? And it's all the little fee add ones, I understand minimal useage and early termination, but not sure about the others and do they all have these fees? This is really frustrating. Thanks for your help.

Chris

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For me, I want a provider with a good web site (online billing and credit card autopay). In terms of rates, the biggest thing to watch out for is the "low usage" fee which is pretty common and usually hits in months below 500 kWh but depending on your usage you may not even hit that (small townhouse or apartment with low usage is likely to hit that in the winter especially if you don't have electric heat). You'll notice the prices are generally bunched together. For residential power in Texas you're not likely to ever do much better than 9-10 cents per kWh. With rates where they are right now I would personally recommend locking in for a year or two minimum if you know you're not planning to move.

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Bulldog, thanks. I am not planning on moving at all so I am looking for 12 month fixed. I get the charges for TSD and PUC, they get passed on to customers, and I get the minimal billing, not affected here, but what I don't get is other charges just a monthly charge that gets added on (not for minimal usage). Wouldn't that charge really be part of the kwh charge and the REP lists the price lower and then adds the extra on as a charge and figures the consumer won't notice, or hopes so.

Thanks

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Anyone have an opinion on getting 12 month fixed starting Jan. 1 versus waiting to Mar. 1 hoping the rates go lower for 12 fixed. What about renewing in summer months, won't that be higher rates? New Texan here, trying to speed up my learning curve. Thanks.

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Go to powertochoose org.  Don't ever do a flex plan.  I bounce around to a new provider every 4-6 months.  Just depends on the deals I can get.  I usually pay 6-9 cents.  I have used about half the providers.  They are all the same.  I just put a reminder in my iphone to look for a new plan.  Don't do a 12 month.  They cost an extra 2 cents or so.

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