Honest Reliant Energy Free Nights and Weekends Review

Honest Reliant Energy Free Nights and Weekends Review

Read an honest review of Reliant Energy's Free Nights and Weekends plans.

Kendra Aquino By Kendra Aquino
Fact Checked
Thad Warren By Thad Warren

If you're considering a new electricity plan in Texas, you might have come across Reliant Energy's Free Nights and Weekends offers. These plans can be enticing, but are they worth it? Let's get into the details to help you make an informed decision.

Does Reliant still offer Free Nights and Weekends?

Reliant Energy currently offers Free Nights and Weekends plans, including the Truly Free Nights and Truly Free Weekends options. These plans provide free electricity and delivery charges during specific time periods.

Before we jump in

If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be. These plans require a substantial adjustment in your energy habits to fully benefit from the free hours. If you can adapt your lifestyle to align with by-the-hour timeframes, the savings could be significant. If not, you will likely end up paying a much higher price per kilowatt-hour (kWh). 

For this reason, our site does not feature the TXU Free Nights and Weekends plan or similar plans promising 'free' usage times. We believe for a large majority of customers, these plans are not in their best interest. This is because they often trade free use times for extremely high rates during non-free use times, leading to high electricity bills and customer frustration. 

Instead, we offer a tool to simplify comparison between free time-of-use plans and traditional fixed-rate plans, which you can access here.

What time is Reliant Free Nights? 

The Truly Free Nights plan from Reliant Energy offers free electricity and delivery charges from 8pm to 6am every day. To benefit from this plan, you'll need to shift a significant portion of your electricity usage to the nighttime hours. 

Reliant assumes that you will use 42% of your power during these hours to calculate the average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh). To actually see savings, you'll need to use 42% of your electricity between the hours of 8pm and 6am. This is important to remember because the cost per kWh is much higher during peak times for these plans. 

Is Truly Free Nights worth it?

If you're someone who is away from home during the day and able to shift a considerable portion of your energy use to the nighttime, this plan could work for you. It's particularly well-suited for individuals with regular 9-5 jobs who are not home during weekdays, as well as electric vehicle owners who primarily charge their vehicles at night. However, it's important to be mindful of limiting high electricity usage activities during the day.

On the other hand, if adjusting your habits significantly isn't feasible, you may want to explore other options. This plan may not be the best fit for retirees, homemakers, and remote workers who use a lot of electricity during the day, or for those who are unable to alter their energy usage to take advantage of the free periods.

What time is Reliant Free Weekends?

The Truly Free Weekends plan from Reliant Energy offers free electricity and delivery charges from 8pm Friday to 12am Monday for every kilowatt hour used. This plan assumes that you will use 32% of your power during the weekend to calculate the average price per kWh. 

To benefit from Reliant's free weekends, you would need to shift 39% of your power usage to the weekend, which would make the average price per kWh similar to Reliant's fixed-rate plans.

Is Truly Free Weekends worth it?

Is it worth it? Well, if you're often out of town for work during the week or have a second home for weekend getaways, Reliant Energy's free weekends could be beneficial for you. But if you can't shift your energy use to the weekends, you might want to look into other plans that better fit your needs.

Advantages of Reliant Free Nights and Weekends Plans

The advantages of Reliant Energy’s free nights and weekends plans include:

  • Savings Potential: These plans are great for those who use a lot of electricity during nights and weekends, as they can lead to significant savings.
  • Promotes Off-Peak Use: Encouraging the use of electricity during off-peak hours helps alleviate pressure on the grid during peak times, contributing to more stable and efficient grid operations.

Disadvantages of Reliant Free Nights and Weekends Plans

The disadvantages of these plans are listed below: 

  • Increased Rates During Peak Hours: To offset the free hours on nights and weekends, rates during peak hours are usually higher compared to standard plans, which could result in higher costs if you’re unable to shift your usage.
  • Less Beneficial for Daytime Users: Individuals who spend most of their time at home during the day, such as retirees or remote workers, may not see as much benefit and could face higher costs with these plans.
  • Risk of Unexpected High Bills: There's a danger of underestimating daytime usage, leading to surprisingly high bills.
  • Contractual Obligations: Many of these plans come with fixed-term contracts and early termination fees, which can reduce flexibility for customers if their energy needs change or they wish to switch plans.

How does Reliant Energy Flextra Credits work?

Reliant Energy's Flextra Credits is another option in the "Pick Your Free" program. It offers up to 8 of your highest energy usage days free per month, or up to 48 hours of free power per week. However, Reliant's assumption is that 32% of your power will be used on these peak days. 

Your average cost per kWh may differ from the advertised rate if you are unable to adjust your energy usage accordingly. The Flextra Credits Plan also includes three $25 bill credits, totaling $75, which you can apply to your electricity bills during your term. 

Pros of the Flextra Credits Plan

Here are the pros of the Flextra Credits Plan: 

  • Free Days: You get eight of your highest usage days each month for free, covering both energy and delivery charges.
  • Bill Credits: Three $25 credits are provided to apply to any bill of your choosing, though not all in the same bill.
  • Flexibility: You are not restricted to specific usage hours.

Cons of the Flextra Credits Plan

Cons of the Flextra Credits plan include: 

  • High Energy Charge: The plan features a significantly high energy charge, which may offset the benefits of the free days.
  • Limited Free Days: You receive only two highest usage days free each week — up to eight days a month — which may not be sufficient for all users.
  • Full Billing Cycle Requirement: The number of free days is contingent on a full billing cycle, meaning fewer free days in shorter cycles.
  • Early Cancellation Fee: The plan includes a $150 early cancellation fee, adding a potential cost for switching plans before the 12-month term ends.

EnergyBot’s Take

Time-of-use plans like Reliant Energy's Free Nights and Weekends can offer savings for those who are able to align their energy use with the free periods. However, these plans often come with higher rates during peak hours and may not be ideal for everyone. 

Unless you can significantly adjust your energy habits to take advantage of the free hours, you might find better value in a plan with a consistently low average rate. In most cases, the simplicity and predictability of a traditional plan outweighs the potential benefits of free electricity periods.