You might think that sounds too good to be true. And you would be right. Nothing is "free" electricity included. But it doesn't mean plans like the TXU Free Nights and Weekends are always bad for every customer.
If you are energy-conscious and don't mind gaming the system you might be able to take advantage and reap the benefits of using a bulk of your electricity when it's "free".
In this review, we delve deep into the nuances of this plan, highlighting its pros and cons, and evaluating the consumer demographics that would benefit the most from it.
You will not find the TXU Free Nights and Weekends plan on our site. Nor will you find similar plans with gimmicks for "free" usage times. We do not offer these plans because we believe for a large majority of customers these plans are not in their best interest.
These plans trade free use times for extremely high rates during non-free use times. This often leads to confusion, high electricity bills, and frustration.
To make the comparison more simple we built a tool that helps you compare free time-of-use plans to traditional fixed-rate plans.
For households and individuals who use a significant portion of their electricity during the nights and weekends, this plan offers potentially substantial savings. People who work during the day and spend more time at home during the night and weekends can save money.
But be weary and really think about your energy usage. In order to save money you will need to make sure your habits align with free use times.
It's important that you do things like:
Additionally, it's a good idea to understand your base energy usage for your home during the day. I.E how much electricity does your home use on any given day when you would be charged for electricity.
This can be hard to estimate. But you have a few of options to make a more informed decision.
You have likely seen communication for ERCOT, your utility, or your energy provider about reducing your electricity usage when the temperatures skyrocket. The reason behind this is to reduce the stress on the grid.
By promoting the consumption of electricity during off-peak hours, this plan helps reduce the burden on the grid during peak times, leading to a more efficient and stable grid operation.
To compensate for the few free hours on nights and weekends, the rates during the non-free periods are often higher than those of a standard plan. This could end up costing more for users who cannot shift a significant portion of their usage.
Typically free nights and weekends power plans are 20 - 40% more per kilowatt hour than normal fixed electricity plans.
Consumers might assume they're saving money by default and not monitor their daytime usage. This could lead to an unexpectedly high electric bill.
Always read the fine print and the electricity facts label before signing up for an electricity plan.
People who are at home during the day, like retirees or remote workers, might not benefit as much and could end up paying more for a free nights and weekends electricity plan.
Keep your house cool during a hot summer day, watching TV, running a computer, all things you might do if you are home, use electricity.
Like many specialized plans, there might be a contract with a specific term and early termination fees. This could limit flexibility for consumers if their usage habits change or they want to switch to other plans.
Perhaps your schedule changes and you suddenly end up using more electricity during the day. You might be stuck paying for the high rate your free nights and weekends plans locked you into.
In almost every case we recommend that customers avoid the TXU Energy Free Nights and Weekends plans and other time-of-use plans.
Any plan offering "free electricity" has a catch. And for most people, the average price they end up paying kWh at best is a wash. Not to mention the headache of constantly thinking about your energy usage during certain times.
You are almost always better off finding an energy plan with a low average rate versus free electricity times.