In 2002, Texas deregulated the state’s electricity market making the retail energy companies compete for Texas residential and business customers. With a more competitive energy market Austin electricity providers must be more efficient, lower costs and provide better customer service to acquire and retain customers. Deregulation also gave residential electricity customers and commercial electricity customers the power to choose their electricity plan from the long list of retail energy suppliers serving the city of Austin, Texas.
For businesses of all sizes – from small businesses to enterprise-level, the Texas deregulated market has enabled competition. Today, every business has the ability to compare energy plans from top energy suppliers and shop for the best rate available.
In most cases, businesses will be able to effectively manage and/or reduce their monthly electricity costs by switching energy plans and providers every year.
If you are a business in the deregulated energy market of Austin, Texas, you now have the power to choose your electricity supplier and your rate. Austin has its own publicly owned utility, Austin Energy that provides energy services for the City of Austin and surrounding areas. Because of this, your business may not be eligible to shop multiple suppliers.
Even though you have the power to choose, it can still be a daunting task. In each specific zip code, today’s commercial customer will have hundreds of plans from over 25 different energy suppliers to choose from. And although the intended result of deregulation was to lower prices for small businesses, medium businesses and larger enterprise level businesses, it’s not that simple. In many cases, comparing energy plans is still confusing due to the sheer number of plans available, promotional rates that are not apples-to-apples and the legal fine print that details fees and penalties.
Commercial energy customers can maintain control over the process by reviewing their monthly usage and average monthly electricity bill. A good rule of thumb to follow based on the amount of the monthly bill.
If your average business electricity bill is under $500 per month, then you can get a very good energy rate for your business through a simple online comparison of energy rates.
If your average commercial electricity bill is over $500 per month, then you will most likely get a more competitive energy rate through the custom energy quote process. The custom process is exactly that – by providing basic business information, energy usage and submitting a recent electricity bill – EnergyBot can leverage partnerships with suppliers to work on your behalf and secure the best energy rate for your business. Although it will take more time to complete, the custom quote process may deliver a lower energy rate that will add up to big savings for your business.
Through our trusted partnerships with leading national energy suppliers, EnergyBot can also help businesses switch to a green energy plan and support a more sustainable business practice.
In a deregulated energy market like Texas, residential and business customers have the power to compare energy suppliers and plans and then switch at their discretion – based on any existing contract terms, renewal dates and fees.
This is the easy part and it starts online. Today, businesses have a variety of online websites and tools to search and compare energy providers, plans, and rates. The best way to compare providers is to use a simple website like EnergyBot.com. In less than 5 minutes, you can enter basic information about your business, like your zip code and monthly electricity bill, and then search and compare dozens of top energy suppliers in your area to find the lowest energy rate.
When you are comparing electricity plans, it will pay – literally – to take time to review the plan details, contract terms, and legal copy. Energy companies may entice you with a low rate, yet the fine print will reveal that it is a variable rate – that is only applicable when you are in a specific range of kWh usage. Also, review the contract term, cancellation fees, and out clauses before signing up for a new plan.
It’s important to do our research and we have you covered. Check out this article to learn more about the different types of energy plans and rates.
In many cases, the energy supplier, broker or website that you are using to find a new electricity plan will ask you to upload your most recent electricity bill. Although this may feel a bit intrusive, it provides pertinent account information and is important to securing the best energy rate available for your business. Your energy bill has your business information as well as the data that outlines your monthly energy usage.
To add, your new energy supplier will require proof of your energy usage before you can switch and your electricity bill is the easiest way to meet the requirement.
If you own or manage a larger business with high energy usage (and higher monthly bill), then it may be beneficial to request a custom pricing quote. For larger companies, the process is a bit different. Due to your high energy usage, energy suppliers require a comprehensive review of your energy usage to provide a custom quote on a new plan and rate. At EnergyBot, you can get custom pricing support from one of our energy experts.
After authorizing a switch to a new energy provider, you will receive a confirmation email with the plan details and start date. It’s very important to review the plan you authorized and the new start date. The transition to a new supplier will be seamless…you won’t even notice until you get the electricity bill the next month.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a membership-based nonprofit corporation that is governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature and is tasked with managing the flow of power to 26 million Texas residents, 8 million locations and 90% of the Texas grid. ERCOT members encompass many stakeholders – including consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.
Utilities are the entities in charge of the operation and maintenance of the energy infrastructure, like wires and towers. The local utility in Austin is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Austin like TXU, Direct Energy, and Cirro are the competitive energy retailers. In Texas, these companies are called Retail Electric Providers (REPs).
Each energy provider buys energy from the wholesale market (the generators) and then re-sells it to consumers (homeowners, renters, and businesses).
In most cases, the consumer, the homeowner, renter, or business, signs a contract with an energy provider for a specific energy plan. The basic energy plan details the rate class, the energy rate per kWh, the contract term length (6, 12, 24, 36 months), and other contract terms like cancellation fee policy.
Power to Choose is the official and unbiased electric choice website. Sponsored and managed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), PowerToChoose is a consumer website that enables retail electric providers to list energy plans.
Currently Power To Choose does not have the ability to show business rates.
Energy suppliers offer two different types of plans for residential and business customers: a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan.
Each type of plan has its respective pros and cons. As a Texas customer, it’s important to understand the two types of plans before signing up for an electricity plan for your home or business.
The simple definition of a fixed-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a fixed-rate – meaning that the rate will remain constant for the term of the contract. Regardless of weather, natural events like tornados, or market volatility, your rate will not change. In most cases, a fixed-rate plan will have a term length of 6, 12, 24, or 36 months.
The simple definition of a variable-rate plan is that you are signing a contract with an energy supplier that offers a variable-rate – meaning that the rate may change on a monthly basis based on market factors. Variable-rate plans offer more flexibility but also present more volatility in pricing which may impact your monthly electricity bill.
It is important to audit your energy usage and then select the right plan – a fixed-rate plan or a variable-rate plan – before signing a contract with an energy supplier.
Austin is the known for many things – it’s the capital of the state of Texas, a budding new technology hub outside of Silicon Valley, home to the SXSW festival as well as UT – The University of Texas Longhorns. As of the last US Census, Austin’s population reached nearly 1 million inhabitants, a 25% jump in the last 10 years. As the southern most capital in the U.S., Austin also gets nearly 300 days of sun and nearly outshines its West Coast longitudinal friend in San Diego. Known for its live music and growing millennial population, Austin, Texas is also one of the the fastest growing cities in the U.S.
The 2.7 million small businesses in the state of Texas employ over 4.7 million people and added nearly 95,000 net new jobs, according to the latest SBA Small Business Profile. The economic growth in Texas has remained strong as the annual growth rate is 5%, outpacing overall U.S. growth by a full percentage point, and the state’s unemployment rate has continued to decline, dropping from 4.1% to 3.8% in 2019.