The Texas legislature approved energy deregulation in 2002 creating the path for competitive energy pricing and market. As a deregulated electricity market, the state’s retail energy companies would need to compete - against each other - for the millions of Texas residential and business customers. The goal of a deregulated, or competitive energy market, is to give the power to choose to the consumer – which forced Harlingen electricity providers to be more efficient and lower costs – and offer improved customer service and lower rates to their customers. Going forward, the home and business customers of energy suppliers would have the ability to switch to a new energy provider (at the end of each contract) to maintain the advantage of the deregulated market.
Texas has had a very healthy market in the new era of competition under energy deregulation. Residents and businesses can shop for electricity plans from a wide array of energy suppliers and shop for the best rate available. This means less money in the pockets of energy companies and more for you.
How do you get the best deal on an electricity plan? We analyzed and digested hundreds of thousands of data points from utilities and suppliers and determined the most basic action you can take is to be proactive.
Simply by shopping suppliers and rates 6 months before your plan is set to renew can help you save 20% or more on your energy costs. Furthermore, we found that most customers, depending on market conditions and usage, are likely to save by switching electric suppliers every 12 to 24 months.
Harlingen businesses can find big savings in the Texas energy market with just a little bit of due diligence. Since energy suppliers are forced to be more efficient and offer business energy plans with competitive energy rates, it’s up to you to compare and find the best plan.
But finding the right plan can be difficult. In Texas, rates change by zip code. And with dozens of commercial energy suppliers, that means sifting through hundreds of plans.
This has made comparing energy plans 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.
If your average business electricity bill is less than $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 $500 or more per month, then you will most likely get a more competitive energy rate through a custom 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.
For Harlingen businesses, researching energy rates and switching to a new electricity plan can be a hassle. EnergyBot is built to make energy simple and help businesses find the best electricity rate quickly and easily.
Along with saving time, EnergyBot also helps businesses cut energy costs by 15% for two reasons.
Renewable energy is becoming more and more viable every day. Several energy suppliers focus completely on green energy plans and even more suppliers offer partial green plans.
We are constantly finding new ways to give Harlingen businesses and residents more renewable energy options. This includes solar, wind, hydro, and even geothermal energy solutions.
The Texas State Technical College in Harlingen is now partially powered by solar energy through a partnership with the Green Mountain Energy Company. They recently donated a solar array system to the school which is one of the largest solar arrays in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s a 10.08 kW solar system built with ground mounts right next to the Autobody Collision Technology Building. The school plans to use this system not only to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint but also as an educational tool. This school also offers a two year Wind Energy Technician program to help provide the expertise needed for maintaining the extensive wind energy farms throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
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 Harlingen is responsible for transporting electricity from the generators to residential homes and businesses in this specific region.
Energy providers in Harlingen 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.
Previously known as Rattlesnake Junction, Harlingen has a population of 64,839 residents and continues to grow at an incredible pace with a growth rate of 12.5% since the 2000 census. Located in the central region of the Rio Grande Valley, Harlingen covers an expansive area of 40 square miles making it the second-largest city in Cameron County.
In the early 1900s, the Texas Rangers built a headquarters in Harlingen where their men would regularly gather for target practice which gave rise to the nickname Six-Shooter Junction. Since then, Harlingen continued to grow its government infrastructure. Harlingen is now home to one of 52 U.S. Immigration Courts, the United States Border Patrol Harlingen Station, and an Armed Forces Reserve Center.
Harlingen is also home to a thriving scene for a variety of educational opportunities. For primary and secondary education, Harlingen offers four high schools, two of which are tailored to specific educational opportunities. They also have a Marine Military Academy acting as a college preparatory school. There are also several colleges offering a wide range of education including a branch of the Texas State Technical College, a Regional Academic Health Center, and a campus for the Southern Careers Institute.
Texas has one of the healthiest and largest economies in the United States, second only to California in size. If fact, if Texas was its own country it would have the 10th largest GDP, beating out Canada and South Korea.
The 2.7 million small businesses in the state of Texas employ over 4.74 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 unemployment rate dropped from 4.1% to 3.8% in 2019.
A large portion of the growth in Harlingen stems from its excellent medical facilities. The Harlingen Medical Center is nationally recognized as a general acute-care hospital. Harlingen is also home to the Valley Baptist Medical Center which is the Rio Grande Valley’s only level II trauma center, the Solara Hospital, and the Valley Diagnostic Center.
Harlingen only seems to be continuing this amazing growth with the job market expected to grow by over 27% in the next ten years.