Likewise, if you opt for a plan like our Gas And Electric Power example, but in some months only hit 990 kWh of energy use, the $35 discount for cresting $1,000 kWh won't apply — and your bill is going to show it. Picking the right plan for you requires two things: an intimate knowledge of your home’s typical energy use, and a critical eye on any plan’s fine print.
Some good news: According to J.D. Power’s 2016 survey on retail electric providers (its most current survey of the space), Texas has the highest overall satisfaction with retail electric providers out of any state. And because rates, plans, and offers can be so similar from provider to provider, customer satisfaction scores are a great way to break a tie. Think of it like choosing who to hire when you have two candidates with similar resumes — you’re going to pick the person with the glowing references.
As a result, 85% of Texas power consumers (those served by a business not owned by an utility or a town cooperative) can select their electricity service from a range of retail electrical companies (resellers), or the incumbent energy company. The incumbent provider in the area still owns and preserves the regional power lines (and is the company to hire the occasion of a power blackout) and is not subject to deregulation. Customers served by cooperatives or local utilities can select an alternate electricity provider but only if they have actually “opted-in” to deregulation.