TXU Energy is taking a stand for Texas electricity consumers who have been or may become victims of the shocking pricing practices of some electricity retailers who sell variable rate electricity plans. Highlighting the risks and realities of these retail pricing tactics, the company has launched a new free resource online via txu.com/novariable to help electricity customers in Texas explore and understand this issue.
TXU Energy has tracked variable rate electricity plans that end up costing much more than the low introductory rates many competitors use to lure customers to their plans. The new site reflects this, showing real world examples, some showing price increases as soon as the second bill. Some retailers increased their prices more than 80 percent from the introductory rates.
Many Texas consumers may not be aware of these risks. In April 2011, TXU Energy conducted a telephone survey of 750 Texans living in areas that are open to electricity competition. The survey revealed that two-thirds did not understand that electricity providers can raise customers’ rates as high as they want on certain variable rate plans. Also, more than one-half of consumers who reported being on variable rate plans did not think their providers could raise their rates without telling them first.
“Unsuspecting consumers may think that low introductory rates of certain variable rate plans will save them money,” said Michael Grasso, chief marketing officer, TXU Energy. “But, we’re finding that, over time, many of these plans are costing them a lot because the low rates don’t last. We’re concerned with the misperceptions, especially since research shows a glaring lack of awareness on the issue. We have clear evidence that some retailers in Texas are using these plans to entice consumers with low teaser rates that go up — way up —as soon as the second bill.”
The company also notes that a number of electric retailers also roll their customers onto variable rates at the end of term plans.
“It’s not only consumers who select variable rate electricity plans who may be at risk,” said Grasso. “We are also seeing many competitors rolling term customers to variable rate electricity plans as soon as their contracts expire, and price increases can follow soon after — and without notice. Since we’re currently experiencing one of the hottest summers on record, we urge Texas electricity customers to take a second look at their bills, check their rates and know when their contracts expire. This can help insulate them from unforeseen price increases that can make it more expensive to keep cool this summer.”
To date, TXU Energy is the only major retail electricity provider in Texas that does not have variable rate electricity plans.
About TXU Energy
TXU Energy is a market-leading competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to approximately 2 million electricity customers in Texas. TXU Energy offers a variety of innovative products and solutions, allowing both its residential and business customers to choose options that best meet their needs, including exceptional customer service, competitively priced electricity service plans, innovative energy efficiency options, renewable energy programs and other electricity-related products and services. Visit txu.com for more information about TXU Energy. REP #10004.